We've had a truly wonderful year in our not-so little bookshop, filled with so much positivity, and while we're excited so move in to 2020 and see what it has in store for us, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on our favourite memories and moments of the last twelve months, from appointing a new CEO to enjoying our fifth seasonal fayre.
All that we've achieved this year would not be possible without the kindness and ongoing support of all of you - our customers who visit our shop or buy from us online, even those who follow us on our social media - you keep us going and remind us why we're here, why we keep working hard to be not only a good bookshop, but a haven for book lovers.
In January, we appointed a new CEO. This sparked off a wonderful year of growth and change for our business.
We spent the next couple of months making changes to our shop, including the expansion of our vintage books selection, which has now spread to all of the shelves surrounding our secondhand £1 stock, and of which we will be having a 50% off sale throughout January.
In March, we threw ourselves into World Book Day celebrations, our team dressing up as their favourite characters as we welcomed Children from our local primary school for a day of storytelling, free books and more.
We held our first Kilo Sale of the year in May. This was also the first time we'd hosted the event over two days, and it saw book lovers from all over the country joining us to dig for treasure. Our second Kilo Sale came in August and was another weekend of fun.
We were made finalists in The Muddy Stilettos Awards for Best Bookshop, and later in the year our wonderful cafe won Bronze for Cafe/Tea Room of the Year in the Somerset Tourism Awards.
We enjoyed scavenger hunts and storytelling in the school holidays, and visits from local schools during term time, and feel very lucky to have done so.
In June, we celebrated Independent Bookshop Week and shared our favourite Somerset bookshops here on our blog.
In the Summer time, we published our Big Summer Reading List, which landed us a feature in the Western Daily Press.
Summertime also brought us new books. We were so excited to finally stock brand new titles, starting with just a small selection of bestsellers and local interest, that has now grown to tables and shelves full of beautiful new books.
In September, we celebrated Banned Books Week and enjoyed discussing the censorship of books with our customers both online and in store.
November brought our Christmas Fayre, which was truly wonderful and the best we've had yet! Our shop was filled with brilliant stalls, our cafe team brought their A game and served a menu full of tasty treats, and we even had a visit from Santa.
And in early December, we renovated, expanded and moved our brilliant Darwin Rare Books room, now showcasing hundreds more titles.
As well as all of the fun things we did in the shop, our brilliant cafe expanded its menu with the help of our clever Operations Manager, Jarek, who designed the beautiful new menus you can find when you visit us.
Our Books by the Yard team had a stellar year, sending books all over the world to fill the shelves of personal libraries, film and television sets, hotels, offices, museums - you name it, the BBY team have done it.
Our orders team have picked and packed hundreds of thousands of books to post out internationally to book lovers, and our warehouse and cataloguing teams have worked hard to audit and fill up our warehouse so that you can find only the best when you search our stock online. We've now got over 600,000 books in stock, and we're adding more everyday.
On top of all the brilliant, day-to-day work done by our team, we've also this year launched our reward scheme for donating books (it's a simple one, bring us books, collect stamps, get yourself a free book and a coffee) and kickstarted work on our Reuse, Read, Recycle initiative, which you'll see much more about in the new year.
This year has been a rollercoaster; we have celebrated a new Children's Laureate, mourned the loss of much beloved authors, read plenty of brilliant new books (and some terrible ones too), watched Children find a love for reading and adults be reminded of their own, we've helped customers find birthday presents, anniversary presents and Christmas presents, we've been a hiding place on a rainy day and lunch out on a sunny one. In short, we've been all that we've hoped we could be and more. Can't wait for next year.