Bookloft's blog

A Special Announcement

When Eric opened The Bookloft in May 1974, we were both fresh out of college. Watership Down topped the NYT Fiction Bestseller List, the House Judiciary Committee had just opened impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon, and we’d all been blithely singing along for years with the Beatles’ When I’m 64. The lyrics were sweet, the likelihood of our actually being 64 someday, pretty unimaginable.

But here we are. Eric has seen 64 come and go, and it’s fast approaching for Ev. So, with our kids far-flung and our first grandchild on the way, with enormous gratitude for 42 rewarding years of bookselling, and with many life dreams still unrealized (many of them involving the reading, writing, creating and selling of books), we’ve decided to sell The Bookloft. Hence, this letter.

Our bittersweet decision comes at an especially propitious time in the world of independent bookselling in the U.S. The American Booksellers Association reports that the number of independent bookstores has increased by 20 percent in the past five years. Sales of both e-readers and e-books continue to decline as early converts rediscover the essential place of “real” books in their lives.

A September 23, 2015 New York Times article observed that “independent bookstores, which were battered by the recession and competition from Amazon are showing strong signs of resurgence. The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in 2,227 locations in 2015, up from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years ago.”

It is our intention to find a new owner who will not only carry on with all that’s made The Bookloft a beloved literary destination in the Berkshires, but who will also bring to it new energy, experience and ideas. The essential building blocks for success are already in place: a loyal customer base, a smart, experienced, dedicated staff, the technology tools that allow us to remain current and relevant, and a warm, welcoming environment. In addition, we’re willing to work with new owners to ensure a smooth transition.

All it will take is someone who is passionate about books and all that they represent, someone who genuinely enjoys interacting with people and wants to see their literary needs well-served, someone with enough good judgement and business sense to lead a team of top-notch booksellers.

We’re contacting you directly because we know that you appreciate The Bookloft’s place in your life and its role in our community. Perhaps you or someone you know might be interested in leading it into the future. If so, please contact our friends and colleagues at The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates at (904) 277-2664 or by email at MKaufman@PazBookBiz.com. They’ll be happy to tell you more about our business and its potential, and to provide you with the necessary training and education to succeed as a bookstore owner.

Thank you so much for your continued support and for your interest in ensuring that The Bookloft will be here to serve generations of readers for years to come.

 

Warm regards,

Eric and Ev Wilska

 

READ ABOUT THE OPENING OF THE BOOKLOFT... OVER 40 YEARS AGO!

Perfect Pairings

 

Peter May's trilogy evokes the stark beauty of the Hebrides; so much so, that the landscape almost seems to be another character.

After reading this great mystery, you'll love diving into this gorgeous coffee table book filled with Peter May's research on the area and, best of all, large, full-color photographs.

 

 

 

The Cozy Cookbook contains dozens of delicious recipes from your favorite cozy mysteries including the Candy Holiday Murder Mystery series from our very own local author duo writing as B. B. Haywood. Solving crime is hungry work!

 

 

 

 

Donna Leon's famous mystery series set in Venice star a main character that's always eating. And what better way of emulating him than with Marcella Hazan's mouth-watering Italian recipes? Hazan is as authoritative as it gets in classic Italian cookery, so these two books are a match made in... Venice!

 

 

Simenon is an iconic French mystery writer who gave us one of the best known detectives in the world, Inspector Maigret. He was incredibly prolific, producing over 200 novels (and hundreds more novellas, stories, and autobiographical works), 75 of which were Inspector Maigret mysteries. Anyone interested in more iconic French personas would do well to pick up Painting the Modern Garden, a collection of paintings by the most iconic French painters.

 

 

The Longmire series by Craig Johnson includes one of those sad/funny plot themes that comes up periodically about the main character's unfinished cabin. Hey, maybe he should consume some Cabin Porn as inspiration to finish his own!

 

 

 

 

Anne Hillerman has done a fantastic job of taking over this beloved mystery series from her father, Tony Hillerman. To get a bit more of an educational background on the setting of these excellent books, take a look at this incredible 3 volume set on the history of native americans.

 

 

 

 

Edward Steichen was one of the preeminent photographers of the twentieth century and, after reading J.K. Rowling's Cuckoo's Calling, in which a fashion model is murdered, his collection of fashion photography will help lighten your view of fashion with these stunning (not murderous!) shots.

Complimentary Jam with Local Cooks / Authors

We're fortunate to live in the same beautiful area as the three incredibly talented writers and cooks, Ruth Reichl, Darra Goldstein, and Alana Chernila. To help celebrate their wonderful newly released cookbooks, we're happy to offer  1 free 4oz jar of jam (you pick from a large assortment of flavors) from SideHill Farm Jams (a part of The Bookloft family!) with every one of their new cookbooks you buy!

So stop by to pick up a SIGNED copy... and your choice of delicious jam! Then... to the kitchen! 

 

 

Happy Halloween!

OUR FAVORITE CREEPY TALES

 
 
 

THE SHINING

HALF BROKEN THINGS

RIVERS

 
 
 

FEVRE DREAM

THE ROAD

DRACULA

 
 
 

THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES

THE TURN OF THE SCREW

THE TELL-TALE HEART

 
 
 

IT'S HALLOWEEN

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY

 
 
 

SHUTTER ISLAND

THE BLOODY CHAMBER; AND OTHER STORIES

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY

NEW HORROR

Every October, publishers release a few new, appropriately twisted and spooky stories, collections, and related nonfiction for the season.

And every year newly minted Penguin Classics are a particular treat! This year's writers include a multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner, an acclaimed king of modern Gothic writing, and a famed Twilight Zone writer.

 
 
 

GHOSTLY

MURDER BY CANDLELIGHT

THE RIM OF MORNING

 
 
 

SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER; & GRIMSCRIBE

THE CASE AGAINST SATAN

PERCHANCE TO DREAM

AND SOME EXTRA GOODIES

 
 
 

REUSABLE CHICO BAGS

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN CALENDARS - 40% OFF!

HALLOWEEN GREETING CARDS

 
 
 

BOOKMARKS

KIDS' HALLOWEEN BOOKS

KIDS STICKER AND ACTIVITY BOOKS

Alana Chernila & Ruth Reichl

We're fortunate to live in the same beautiful area as the two incredibly talented writers and cooks, Ruth Reichl and Alana Chernila.

Ruth Reichl was a restaurant critic of both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, later the longtime editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and now bestselling author of critically-acclaimed food-centric memoirs such as Comfort Me with Apples and Tender at the Bone which have been translated into 18 languages and are all Staff Picks here. In 2014 she published her first novel: Delicious!

Her newest work is called My Kitchen Year, 136 Recipes that Saved my Life and is the result of her year spent cooking and thinking after the fall of 2009, when the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”

Alana Chernila is a Berkshirite who, among other things, sells fresh veggies and teaches cheese making and is a farm and food blogger on Eating from the Ground Up. Her first cookbook, The Homemade Pantry, has been our MOST sold cookbook since its release! And for good reason— her collected recipes for everyday staples are practical, delicious, nutritious and convincingly easy!

But besides both of these authors being local, they also share a book release date! Our world has been made just a little yummier starting October 6th with the publication of their new cookbooks with both include wonderful recipes (that, thank goodness, don't require 5 hours and 600 ingredients) and short personal writings to go along with each dish, making these so much more than just cookbooks.

We're also happy to be able to offer 1 free 4oz jar of jam from SideHill Farm Jams (a part of The Bookloft family!) with every one of their new cookbooks you buy!

So stop by to pick up a SIGNED copy... and your choice of delicious jam! Then... to the kitchen!

(Or, join us at The Homemade Kitchen's book launch celebration at No. Six Depot Cafe!)

 

Books as Art

Phone books aren’t generally reading material, unless you’re an author in search of names for the characters you’re creating. They’re not usually a medium for sculpture either unless you are Long-Bin Chen whose phone-book works can be seen in Immortal Asia:  Art and East Asia at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.  Don’t miss the chance to see them, and the other Asian art and artifacts in this rich show, open through September 7.  You’ll be surprised to find that so many of the pieces come from the Museum’s own collection.  And you’ll never again think of phone books as, well, just phone books!

Speaking of of using books (of any kind!) as the raw material for art, here's a book about book art that you won't want to miss.  Ellyne, who Staff Picked it, says, "Don't miss this treat!" citing some of her favorite works collected in this volume as "Dylan's chess pieces, Jennifer Collier's shoes (yes, shoes), works by Anonymous, and by ALL the others."  Of course, we generally advise our customers to treat their books well... but as long as they're being put to such beautiful use, we can't help but approve!

    Photo courtesy of Berkshire Museum

 

    

 

Tax Free Weekend!

Couldn't quite justify buying that awesome Pride and Prejudice bag you saw last week?

Been waiting to save up for that beautiful illustrated gift edition of your favorite book?

Well here's your chance—taking off 6.25% makes a big difference!

Summer Road Trips

Whether it's inspiration you need, a good companion for a trip, or just a little vicarious living, we've got all the best road trip themed books you need, for every age, and every mood. And don't forget about audiobooks! They're perfect entertainment for adults and kids alike during long (or short!) car rides.

Children's

Young Adult

Novels

Activities

Nonfiction & Resources

Forty One Years Later...

   Once upon a time, in a land called the Berkshires, there lived a young man by the name of Eric Wilska. One day, Eric set out to make his fortune. He didn't have to look long however before he found his true calling. So he busily set about the business of opening up his first bookstore. Soon enough, the day of the grand opening had arrived. People came from far and wide to see the new bookstore, including his mother and grandmother. Everyone lauded his entrepreneurial spirit and said he would certainly go far. His grandmother was even the first person to purchase a book that earned him his first dollar!

 

   But despite his family's love and support, Eric still had obstacles to overcome along his journey. Bravely, he slayed the Making Change in Your Head Beast, defeated the New Technology Villain (who is now more of an exasperating friend), and helped save the noble land of the Berkshires, one glorious book at a time.

   Of course, none of these valiant endeavors would have been possible without his family and the enthusiasm of book lovers throughout the land. It has been 41 years since that exalted opening day, and, obstacles or no, Eric's bookstore is still spreading stories, and the love of them, far and wide. ...Here's to 41 more!

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