where have all the bookstores gone?

Remember the days when if you had a little extra time, you’d meander into a bookstore? Walk between the aisles, looking for something new or maybe a long lost book written by a favorite author? Nowadays we instead spend our leisure time taking Buzz Feed quizzes and following on Facebook the lives of people who wouldn’t under other circumstances make the friend cut.

I miss bookstores. Hey, I fell for it like everyone else. I jumped on the Kindle bandwagon early. It felt safer to travel with an e-reader in case I’m ever stuck on the Tarmac for so long that if I finish my book, I conveniently have another waiting without all the bulk. But lately I’ve been craving books. Real paper and binding books.

I love the way books smell. I love the way they feel. You can bathe with them, sleep with them, and even dribble ice cream on them without concern.

My desire to trade my electronics for paper did not come out of nowhere. I’m inspired by the fact that I JUST WROTE A NOVEL and at some point in the undefined future, I’m going to want people to buy my book. And not the electronic version (though if that’s the only way to get you to read it, then fine). I want you all to buy the tangible version and take it with you everywhere so passers by ask, “hey, how is it?” To which you will reply, “I can’t put it down.”

But I digress.

These days when I buy a book, I usually order from Amazon because there are no more bookstores. I read an interview with a literary agent who said if you are a debut author and you aren’t going to a bookstore at least once a month to buy in hardback another debut author’s work, you aren’t supporting other writers. I want to help, I do. I believe in karma. Please someone let me pay full price for a hard cover book. But where?

Today I tried to hit the only Barnes and Noble I can think of, which I know is really no better than Amazon but forget finding an independent bookstore. Traffic jams, too many tourists and lack of parking got the better of me and I gave up the mission. This evening I stopped by Busboys and Poets. While I appreciate the curated (i.e. small) fiction collection, it wasn’t as satisfying of an experience. You can’t get lost in between two bookshelves.

I’m determined to bring back books. Let’s make it sexy again to carry a book. (I’d totally date that book toting guy.) If we demand it, they shall build it, right? As shopping trends move toward buying local, don’t forget that there are and should be more places to buy your reads than Amazon.

the gift of Clooney

photo credit: Chris Meck Photography. cover design: Belmont, IncAre you panicking because you still haven’t found the perfect gift for your sister, girlfriend, mother, hair dresser, great aunt, cousin or co-worker?

Have you considered ordering someone My Night with George Clooney? Even though it is electronic in format, you can indeed follow these easy Amazon instructions to gift it. The recipient need not own a kindle; anyone with a handheld device can read it if they get the free kindle app. And since this is a short story – about 40 pages in length – it is totally manageable to read on a smaller device. I mean, if I were giving someone Anna Karenina, I might want to make sure they had a reading tablet of some sort. But this story is the perfect length to take you to and from work, get you through a long conference call or just entertain for an evening before going to sleep.

With Christmas just two days away, you are one click away from not having to weather the crowds (or weather the weather, if you live in the Plains states or New England) to finish up your shopping. You would be supporting an emerging young(ish) writer with your purchase, and sharing the gift of Clooney with your loved ones. In other words, you’d be giving in two ways.

And that is truly in the spirit of the holiday season.

 

getting closer

I’m working hard. I promise. I thought I had a final product yesterday. I was so sure I was done that I registered my short story with the Copyright Office. But then when I took on the project of formatting my story to Amazon’s recommended specs (a task I could not have done without the technical and emotional support of DC Celine) I started making tweaks here and there.

Out of Thursday’s Day of Irrational Tears I have salvaged an energy and motivation whose roots I don’t understand. But I’m going with it. I spent all day Friday on my story (I mean, working from home) and even after midnight, with Nancy and her Belmonsters sleeping over (thanks, George, for helping with bedtime) I snuck in some edits on chapter two.

Today, two soccer games and an Oktoberfest party will keep me mostly away from the computer, but my mind is racing, my heart is pounding and I’m ready to embrace the fear I feel at publishing something for the world to see.

Frankly, I’m just ready for you to read it.