As hard as it is to believe 2010 is in the past - and 2011 begins. I now know what my mother meant when she said "don't wish the time away". As a child you just can't wait for the future - now I find the years flying by. Parry Sound Books has survived another year - independent booksellers know how precarious this business is. It is the support of our great customers that keep us going. Most people my age are thinking about retirement - not me. I may already be the old lady in the book shop - and I when I am even older I am sure I will still be here. I've watched the children who I knew as babies grow up, marry and now bring their children in to shop. And I've seen customers, who were my age when I started this business, die over the years - always sad to think I will never pass the time of day with them again.
This past year I have watched with dismay what is happening in our downtown - or not happening. I believe that Parry Sound has such potential but we just doesn't seem to be able to find a way to make it happen. The town needs to make itself more appealing to visitors - sure Georgian Bay is beautiful, but is clean sidewalks and streets, buildings and shops that take pride in their appearance that make a town attractive. Where are the young people who would like to work for themselves and raise their children in a small town? When we moved here we knew we were within a reasonable driving distance of our friends and family in Toronto - now that trip is even shorter and far safer. There are a lot of us who moved here in the late 1980's - some planning Parry Sound to be a stop along the way - and a lot of us are still here. I don't think there was an empty store in the downtown at that time - how things have changed. Yes, we have employment in the new box stores and the choices of merchandise they sell - and the discounting that a small independent business cannot compete with. Perhaps with a new college campus we will see young people staying here, and others who come here for education may stay.
I had no intention of this new year greeting turning into a rant! There are too many very good things in life that business concerns are really not that important. The health and well being of our children and grandchildren, and our friends, is far far more important than anything else in life!
In November I mistakenly said that the shortest day of the year had passed by - I was so depressed to discover how wrong I was. The mornings and the evenings will now truly start getting lighter, and our spirits with them.
Once again we had a bit of a glitch on our website emails so you may have missed most of those posted in December. Look for anything you may have missed, and for information in the next couple of weeks on our 2011 Reading Series - and other news & reviews.
Thanks to you all for your support in the past year - it is a pleasure to serve you, and to share the pleasures of reading good books. My very best wishes to you for the New Year!