Welcome to the White Mountain Publications Newsletter
May 2, 2021
That seems to be the dominant thought in my mind. We are mindful of how lucky we are, and are thankful for it.
It has been an unexpected 18 months. If you are thinking you'll hear a litany of complaints, you will be disappointed. It has overall been a good year for us.
During the first COVID-19 shut down we had the time to catch up on the accounting, clean out and renovate the shaft room and typeset seven books. It was a return to my near-normal and although I missed the people, it was productive. It certainly helped to set up the rest of last year. And with the next shutdown from December 26 to now, we caught up on the accounting, installed our new display cases, painted the walls and floor in the shop and generally got ready to show off our 'new' space. Which lasted one day until we were shut down again. It's hard to know what to do next.
So we settled down to typeset this year's books. Biggest one has gone to press: the Haileybury Golf Course book commemorating the 100th anniversary of their course. There's Claybelt Memories Vol 4 getting ready for the summer. And our reprint of Peter Fancy's Silver Centre is almost ready as well. It has been out of print for many years, and we have permission to reprint from Peter, and his estate. And as much as I miss Lois Pollard and Peter Fancy, who both passed away early in 2020, I am grateful that they left this world before COVID. That would have been hard on them. I mean, it's hard on all of us, but they already had gone through so much in life, I'm glad they didn't have to go through this as well.
We may even be able to see some of what's in the boxes of donated books for our pre-loved book selections. People bring in the most amazing books. We're always learning something new. But we have little room for those books until people can come in and take away some of those we already have on the shelves.
For now, people can make appointments to come in, or simply call to see if we have the title they're looking for. Since 1992 we have sold by mail and shipped almost everywhere around the world. The store signs still say we're closed; that is necessary to comply with Ontario regulations. But we are here to ship orders, answer the phone, and generally stay alive during this challenging times.
People have been great; we've always had the best customers. I have always said that book store customers are the best; they are literate, articulate, opinionated, usually well-informed in some area that adds to my own. Oh, and civilized, mannered, I could go on. They can come in masked to pick up their Temiskaming Transit tickets, copies of the newspapers or even a book or two to get them through the lockdown. And maybe we're doing something right, because many of them keep coming back, even if it's the once a year when they're in the area. I'm having a great time doing what I love to do. And it's not luck--I planned out most of it. Except the good time part--that seems to happen on its own. And I am grateful.
So we will continue to be busy. We are cautious, but not paranoid. It's a small store, and in the past six years I can count on four fingers the times there were more than 5 people in the store at one time. Usually it's ones and twos, so there's space. We want you to be comfortable. We have always wiped down screens, debit terminals, counters, so this is not a new protocol. It just happens more often now. Any of the pre-loved books going into our shelves are cleaned before they find their new (temporary) home. The new books are coming straight from the printers. No one is coming here to eat off the floors, and it's not a hospital. But it's as safe as we can make it, for both of us.
So we'd love to see you again. Stay cautious and stay well.