It hadn’t really sunk in that we would be leaving our home of 4 years, until earlier tonight when I started taking down the bookstore. Soon after we arrived, Kaci and I decided the hostel needed a bookstore. We just didn’t know where to begin. How do we get the books?
One day while perusing the books up at the Jedediah Smith visitor center, we mentioned our plan to the man working there. Turns out Jeff ran the many state park bookstores up here on behalf of a local nonprofit, the North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association. And he said he’d be happy to set us up.
Within a few weeks, the hostel had a bookstore, essentially a satellite store for the NCRIA, offering over 50 titles most of them relating to the natural and cultural history of the area. For the next few years, Jeff dropped off whatever books we asked for and returned to pick up the deposit. Sure, the hostel never made a penny on the sales, but it supported a local nonprofit, it was a great service for our hostellers, and we got to thumb through the books and guides on the occasional slow night.
Since the hostel is closing we talked to Jeff about the plan for the remaining books. January 17 is our last night, but for his association’s annual inventory, he noted it would be better to have those books back before the end of the year. And so, earlier tonight I started boxing them up. Out of curiosity, I decided to count up what I saw on the sales record. In about 3 1/2 years, we sold approximately 170 books and 120 trail maps. And yes, there were many more people who just enjoyed being able to peruse.
But now the bookshelves are empty. The books are the first to go, but soon they will be followed by everything else: disassembled bunkbeds and other assorted furniture, boxes of old files, tools, sheets and pillows, et cetera. And then us.
I guess you could consider starting up the bookstore and closing it down the bookends to our time here.