The Quieter Season Begins
Whew! Bayfield’s Applefest has past! This wonderful annual weekend street event draws some 50,000 visitors to our small city of 611. This year the weather was perfect – clear and apple crisp – in contrast to last year’s wind and rain. The crowd was festive and colorful. Our quiet little bookshop offered a respite from the joyous cacophony of the music stages, Ojibwe drums, hawkers, carnival barkers and the general gaiety of the occasion. In the countryside the harvest was good and the autumn leaves were at their peak of palette and luminescence.
At the same time Applefest marks the end of the summer/early fall seasons and, with that, a sense of nostalgia and vague discomfort. What now? Well, a fleeting moment of relief followed by an urgency to turn to the deferred tasks of firewood, snow removal equipment, storm windows and stocking-up. For us it is a time of reckoning and reflection upon our inaugural season. We did well, we think. Our sales were robust. Our relationships and social networks developed nicely. Our business savvy grew from rookie to basic competence. Our continued thanks to all (and many you are) who assisted us through this successful start-up phase.
Our attention turns now to our role as a community resource for our friends and neighbors in Bayfield County and its environs. We continue to host author events. New York Times best-selling author and dean of the Northwoods/Ojibwe Country murder mystery authors William Kent Krueger will join us for a reading and signing on Saturday afternoon, October 23rd. That event is co-hosted with Big Water Café and Coffee Roasters across the street. We are working to generate interest and participation in book groups, poetry workshops, language salons and discussion meetings. We are reaching out to our local schools and libraries to find ways that we might mutually benefit from collaboration. We invite and would welcome your ideas as to how the local, independent bookstore can make the most of its potential as a community builder.
Our little storefront saw a change in commercial tenants in each of the last three years and not infrequently before that. But, we are here to stay! We will be here through the winter and for the duration. Please stay in touch and we look forward to seeing you here for snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice sailing, spelunking at the ice caves, fishing through the ice and browsing in the cozy, quiet stacks of Apostle Islands Booksellers.