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Newsletter Number 49 • November 13, 2008

The writing of this newsletter has been a healthy joy for me.

It has helped me to discover facets of myself that in turn led me to acceptance and peace.

Writing to you has been a catalyst for this self discovery. I thank you all. Selfish me as it has clearly been more for me than for you.

I would like to thank all of you who have been a support to our store over the years.

As it is obvious to all.. Our world economy is taking a hit.

Though ultimately the many tangents of physical life are apart from the treasures that are of true worth.. we are still players while we have a physical body... The newsletter has been a labor of much love.. and any financial rewards are of sub prime importance. .. But yet there are expenses to daily life.. With the economy being as it is , it is understandable that we all need to economize in many ways…therefore the increase of usage of libraries and online used book purchases. With that in mind I am asking for suggestions on how we can make an occasional purchase from our website easier for you?

As you hear from Len and me every month.. this month we would love to hear from you.. suggestions… ideas.. Anything you would like to share…so that we can continue with our monthly musings and sharing of books that have changed and shaped our lives. We hope our reading recommendations have provided new ways of looking at the world for you as well.

Thank you all for listening.

PS No matter the outcome.. To have loved reading since my youth and to have a career spanning 25 years surrounded by the knowledge in books that I have loved .. Having the opportunity to share this with others.. I count myself one lucky being.

From one of my favorite spiritual books Silence of the Heart , I leave you with a quote by Robert Adams

“All is well”

We are just sleepers between eternities


Usually in our monthly newsletter my section comes first, followed by the contribution from Tony. This month we are reversing the order. That is because Tony writes more from the heart and the soul, while I am more intellect driven and more focused on the bottom line. The impetus for this newsletter, one without specific book reviews or recommendations came from an email Dena sent to Tony and me. The email came from Malee’s Thai Bistro, a restaurant in a large shopping mall in Phoenix where Dena and I frequently eat. Malee’s is not a chain. Like many of us, the owner’s are good, hard working people. They wrote to inform us that rising food costs and declining sales are obviously not a good combination, and they unlike larger corporate chains, do not have “deep pockets”. Owner-management will do everything in their power to deliver quality and value to all their customers, but they would really appreciate it if customers could make a special effort to visit Malee’s during this economic slowdown.

As an independent bookstore in a very small market, we at 21st Century Books are in a similarly difficult situation. Not only is the economy hurting our customers and therefore us; we face a constant uphill battle against the deep pocketed and deep discounters like Amazon, Borders and/or Barnes and Noble. We know that our out of market customers can purchase most books cheaper and possibly easier at Amazon or one of the chains. However, we hope that some, or at least enough of you, value our unique services enough and want to keep at least one more independent bookstore alive and functioning so that you may be willing to make a small sacrifice and purchase 2 or 3 or 5 books a year from us either from our website, or by calling the store. (1-800-593-2665 or 641 472-5105) We hope you will consider it a “good deed” or a charitable act, to support our efforts.

There is virtually no risk that 21st Century Books will ever be a profitable enterprise. Our profit is the joy and fulfillment we get from serving our community, discovering great books to read, and providing what we believe are unique services to our reading community. We are more than willing to support this endeavor as long as, or until, the losses become larger than we can afford. We are nearing the breaking point. If you would like to see us stay in business and extend our tradition beyond the current 25 years please consider taking the time and making the effort and financial sacrifice to buy 2, 3, or even 5 books from us this year. Utilize our website, or give Tony a call and he will turn you on to some great books, no matter what your reading interests may be.

If you live in Fairfield, please do some of you holiday shopping at our store. We believe our gifts are often unique, always tasteful, and very well-priced.

We continue to thank so many of you for your patronage and consideration.

Len Oppenheim

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