*Happy Dance*

SNOOPY, WOODSTOCK

So super proud to have been named one of the 25 semifinalists for the 2014 ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year’ award!* You shared the link to vote with your friends and family and clicked once a day to get us there and we say thank you, thank you, thank you! We’re simply over the moon to have this honor because it comes from YOU. Time and time again you prove to us in very tangible ways that this little bookstore is an important part of our community, worthy of nurturing, that you want us to stick around.

It’s when you bundle up the wee ones and bring them in for story time, when you decide to join us for Family Fun Night, when you helped us grow our book and documentary clubs from a humble four members to a now boastful 20 plus film/book aficionados, when you haul those gently-loved books in to participate in our Trade for Credit Program, when you call and order your new books from us (rather than the big A), when you visit every chance you can squeeze in your busy schedule and tell us you love the new location and catch up with the day-to-day in your lives and ours, and, yes, when you buy a book or two, when you support a local artist by choosing a handmade greeting card or one-of-a-kind gift, and when you pick up that baby shower or birthday present at Afterwords.

As you may know, there is just one proud proprietor/bibliophile that owns this little book shop, so it may seem strange that I often refer to Afterwords Books as “we”. The “we” in Afterwords is, of course, all of you; our loyal and new customers alike, but it’s also the many, many people who believe in the bookstore and generously offer their time and support beyond measure. Tis the Thanksgiving season and so in no particular order, (as all of your contributions keep this little boat afloat!),  thank you to the Kelsey family for your generosity and patience as we keep chugging along. Thanks to the Reinhardt’s for being VIP customers, for being awesome book selling mentors, for getting their hands dirty and beautifying our outdoor space, and for tooting our horn whenever they get a chance. Thanks to our entire story time crew! You and your little one’s have found a very special place in Miss LuAnn’s heart. Thank you to the friends I made while juggling a part-time job at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library and my commitment to our bookstore; to Amanda for working tirelessly on newsletters and flyers for mere pennies, to Ryan for piloting our Goodreads activity, documentary and book club events, to Michelle for her fantastic creative endeavors, and to Kevin and Katie Eagan (though they’ve flown the coop to Florida and just welcomed a tiny Eagan to the family) for countless hours of volunteer work, creating a logo for us and getting our website up and running way back when.  To the Orr’s, Natalie and the Robien kiddos, Nicole Plegge, Emily Kimmey, and the Nichols family for going above and beyond the call of duty as friends. Thank you to Ann Shirley Taylor, truly the ambassador for supporting local shops! I often joke that Ann is solely responsible for making sure we are able to pay our rent each month. Thank you to the team of social media enthusiasts (I’m talking to you, Emily, Julie, Lesley, Metroeast Montessori community,  Cate, Terry, Janel, Carol, Kristina, Priscilla, Katie, Jodi, Shannon….+) who like, share, and shout our name from the rooftops!  I could seriously go on and on but I do have to send a very special shout out to Rob Nunn and Jill Warner (for steering students and families our way), to the circle of local merchants I’m so proud to call my friends/cheerleaders, and to Katie Sjursen (for taking the helm and moderating our children’s book clubs).   Your efforts, rooted in kindness and generosity, to fuel this little engine are greatly appreciated.   Finally, thank you to my kidlets for taking countless dinners of pancakes, mom working way-too-many hours, and sharing our home with the community in stride.

So, how cool would it be if our little indie bookstore was named ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year‘?? Just keep those votes coming (your eligible to vote once every 24 hours between now and December 14th!)  and we may find ourselves on the list of top ten small, independent businesses nationwide!  The winner of the Independent Small Business Award will be announced December 17, 2014.  Click to show the love.

*Some of you may read this post as a bit deja vu as we were named one of the top 10 finalists in the 2013 Indie Award.  We’re no less thankful for the outpouring of support and friends, old and new, we’ve made since then!

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