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Wow, an upcoming weekend forecast without snow in it in our neck of the woods; this is shocking and lovely! Last Sunday, we went for a walk around the neighborhood, completely jazzed by the idea that it was 48, sunny, and we did not have to wear boots. It was just what we all needed before plunging back into a deep freeze on Monday; amazing how my mood was lifted during those 24 hours. I have been seeing snow pictures from friends in North Carolina and Virginia, where white like this is not a typical part of the landscape. Last Friday night, I saw a news piece that the weather has had a brutal effect on the economy, with a net loss of about $5 billion as we cocoon. So not good!

Ahhhhh, the bliss of a three-day weekend quickly fades when it leads to a four-day work week where the same five days of work need to be accomplished. Couple that with the brutal cold and wind, and I had to share the photo above of the latest amaryllis blooming at our house to brighten the day. Today it was very sunny and 0 degrees. Years ago, a friend who worked at a ski area in Vermont would wake up on winter mornings and declare, “Please do not let it be sunny!” Turns out, on the mountain on cold winter days, it actually was warmer on days when the sun was not out! I must look into the meteorological background on that. Luckily, the weather has not had an impact on my reading. I picture our readers making book runs to their local booksellers and libraries when snow is called for the way others flock to pick up milk, bread and eggs.

Last Sunday morning, I hopped a very early flight to Greenville, SC, and from there drove up to Asheville to The Grove Park Inn to attend the American Booksellers Association’s 10th Annual Winter Institute. There, 500 booksellers from across the country were gathered for this event, which is one of my favorites of the year. The book and author conversation and camaraderie over these few days were invigorating. Also, indie booksellers, like me, are small business owners, and thus I love hearing their ideas on ways they are running and growing their businesses.

I am not going to talk about the weather in this newsletter, except to say that I am happy that I THINK the skies will be clear for my early morning Sunday flight to Asheville for the 10th Annual American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute. This annual gathering of 500 indie booksellers is one of my favorite events of the year, as these are uber readers as well as booksellers. The conversation about what we like --- and what we felt did not quite hit the mark --- is always invigorating.