One of the most enjoyable aspects of the move was our secret preparation for Operation Book Drop. The Book Drop was conceived as a publicity campaign by the extra creative guys at Super Top Secret, our marketing firm. The idea was to gather a lot of books, create eye catching and informative jackets for them, and covertly leave them at selected spots in the City. This would not only draw attention to our relocation and our new web site, it would proclaim our love and books in a way that would draw in members of our community -- not preach to them.
The amazing STS artists designed seven dust jackets for the project. Each jacket is a manifestation of STS's guerrilla idea and Tony's concept of marrying messages about reading, books, and our bookstore with provacative, thoughtful oneliners and art. They embody ideas about books that we hold dear and firmly believe: reading books is good for the mind, books are important to people and the cultures in which they live, books are entertaining and pleasing in very tangible ways, booksellers still have a meaningful role in this modern world, locally owned businesses make our communities better places to live.
The second part of the project's preparation was procuring the books themselves. We approached several publishers we identified as producers of quality books that are nicely packaged. Six of them partnered with us for the Book Drop: Algonquin Books, Chronicle Books, FSG, Gibbs Smith, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, and W.W. Norton. All of them deserve kudos for believing in bricks and mortar stores and the people they serve -- and for backing up that belief with action.
At last we got to the real fun. Tony mapped twelve square miles around our new location in Trolley Square. Then he identified hot spots within the radius. Finally, he broke the area into zones and assigned teams of two to five people to each zone. After we closed on January 8th, eight booksellers and volunteers spent about 3 hours admiring the jackets and applying them to the nearly 900 donated books. The night after that we sorted the books by zone, split into our teams, and slipped into the night to distribute the gift of reading to the community. It was a blast.
You can see the page on our web site devoted to the Book Drop here. It shows the jackets and lists the titles donated by each publisher. If you got a book, let us know. We'd love to hear what you think.