Contemplating a Weekend of Celebrations

Posted 21 May 2013 by

Many of us work very hard every day for the “love of the game,”  with very little financial reward and often without recognition. What I am talking about, of course, is the business of bookselling and the care and feeding of Mysterious Galaxy, in particular.

Time passes quickly when we are enmeshed in this business … and then suddenly we are celebrating 20 years of business in San Diego. This is impressive by any measure; a small, independent retailer thriving in Southern California. Twenty years ago, we knew we were creating something special, something treasured, but weekend of our Birthday Bash (May 11) helped to cement all of those thoughts into one glorious day of celebration and appreciation. We adored our authors, made toasts, had cake, and hugged all of our customers. It was a lot to take in. One thing is certain; this celebration was not about one person or one idea, but a team of them. Every single person involved in our store has made a significant impact on our business and on our ability to celebrate this milestone.

As I said on Saturday, Maryelizabeth and I live and breathe this business 24/7 … whether we are at our computers, driving our cars, or in the shower (yes, ideas are generated in all of these places and more …). We love what we do and we are proud of what we have created. This makes it easy to keep working … and thinking about new ways to do things better … and help our business grow.

Much of our planning and conversations occur in the background. What does not happen in the background is that every single day and every minute in our stores, a dedicated staff is lifting, receiving, shelving, posting, displaying, and packing our books … in the space between talking to customers (and amongst themselves) about how much they love a book or an author or this store. Our staff is a blessing and they are the reason that we have two stores, great customers, and an amazing community of readers and writers.

And as owners (and fellow workers), we are grateful to everyone on the staff who has worked tirelessly every single day for twenty years. On our anniversary, their presence (and their “love of the game”) was felt in every conversation and every transaction. The “vibe” was unmistakable.

As we try to duplicate this “vibe” at the Redondo Beach store, we sometimes wonder if magic is reproducible. And the work continues …

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