Local bookstore featured on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

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Max Correa

Deion Cooper, a bookseller at Foggy Pine, has been kept busy by the sudden influx of orders since the feature on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “We’re struggling to keep up, but we’re trying our best. We actually came in early so we could get ahead of the curve a little bit and just trying to grind away,” Cooper said.

Ansley Puckett, Managing Editor

Local bookstore Foggy Pine Books appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” after the Super Bowl when the talk show giant promoted the store in a 2-minute commercial.

Highlighting the store’s book selection, the commercial also included actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, who spoke about what the store had to offer. 

After the commercial aired, owner Mary Ruthless, who uses they and them pronouns, took to Twitter to express their gratitude.

“So, my little store was featured on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’” Ruthless said. “So so grateful for this support and excited to get started at work tomorrow.”

“The Late Show” reached out to Foggy Pine as part of its program highlighting small businesses struggling during the pandemic. Deion Cooper, a bookseller at the store, said the show found them through social media after the store expressed its struggle selling the required amount of 1,350 books each month to stay open. 

Amber Tulino, a close friend of Ruthless, said the attention could not have come at a better time. 

“It’s exactly what the store needs right now,” Tulino said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Mary. They work their butt off. Literal blood, sweat and tears has went into that store.”

Stephan Colbert talking about Foggy Pine Books in Boone on “The Late Show.”

“The Late Show” then sent a small team around three weeks ago to film the commercial with help from the Foggy Pine team.

Cooper said seeing the commercial and Hanks talk about the store on national television was “surreal.” 

“It’s just a crazy feeling, like it’s not even real,” Cooper said

Fans of the show and bookstore took to social media after the airing to show their support for Foggy Pine. Tulino said responses have even come from as far as Australia and Canada. 

“We were sitting there last night for about two hours afterward and just watching the orders come into the store and they’re from all over the U.S.,” Tulino said. “It’s insane the amount of people that it’s reached.”

Twitter user Jude Hannah tweeted, “I sure wish I had a bookstore like @FoggyPineBooks in my town.”

Cooper said the orders the store has already received have kept their small team busy.

“It’s amazing,” Cooper said. “Since we’re just a small team, we’re struggling to keep up, but we’re trying our best. We actually came in early so we could get ahead of the curve a little bit and just trying to grind away.”

As the only independent bookstore in Boone, Tulino is relieved that Foggy Pine has received the attention it needs to stay open. 

“It’s such a safe place for queer people, people of color, trans people, anybody,” Tulino said. “It would be such a loss to the community if anything happened.”

Although the team is excited about the influx in orders and attention, Cooper said the shop is not open for in-store browsing.

Customers can shop online and have books delivered to them, in addition to utilizing the store’s drive-thru window with the pick-up option. 

Foggy Pine Books is open on Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.