Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The U+1 Goal: How you can help us keep going strong for free.

As the store's events director, I think a lot about why people come to us and why they come back. For example, tonight we had about 500 people stop in to our shop to see Amy Sedaris. Most of those people had been to the store before; they saw the signs saying she was coming or they got our email or looked at our events calendar, and they bought tickets and showed up.

But some of those 500 people were here for the first time. I guarantee it. Someone brought their grandmother or their sister or their boyfriend or second cousin twice removed, because they saw that sign, and they thought "Holy molasses, Aunt Gertrude loooooves Amy Sedaris!"

And my hope is that Aunt Gertrude gets here, and she has a good time, meets her favorite comedian, and notices while she's waiting in line, "Wow...this store is really cool." Perhaps she likes the layout, the books she finds--maybe she likes the jolly rancher she's handed while she's waiting to get a book signed. And then Aunt Gertrude comes back, and she sees that Patton Oswalt is coming, so she brings Cousin Billy, who loooves Patton Oswalt.

I believe in our bookstore. I believe that once you cross our threshold, you're going to be hooked. And I believe too that the only reason we have a bookstore still while others (tragically) don't is because you guys are pretty fond of us too (if you're willing to read my rambly blog post, you must be).

So here's my holiday wish/request/plea. It won't cost you anything, but it makes all the difference in the world, and it can guarantee you'll have your favorite indie around for the next 50 years:

During the holiday season, bring in one person you know who has never been to the Booksmith. (Get it? U+1...You, plus one person...okay, so it seemed catchy to me.)

Meet someone for breakfast at Zaftigs or dinner at Khao Sarn or a movie at the Coolidge or a coffee at Peet's. And then when you're done, say, "Hey, do you want to stop into the bookshop just up the road?" Or bring them to an event for an author they'll like. Share your holiday gift-shopping expedition with a friend or group of friends and make us one of your stops. Heck, set up a Facebook event and invite everyone you know in Boston to join you for an hour of browsing.

You'll be helping them find one of the niftiest shopping spots in Boston, and you'll help us stay that way. And who knows? Maybe while they're here, they'll figure out that what you really want for the holidays is a Booksmith gift card. I mean, it could happen, right? And you're not above dropping hints...are you?

And if you and your +1 are in when I'm working, tell me so. I'd be thrilled to thank you, and I'd love to welcome him or her.

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