Greetings book lovers, internet surfers, and those checking our website for no real good reason except to be nosy.
I am currently reading “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel. Uhh-mazing!
Baby Evan is two months old now. He’s nearing 13 lbs. Now he smiles quite often and makes eye contact from across the room. He hasn’t rolled over yet but he can bat at things with his fists. He is beginning to sleep long hours through the night (YAY). The bath is his favorite place, it’s like hypnosis. His entire existence thus far has been terribly cute.
Schooner Festival preparations! We will have 9 authors appearing on the pier under The Author’s Tent. Bob Steele, Jane Green, Suzanne Palmieri, Allegra di Bonaventura, Ron Laone, Chris Gay, Susan Epstein, Mark Nelson O’Brien, and Lisa Saunders. There will be chairs and a PA system. We will be behind the train station on the City Pier plaza. Bestselling Novelist Suzanne Palmieri and her daughter will be totally helping us out!
Our fall calendar has come to life. We have some fascinating people visiting our shop for book signings. When you think about it, book signings are one of the largest ways an independent bookstore competes with the internet and most chain stores. Amazon has never once hosted a book signing. You’ll never meet your favorite author through Amazon. Of course your Kindle with Stephen King’s signature on it won’t fetch much on eBay. How boring right?
Working in the music world I learned a concept called “over-saturation”. With author events, genre saturation is an issue. It makes for low interest of low turnout. From a typical bookstore’s point of view authors are a dime a dozen, but for us we know they are special. They populate our shelves, and the least we could do would be to help them move books more efficiently. Every month we have a wide variety. Mystery, spirituality, horror, young adult, history…all spread out because they attract different people. We also make sure that authors with less experience in front of a crowd are comfortable. Using a talk-show type format mixed with reading and Q&A, we have found a niche all of our own. We stay on focus and on topic of the book, allowing the discussions to get sometimes real grim and sometimes chipper, but the attendees love it. Quality over quantity. I’m considering using our presidential seal counter as a sort of wide podium. I have to study Larry King for good interview techniques.
Our new location has been a hit with the customers. Wide aisles, lovely ceiling, big windows. As I sit here almost every day I find myself occasionally ignoring work and chatting with customers (90% me talking…) We discuss everything, but mostly two topics. New London and the publishing industry. Since most of our customers are from outside of New London, most of them ask me what it’s like owning a business in the city.
It is true I am a person of strong opinions. One of my opinions is to be a good neighbor and watch out for your fellow man. Do what you must, harm none. Why can’t we all just get along? I get along well with every person I have come across downtown. Some business owners and organizers can be quite cranky at first and take time to get to warming up (of if you become of some use to them) but everybody seems to have a heart down here. A fiery passion that most genuinely care about the city and want to see what is best for everybody. We keep our noses out of politics and it keeps its nose out of our business. Seems a fair trade to me.
There was a fire on our block. I had just eaten my take-out breakfast from Monica’s State Street Diner when I noticed plumes of dark black smoke coming out of the building. Soon enough, emergency vehicles blocked the streets and the entire block was roped off. The cause of the fire was unknown but luckily nobody was seriously injured. (some firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exposure)
A black kitty has been spotted walking around the parking lot. I let it come inside and upon further inspection found her to be quite healthy, as if an indoor cat would be. Has she been made homeless by the fire? Asking around the block, our neighbors say they feed her. A stray animal will not make it long downtown. Every night around 6pm when we close she shows up rubbing against the glass door. A sucker I am. I give her a quarter can of cat food each night.
*Two movies in the theaters currently. These books are very popular with our customers and we are seeing a huge increase in sales since the movie release dates.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
*The reports from the first six months of nationwide booksales have shown growth in the print book trade while ebook growth has flattened out. Print books have yet to experience a year of decline in sales. 2012 was a 4% increase from the prior year. People are still reading!
*Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games series, has release an illustrated children’s book titled Year of the Jungle.
*The country’s oldest LGBT bookshop is looking for buyers because the owners want to retire. Giovanni’s Room in Philadelphia is 3,000 sq feet with over 50,000 titles.
Cool. And that’s all I have to say about that.