Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dear Everyone,

First, we have a new website! Same place (www.littleshopofstories.com), but it now looks wonderful and we promise to keep it up to date. Our very special thanks to Shannon of White Barn Design who loves our store and did a miraculous job in capturing our essence.

Second, come to the AJC Decatur Book Festival this weekend!!! Labor Day weekend comes early this year - August 29th to 31st. Little Shop of Stories programs the events held on the Target Children's Stage, and we're way excited about the list of people coming. Just some of the authors, in order of appearance, include: John Bemelmans Marciano, Matthew Reinhart & Robert Sabuda, Chris Raschka, Adam Rex, Tony DiTerlizzi, Patrick McDonnell, Doreen Cronin, and Evelyn Coleman. (Go here for the complete schedule of all stages and links to biographies of the authors.)

Finally, since Decatur's Wordsmiths bookstore went public recently regarding their financial situation, we have been fielding questions from customers concerned with the well-being of Little Shop.

The short answer is: we're doing fine. We plan on being around for a long time.

The long response is more complex. I would guess that just about every Decatur business is feeling the effects of the downturn in the economy. Within the last year we've seen the closing of Square Roots, Pasta Please, Angel's, Zocolo, Rue de Leon, Tossed, and Boswell Gallery, to name only some. More recently Nease's Needleworks has announced that it will close its doors shortly, shifting to a web-only presence, and Crescent Moon has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There are fewer people out on the streets of downtown; restaurants are not as crowded. Our bookstore has felt the squeeze as well. In addition, we've had to deal with one of life's high and inside curve balls that gets thrown at you from time-to-time.

At this point you must be thinking 'What can I do to help Little Shop of Stories prosper and thrive?'

Good question. The answer is: keep patronizing our store!

Buy a book. Relatively speaking, books are a truly inexpensive form of entertainment. Few things in life are grander than reading a great book. Little Shop has, I'm pretty darned sure, the best selection of children's books in the entire state. We also have a great, quirky collection of adult books, and we'll help you find one you'll love. For fans of graphic novels, Justin has put together an awesome selection of titles in a brand new section dedicated to this genre. (For those of you who think graphic novels are 'too graphic,' check ours out; there is a lot of interesting work being published, and we've been careful to bring in quality books appropriate for our store).

Think of us when buying gifts. Books make for a great gift. We also have a variety of cool stuff from fruit-powered clocks to art supplies to music CDs to lunch boxes. If you're still stuck, there is always the trusty gift card!

When the next birthday in your house rolls around, think of Little Shop as a fun place to have it. We love birthday parties. Our website has all the details.

Looking for camps for next summer? Think of us for that as well. This past summer we did Greek mythology, science, law, comics, and drama camps, as well as the great Goody for Girls! camp. There were lots of happy kids and satisfied parents. We'll be posting our 2009 schedule sometime in February.

Attend our events. During just this past month we have brought in people from near ("Mr. Eric" Litwin and James Dean, author and illustrator of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes) and far (Irish author Eoin Colfer, whose Artemis Fowl series occupies and has occupied the New York Times best seller list for over 100 weeks). All events, including the book festival, are free, but don't be shy about buying books by these great authors and getting them signed and personalized. These also make great gifts!

We love what we do. We can't think of a better community to be doing it in, and we hope to be a part of your childrens' childrens' lives as well.

Thanks for all of your support,
Dave & Diane (& Terra & Krista & Rick & Justin & Cal & Matt & Al & Amy & Natalie & Casey)

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