2014: A Bookstore Year in Review

I-Bought-It-At-BookPeople

2014 was a record year for BookPeople. As Austin grows, so does the incredible support of its readers for its independent bookstore. We’ve crunched the numbers and are grateful to report that 2014 was our fifth consecutive best year in store history. Thank you for helping us thrive and allowing us to continue to do what we love so much: share good books with you. In 2015, we’ll develop more ways to work with our community and will continue to strengthen existing programs. We look forward to partnering with even more Austin authors to support their work and give them a bookstore to call home. We look forward to hosting hundreds of author events and welcoming thousands of readers to meet a favorite author in person. And of course, we look forward to sharing our favorite books with you in our ceaseless mission to help you find your next great read.

From the bottom of our book lovin’ hearts, thank you for making 2014 an incredible year. It’s your support that keeps independent bookstores in this country strong. Here’s a look at what 2014 was made of here at BookPeople. 

2014 Events Stats: 

  • 289 events (hosted in-store and off-site)
  • 349 authors hosted
  • 122 book club discussions
  • 150 storytimes

2014 Bestsellers: 

Extended List: 
Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
Heroes of Olypmus Book 5: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne
Call to Action by Jimmy Carter
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Forgetting to Be Afraid by Wendy Davis
Revival by Stephen King
One More Thing by B. J. Novak
Above the East China Sea by Sarah Bird

Bestsellers Excluding Event Books:
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Gone Girl
 by Gillian Flynn
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Maze Runner by James Dashner
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Austin Breakfast Tacos by Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 9: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
Goodnight Austin by Allison Amador

2014 Top Shelf Picks:

January: The Last Days of California by Mary Miller
February: By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan
March: The Enchanted by Rene Dunfeld
April: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table
May: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
June: The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
July: California by Edan Lepucki
August: Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
September: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
October: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
November: A Feast of Cookbooks!

2014 Statesman Selects Picks: 

January: Things I’ve Learned from Dying by David Dow
February: Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
March: All I Have in This World by Michael Parker
April: Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook
May: Above the East China Sea by Sarah Bird
June: The Fever by Megan Abbott
July: The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil
August: Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
September: Thirteen Days in September by Lawrence Wright
October: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
November: The Peripheral by William Gibson
December: 

Top Blog Posts in 2014: 

The Highlight Reel

April 8, 2014: President Jimmy Carter visited BookPeople with A Call to Action. It was his the third visit to BookPeople. 

JC6

“President Carter is in town for the Civil Rights Summit being held at the LBJ Library. He met approximately 600 supporters here at BookPeople and signed many hundreds of copies of his book. While here, Carter also spoke to the press about the deplorable and dangerous circumstances too many women live in across the globe. It was sobering to hear him speak, yet encouraging to hear him give voice to the plight of women worldwide who confront violence and cultural prejudice on a regular basis.”

May 19, 2014: We hosted Roxane Gay for An Untamed State. And it was the best day of our lives.

roxane gay

“When she stopped by BookPeople to celebrate the release of her latest novel, An Untamed State, RGay (as  she’s known on Twitter) engaged her audience in an excellent, thorough discussion that included both celebrity gossip (Solange and Jay-Z did what??) and analysis of Haitian political instability and the use of kidnappings and “disappearings” in that country that have ravaged its sense of security and self.” She also left us with a list of reading recommendations. 

June 9, 2014: Patrick Rothfuss stopped by to meet Tommy’s beard (and a few hundred fans).

rothfuss fan

“We knew we were in for a treat when a last-minute trip enabled Pat to swing by the store while he was in town to learn how to breathe fire. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We built a fortress out of his books around the info desk, made sure all of our staff that are also fans (hint: there are…er…quite a few of us) were working that night, and battened down the hatches.” Rothfuss also supplied a list of reading recs.

June 19, 2014: We had the honor of hosting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton with Hard Choices.

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“Over 1,000 people turned out to meet Secretary Clinton, who shook hands and signed books for two hours with a smile. It was one of the biggest, most successful events in BookPeople history.”

July 1, 2014: We launched the BookPeople Modern First Library program.

modern first library

“BookPeople is committed to helping all kids find books that broaden their idea of what’s possible, provide fresh perspectives, and open windows to new experiences: all the things that great children’s books always do. And because we live in the vibrant, global society of the 21st century, our book suggestions have been purposefully designed to reflect the diversity of that experience.”

August 16, 2014: First ever National Bookstore Day for the BookPeople Nation!

We had an idea in the middle of the year: what if we did something just for fun, just because? Our gears started turning and we came up with the concept of National Bookstore Day for the BookPeople Nation, a day of fun and frivolity that celebrated our love for books and the awesome Austinites who support us. We play literary trivia, talked about forthcoming books we were excited about, drank champagne, ate cake, and all kinds of fun things. It was a blast!

August 16, 2014: The BookPeople 100 was unveiled!

The BookPeople 100!
The BookPeople 100!

This year, for the first time, our booksellers got together and submitted our top books of all time. There are over 80 of us here, so there were a LOT of books. Using a variety of highly technical formulas and complicated algorithms, we came up with the definitive BookPeople 100, our favorite reads of all time.

September 11, 2014: We welcomed Texas State Senator Wendy Davis.

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“Hundreds of people turned out to meet Davis, including one of the women whose letter Davis read during her famous 2013 filibuster. As a bookstore within walking distance of the Capitol building, it was exciting to welcome such a prominent figure in Texas politics.”

October 12, 2014: We packed Central Presbyterian Church with Lena Dunham fans. 

photo (66)

Dunham was in town to speak about and sign copies of her collection of essays, Not That Kind of Girl. Churches are built to make the most of the building’s acoustics; the roar when Dunham stepped out to the microphone shook us down to our bones.

October 13, 2014: The day after Lena Dunham, we hosted an event for Rick Riordan attended by over 1,000 people. 

riordan olympus stock signing

We rented the Performing Arts Center at Westlake for Riordan’s event. He was on tour with the fifth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, Blood of OlympusRiordan pre-signed over 1,000 copies of the book in an epic stock signing before he spoke. How long did it take? Under an hour. Riordan’s a pro.

October 18, 2014: We has an awesome time at the Texas Teen Book Festival!

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“The day was a whirlwind for us. Somewhere around three o’clock the line parted and we lifted our heads, looked out at our tables and saw we had sold out of hundreds of copies of The Maze Runner. Where once had stood a mountain of Marie Lu’s The Young Elites and the Legend Trilogy were now only a few copies of Prodigy. We wiped the sweat from our brows, ate a few Nutri Grain bars and the pastries leftover from the breakfast we hadn’t had time to eat, and kept going.”

October 21, 2014: We rocked out to a Hedwig cover band with Neil Patrick Harris. 

Austin band Sideways Grimace played outside while NPH signed copies of Choose Your Own Autobiography for hundreds of fans. Before the signing began, we ran downstairs with NPH to catch the first few minutes of the band’s set. Watching NPH play air guitar in the elevator and signing along to Tear Me Down may be the single best thing that has happened to any bookseller, ever.

November 15, 2014: R. L. Stine and Stephen King came to BookPeople on the SAME DAY.

Stine signed copies of Party Games at noon and King came in at 5pm to sign Revival. This day went down in infamy as the creepiest (and best) day in BookPeople history.

All year long: We kept the company of many of Austin’s finest authors.

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All year long: We posed with books. Lots and lots and lots and lots of books.

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Happy New Year everyone!

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