Our Final Month of Fabulous Events in Our Old Home and An Open Letter to the Harlem Community
As Carol (my middle name) Burnette would say, 'we're so glad we had this time together, but now it's time for us to say so long'. Ten years of amazing friendship and camaraderie have gone by way too soon. On July 31, 2012, Hue- Man will close its current location. We all know that there is a season for everything under heaven and the season of "traditional book" selling has come to a close.
When you do something for five hundred years and it works why change? But change has happened and the publishing industry is experiencing a new reality. Faced with tremendous social pressures to deliver the next big idea, celebrity books have become the interim hype, yet even that is not a sustainable model for an industry in turmoil. As stop gap measures run out, the industry will be forced to reconcile the future place of "real books" in their business models and with continuous rumble and tumult, new ideas will percolate on how to deliver that new experience to the new consumer of books. No matter how apocalyptic the predictions are for the industry, it is my belief that books are here to stay in one iteration or the other.
Closing the existing format of Hue-Man is forward thinking on our part and as we take pause to re-imagine the future of books and how to ensure that their purpose of entertaining, imparting knowledge and honing creativity is preserved, we find no viable alternative but to go back to the drawing board. Closing our beloved bookstore, I assure you was a very hard decision for us. Yet, the confluence of events, changing landscape, the end of our lease and the international expansion of our vision, closing our physical location was the only sensible decision we could make. There is no way to re-imagine the bookstore of the future in our current space. To try to do so would be a stop gap and a waste of resources.
In making this monumental decision we gave significant consideration to the community, and to each and every one of you. Loyal customers such as Ms. Phoebe, Ms. Campbell, Valarie, Saida, Brenda, Joe Morgan, Elinor Campbell and our sweet Jayden, kept surfacing in our hearts. After all, isn't community what a neighborhood bookstore is all about? Suffice it to say we took solace in the gift we were able to give. We will cherish the up close and personal experiences with so many amazing people, some of them no longer with us. People such as Erica Kennedy, Rodney King, E. Lynn, Slade Morrison, L.A Banks and veterans such as LeRoy Neiman, Rosa Guy, Manning Marable and Professor Derrick Bell are gone but gave us memories not soon forgotten. What a time we had! What an amazing journey!
So what next? While we are figuring out our amazing bookstore of the future, I will be working on several projects which will focus on giving ethnic writers an advantage in the marketplace. We will continue to be involved in the publishing of books and will ramp up our agency services to writers and publishers alike. Though we can not give you the future in a nutshell, we can tell you that on September 6th 2012 at 7:30Pm we will launch our new event format with Miami Heat Dwayne Wade. Partnering with a state of the art facility we can begin to create the kind of multi-platform customer experience we've always imagined. Stay tuned!
What you will be able to do Once We Close the Doors:
You can continue to buy online.....In fact, for 3 months beginning Aug 1, 2012 we will be discounting our entire website offerings 30% or better.
You can still reach us through facebook and twitter.
You can continue to reach us at the same phone number and at the same website and e-mail address.
You will hear from us though our usual methods of communication.
You may continue to call us about hosting your events in new and exciting ways.
You can hope we get the Chase Grant you so generously voted for us to win so that we can hasten our physical return.
YOU CAN GET DEEP DISCOUNTS ON OUR EXISTING INVENTORY WHICH WE NEED TO LIQUIDATE.
What you will not be able to do:
Walk into Hue-Man and see our smiling faces...but you can smile at us when you do see us on the streets of Harlem and I'm sure you will hear our smiles through the telephone line.
So, above are two quite distinct ideas of book delivery. One is a re-imagined library in Columbia and the other, a bookstore of the future in Rome, Italy. Guess what we are doing later this August....taking a jaunt to see them both? Maybe. In the meantime join us for our signature July Signings, with a wonderful line up...Susan Fales-Hill, The Vice President of Ghana, and a spectacular closing event with the Cast of FELA! etc.....You know we had to have some light...camera...action. If you are in St Louis Aug 4 and 5 come see us at the St. Louis Expo and, if you are in the Vineyard, join Professor Ogletree's Charles Hamilton Institute event on Aug 15.
In the meantime the re-imagined book art below reminds us that all greatness and creativity comes from knowledge often found in books. We leave you with light and love.
Click the link below and travel with us down memory lane. Until we meet again...you have all our love and respect,
The Partners and Staff of Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe