The traditional Thanksgiving menu is the same every year: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pie. This year, instead of my usual apple pie, I tried to spice things up with a salted caramel apple pie. The recipe sounded amazing, but at the end of the day it didn’t taste all that different from my usual version (which is always good to begin with). Next year will be much of the same, whether I try a new recipe or not. When I think of that menu, I think of the store, which also remains a constant with only slight variations.
We’ve been guilty of putting a great deal of store nostalgia on the blog this fall, so I solemnly promise this will be the end of it for awhile. But as everyone poured out their hearts on social media this past weekend, waxing poetic about the things they’re thankful for, I couldn’t help but resist sharing three last pictures that sum up our gratitude at Island Books.
Above you’ll see a photo of our children’s section, and if you look in the upper right hand corner you’ll see this picture is circa 1985. It doesn’t look all that different, does it? Today, some of the books on the shelves have gone from apple pie to salted caramel apple pie, but basically it’s the same slice now as it was back then.
Here’s the chalkboard we prepared for our recent anniversary celebration. On it, you’ll see the names of every Island Books employee over the last 40 years. It’s not that big of a list, and what’s particularly unusual in today’s work world is how long most of these people worked for Island Books. When you don’t have much turnover, the list of employees remains small.
Here’s my favorite picture. Do you recognize these characters? The menu of booksellers hasn’t changed much. I don’t know the exact year offhand, but Roger’s hair is significantly less gray. This is not a recent picture. Does anyone else know the year and can you name them all?
This year, we’re thankful for making it through 40 years of doing what we love best. The books that flow through our shelves may change, but our passion for reading and bookselling remains as steadfast as ever.
We hope you had a warm and memorable Thanksgiving.