As our 10th birthday fast approaches, one word from far beyond our shores perfectly describes what is near and dear to me and to all of us at Books & Company. That word is Ubuntu.
Ubuntu has its origins in several of the Bantu languages of Southern Africa and means : ‘I am because you are’, and in many ways that perfectly sums up my gratitude for all that we have been able to accomplish together since we opened our doors on a beautiful Saturday morning in May 2009.
Running an independent bookshop is an enormous privilege and one that I am thankful for every single day.
A life among books, full of stories and histories that engage and enlighten, written by authors who go out of their way to share ideas and emotions is a life that keeps you on your toes. It’s a life that constantly challenges the status quo and allows you to see all that you knew yesterday in a brand new light today. A life among books teaches empathy and opens your heart to differences and similarities, to exuberant joy and to tremendous pain.
And that’s just the books themselves!
A bookshop takes all that magic and puts in the hands of booksellers and readers. It gives us the wonderful task of passing on all those emotions, all that empathy and all that exuberance to the customers who wander through our door to the jingle of the little bell.
The true wonder of a bookshop happens in that meeting with the customer. In the search for the perfect book, the perfect read, the perfect gift. The book that isn’t too scary, that isn’t too romantic, that isn’t too serious or too funny, and never one that is too boring. The book that makes you think, makes you want to be a better person, makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you want to change the world. Done right, these are the best conversations.
Over the years we have had the great privilege of putting thousands of books in your hands and we take that job very seriously. We know that you will be sitting in a chair, on a bus, in the grass or on the beach reading what we suggested - and we want you to come back for more.
We also take very seriously our commitment to creating community.
The past 10 years have brought so many wonderful people to the shop. Some have stayed in the country short term, some longer. Some visit monthly, some weekly and some even daily. Every single person has put their mark on the shop and made us who we are. The talks, the laughs, the commiseration; the hellos, the goodbyes and the ‘see you soons’. And in this wonderful age of easy communication, no-one is ever forgotten.
Running a bookshop is not a one woman show. It takes amazing, incredible, wonderful, talented, hard working, committed and dedicated colleagues and I have had the greatest fortune of working with them every day for the past 10 years. Thank you will never be enough!
And, of course, we need to have a birthday party, so we hope you will join us for a celebration on
Saturday, May 25 from 10:00 -15:00
In the spirit of Ubuntu, and in the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu : ’’A person is a person through other persons.’’
Thank you for allowing us to be who we are through you.
Isabella & the staff of Books & Company