The morning after the election, Bookshop started the hard work of defining our role as we faced the new political reality of our country. First, we gathered together at our morning meeting and rededicated ourselves to the core of our mission. The statement that we posted shortly after opening best describes the sentiments we shared with each other that morning:
"Today Bookshop Santa Cruz rededicates itself to being a safe place in this community. A safe place for all people. A safe place to share ideas and to evaluate options. A safe place to escape through books if needed. A safe place to find empathy within pages. A safe place to further discover what defines our community."
Since then, we have discussed various ways that books can help our community process, evaluate, spur action, escape and heal. We are not alone. In the weeks following, more than 400 children's authors pledged to "help eliminate the fear that takes root in the human heart amid lack of familiarity and understanding of others" by planting "seeds of empathy, fairness and empowerment through words and pictures." (Read about their statement here.) These authors understand that books hold power. It is our hope that there are thousands of ways that we use books during the next four years to bring light to our lives in the form of understanding, connection, and hope.
To start this process, we've compiled a reading list of books that move the conversation forward. We will continue to add to it, and to find ways to create dialogue around these books both in and outside the store. We hope you will join us.