A message from Maryse:
August 28th was my last day at Bookshop Santa Cruz as the sidelines buyer. For the past six years, books and cards and gifts have been my passion, and I have so enjoyed being part of the Bookshop family, and of our larger community of book lovers in Santa Cruz. I started out as a cashier, moved on to working on the floor, then to buying used books and helping in fiction, and, finally, spent the last three years delighting you all with fabulous cards and sundries. I have learned a lot, met so many wonderful people, and, most notably, spent a lot of Bookshop’s money on things I thought you might like. As I make a new life for myself in sunny Chicago I know I will miss Bookshop more than a vegan misses cheese pizza, and I hope I will be missed even more.
But all is not lost—we have found an amazing young lady to replace me, and I am certain she will carry on in the fashion we have all become accustomed to. Brittany comes from Hart’s Fabric, where she was a buyer, and she is a supremely creative, bright, and dedicated creature. I am happy to know that I will be leaving the gift section in such capable hands, and I know that it will only improve in her care.
So goodbye, dear Bookshop friends, and please do stop in to say hello and welcome Brittany to the family—and thank you for making my years here so very wonderful.
If you’ve been in Bookshop in the last couple of years, you may have noticed that we have an amazing card section, courtesy of yours truly. You may also have wondered about the kinds of cards we carry, and what makes them so special (and, in some cases, so darn expensive). Well, I’ll tell you.
Cards, like books, speak to people. Not everyone can afford an original painting, but all of us can afford a beautiful card. In the past few years I’ve seen a huge explosion in the world of hand-made cards—letterpress (where an image is actually impressed into paper by hand), screen printing, gocco print, block printing, etc. Despite the ubiquity of email and texting, there is a hunger for something more personal, something marked, literally, by the hand of the giver, something that can be touched and held and experienced. It takes time, effort, and thought to put pen to paper, and when we receive a card from a friend or loved one we receive unique expression of their caring for us.
I am always on the lookout for cards that are worthy of these expressions; cards that aren’t made by machines in China, but that are made by small presses and individuals who are interested in creating special things. I buy from local artists and from people all over the world. I try to support green businesses that use sustainable inks and paper. Above all, I prize originality and craft—the antithesis to Hallmark. It is a great pleasure to be able to provide Santa Cruz with items they just won’t find anywhere else.
In short, cards rock. They kick butt. They’re the bee’s knees. And you need to send more of them. So next time you’re in Bookshop, take a look at what we have—touch the fancy letterpress, enjoy the goofy birthday cards, admire the work of many artists from near and far, and send one to a friend. You—and they—will be happy you did.