Table of Contents
I am overwhelmed with the incredible support the Odyssey received this year. This time last year I started to approach friends of the Odyssey about our dire need to upgrade our computer system. Joel at Northeast IT had been telling me for several years that I had to do something. He said our computer network was an “abomination” and one of these days he wasn’t going to be able to recover important data. But how could we afford to pay for such an expensive proposition? Taking on more debt just wasn’t an option given the slim margins of bookselling.
I began a letter writing campaign to hundreds of customers. Generous checks began to arrive in the mail and by hand. I began to breathe more easy. In late spring we launched an on-line Indiegogo campaign. The combined efforts have raised nearly $40,000! Our new hardware arrived in mid-summer and by the end of August we went live with our new software system. As to be expected it wasn’t a smooth transition, but we have now worked through most of the bugs and glitches. There are really no words to express my gratitude for the generosity that our community has shown us. We could not have undertaken nor completed this project without the financial help of hundreds of Odyssey supporters. We are forever grateful.
And somehow, with all that happening, we still managed to host nearly 150 events this past year. To name just a few, we had splendid events with Frances Crowe, Sonia Nieto, Erik Larson, Barney Frank, Penny Gill, Lauret Savoy, Judy Blume, Sonia Sotomayor, Naomi Klein, Margaret Atwood, Barry Moser, and Marika McCoola (who wrote her book while working at the Odyssey Bookshop!)
The Odyssey staff deserves high praise and thanks for a job well done. It hasn’t been an easy year, but we made it through and now we shouldn’t have to worry about computers crashing. In these pages you will read about some of our favorite books. An eclectic gathering of titles which demonstrate the independent nature of the Odyssey booksellers.
Finally, it has been a painful and deadly year for civilians in many countries. Climate change and climate injustice have taken their toll on lives, the destruction of land, the pollution of air and water, and extreme weather occurrences. Now, more than perhaps any moment in my lifetime, we need to educate ourselves, discuss solutions, and work together to end racism and all forms of discrimination. Community building must replace greed. Books, independent bookstores, and readers have important roles to play in this struggle for peace and social justice. We are grateful for your support and look forward to a better future for all.
~ Joan Grenier