Independence Day

This is adapted from a message that I'm sending to my store's email list this afternoon. If you're interested in subscribing to the store list, please visit the website at

This morning, a book industry columnist named Robert Gray wrote:

People wanting to--choosing to--buy books directly from us, face-to-face, is no small miracle these days. Of course, we'd love to have even more of them make that choice regularly, and we continue to search for irresistible strategies that might encourage such behavior. At the same time, as independents we fiercely resist the siren song urging us to surrender to our presumed fate, as implied in phrases like "these things happen."

It's the "no small miracle" that strikes me.  The independence that we all cherish -- as a nation, of course, but also as caretakers and patrons of The Mystery Company, and other like-minded local businesses -- isn't just a gift. It's a responsibility.  It's a struggle.  It's a fight worth fighting.  It's a mission.  And it is, indeed, a miracle.

At one level, of course, we celebrate this little miracle here every day, every time we have a chance to recommend a book to you and to hear about what you recommend, every time we gather as a discussion group or for an author visit, every time we help folks get more involved in the world of books, and every time we help folks take steps on their paths to becoming writers.

But it seems especially appropriate to pause here on the eve of Independence Day and thank you for your support.  We are enormously grateful to all of you.

Two more bits of Independence Day fun:


The "Indie Bound" logo that you see in this post is the new identity for the American Booksellers Association, which we belong to, replacing "Booksense: Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds." I find the new logo a little goofy myself -- likable but weird. Would love to hear your opinions. I also encourage you to click on this link), which will take you to ABA's Declaration of IndieBound.  Again, likable but weird, no?

There's no real excuse to send this second link to you -- it has nothing to do with mysteries, but I found this video on information management to be oddly inspiring -- and oddly liberating and therefore appropriate for this day.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!