It happened again. Despite the press of Daily Life; the press of daily life augmented and magnified by Christmas Concerns; the shopping and cooking, decorating and wrapping, writing and lighting; Despite the hustle and bustle and hurry and flurry, not to even mention the harangues from various pulpits on how This Is Not What Jesus Wants (thanks a lot, guys); Despite the fact that this whole undertaking was undertook ON TOP OF various other crisis large and small (I mean it's not like everything else just STOPS because Christmas is coming); Even still, God Showed Up.
Yes, He did. Found His way into the cracks and crevices of our lives: a moment of merriment shared with a stranger jostling packages, a gift of beauty, family hilarity, jokes passed with bread and wine, pervading peace, love, love, longing love....How is it that even when the Inn is full and the Out is overflowing, God still finds a way to be born into the stables of our heart? A miracle. Reoccurring. I am with You.
OUR TOP TEN list never looks like anyone else's. We don't carry very many new books, seldom have more than one copy in stock and often have gaps between ordering. Here's our top new book turnover in 2000: Celtic Prayers, sales were definitely augmented by sending out a picture with Bookaday, but it also sells steadily off the shelf. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, a family camp phenomena that spread. At Home in Mitford & A New Song, the first and last of Jan Karon's popular cozy Episcopal village novels. Buchner's Telling Secrets. Bob George's Classic Christianity, just one person bought enough copies of this, giving them away week by week, to put it in the top ten. Clown of God, Tale of Three Trees, & Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, three "children's" stories that adults love reading, too. And Bandit of Ashley Downs, a mid-elementary adventure that takes place around England's George Mueller, the 'faith orphanage builder guy.'
Kenneth Haigan was our most sold used book author, Henri Nouwen our most popular new book author (we'd sell him used more if more used copies came in.) I'm currently reading Nouwen's Sabbatical Journey, the journal of his last year. I'm also reading G.H. Lang's The Churches of God which is rabidly anti-liturgical. (a nice mix) I just finished Groups that Work, a 1960's Zondervan compendium of essays extolling the virtues of small groups. Have contemplated writing a sequel: Groups that Don't Work.
"YOU'RE NOT SAFEWAY," Pat said after explaining that she bogged down trying to figure out our Browser Memberships. Judging from the response she was not alone. So how DOES Costco get folk to buy yearly memberships? I mean, we're cheap too, and we even give out free food. Jelly beans for example. Maybe if we box the books in packages of 12... Sigh. Another great idea bites the dust.
The day Pat made that stellar comment, I arrived to open the store, only to find Thea, who worked for us several years ago buying herself a stack of books, while Pat rummaged about blowing the dust off our teaching tapes. The thought occurred that maybe we ought to become a self-serve bookstore. Hand out keys.....for a $30 membership......You out of towners could be part of the prestigious Key Club. (Why does that sound familiar?)
Good thing this is the end of 2000. I'm ready for a new year.