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Notes from Casey

April 2022

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Earlier this month, my family and I traveled to Israel for spring break—a long planned (and delayed) visit to the country to connect my kids even more fully to their Bar and Bat Mitzvah journeys. In one of the most meaningful moments, we visited Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, on a Bar Mitzvah tour where they shared the powerful story of a boy with the same birthday as my son who did not make it to their Bar Mitzvah. My son was called upon to carry this remembrance with him during his learning and celebration so that his memory would not be forgotten.

March 2022

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

One of Bookshop's most deeply-held beliefs is that connecting the right books to readers has the possibility to change lives. However, for the last ten years, a central way Bookshop does this work has actually only ever been seen by our youngest customers. In partnership with local schools and through the leadership of local librarians, Bookshop brings dozens of authors each year to our schools to connect with kids on books, illustration, writing, and, most importantly, imagination. I remember watching one such assembly where I could see in the faces of some young students that their dream of becoming an author could indeed become real. These events are much more than just an introduction to the book— they give a glimpse to kids about how they could live a creative life.

February 2022

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

In two weeks, Bookshop will host our first in-person event in two years. There are days when I sometimes forget what it felt like to gather together in a room to be inspired by an author, delve into the issues of the day, and come together as a community around our favorite books. Since March 2020, we’ve held over 130 virtual author events, keeping the connection alive. (To say that our Events Director, Chorel, is a hero for engineering, coordinating, and/or hosting all of our virtual author events would be an understatement.) Now, we will gather together at the beautiful Cowell Ranch Hay Barn at UC Santa Cruz for three in-person events to kick off this new chapter in Bookshop’s history.

January 2022

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Recently, I was having a conversation while exercising with a friend of mine. I was dutifully complaining about my lack of time for exercise, and how to fit it into my busy schedule being a mom and a business owner. After being empathetic to my feelings of stress, my friend asked a very clarifying question: "Casey, what have you done in the last few weeks to figure out what you are going to read next?" I quickly launched into a soliloquy of the lists of anticipated books I scoured on the internet, the panels and forums amongst booksellers to share what books are buzzing, digging through my mail to make piles and organize my advance reading copies, reading reviews of the books as well as the first paragraph of all the contenders, making stacks of prioritization by month and then ultimately creating a digital representation of my to-read-pile. My friend was impressed and then said with a grin on her face, " I think we make time for the things that we are really passionate about."

October 2021

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

I sat down to write this letter with every intention of sharing just how intense the supply chain issues are going to be for Bookshop this holiday season. My marketing team said I needed to get the word across about the importance of shopping early and shopping local. However, I just might scream if I hear one more story about how the supply chain is going to make this holiday season one of the most stressful in history (I didn’t think that was possible after surviving 2020). So, I decided that instead of languishing in my anxiety and stress, I’m going to go to my happy place and I invite you all to join me. And where is that? The aisles of Bookshop of course!

September 2021

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

When anyone asks me how I spent my summer, my reply is always the same: I spent it reading for fall! As booksellers, we get often get books in advance so that we can be ready for fall, the biggest season for new books. Here is a snapshot of some of the titles that I loved and that should end up in your book bag over the next month, or at the very least on your holiday wish list.