This Sunday will mark 3 years since we opened da Shop: books + curiosities. Amazingly, the third year took place during a global health pandemic yet we still managed to keep going. We are so grateful for your continued support. It truly means the world to us that you continue to use our business to fulfill your book reads. Over this past year we have done plenty of internal reflection on ways that we can be a better local and more informative community bookstore.
One of those ways is to provide you with deeper information and greater access to topics and voices of diversity across all genres. There are far too many authors, books, and stories for us to carry in our small shop, but we continually aim to curate and highlight books that are relevant and insightful. This coming year, we will be expanding dashophnl.com to offer greater book selections, staff picks, new and forthcoming titles. We hope that you will find it useful.
five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes:
how do you measure a year?
It's hard to imagine how different things were at da Shop a year ago. The store was arranged differently. We didn't have any plexiglass barriers or hand sanitizer stations and we still accepted this strange currency called cash. We shipped a few book orders but not many and if you asked us about buying books online, we might have chuckled. And then everything changed... And so we adapted and innovated and reimagined and learned a lot and made some mistakes. And drank a lot of coffee. So, what did we do in our second year as a bookstore? Well, a lot actually.
Then we relaunched with a more expansive site in November with more books, curated collections, and so many ways to discover your next favorite read!
We shifted our beloved events, book clubs, and community discussions to a virtual space. We navigated technical issues and time zones to gather online and listen to local storytellers, poets, and community leaders. Our first virtual author talk was a launch celebration with Kawai Strong Washburn, author of the bestselling Sharks in the Time of Saviors. You can catch replays of our past author talks here.
We expanded our services to offer in-store pickup and delivery to your doorstep. We learned the fun and not-so-fun aspects of packing and shipping.
And, we began offering audiobooks through Libro.fm and ebooks through Hummingbird. A portion of revenue from memberships and single item sales directly supports da Shop.
We continued building our community of readers online. We started our da Shop Readers blog where we shared Q&As with our favorite authors and illustrators, like Eric Fan, author/illustrator of Ocean Meets Sky, The Barnabus Project, and Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal winning middle grade author.
We shared da Shop Read Alouds from local authors like Lee Tonouchi (Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos) and Christin Lozano (Island Toes). Our staff ruminated on reading during the pandemic and shared our favorite books and we welcomed great guest posts about poetry and creativity.
We explored initiatives to increase your access to curated books through seasonal book bundles and to help you feel more connected to stories though personalized books for the holidays.
We rededicated ourselves and our shelves to books that increase dialogue about racial, social, and environmental justice. 100% of the revenue from our Black Lives Matter collection through Dec. 2020 was allocated for a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
We found new ways to work with community partners, like our monthly recommendations for Honolulu Magazine, and forged ahead with others, like the Civil Beat Book Club that became virtual discussions.
So, how do you measure a year? In more than just the goals we accomplished and the things we can articulate in this list. The year was also full of your phone calls and the well wishes, your dedication to buying local and your overwhelming love for books, your supportive comments on social media and all the ways you showed up for our community bookstore.