My ideal independent bookstore carries only children's books. A bell above the door tinkles musically each time a customer enters. Strategically placed twinkle lights lend a dreamy, wonderland quality to the bright, colorful interior. The staff is warm and welcoming and brilliant at pairing you with exactly the book you need. Cubby bookcases line the walls. Inside, new releases mingle with classics, and all are placed face out, of course. Displays throughout the store are artistic and irresistible. I can picture it so clearly . . . because it's The Shop Around the Corner from the movie, You've Got Mail.
If that store existed nearby, I'd work there for free. Oh, I'd earn a paycheck; the money just wouldn't make it home.
I don't have an indie in my hometown, but I wish I had one like Des Moines' Beaverdale Books. My DM author friends hold their book launches there, and owner Alice is a gem who's pretty much game for anything. I was able to attend Sharelle Byars Moranville's launch for The Hop last spring. Sharelle's friends brought in cheese and crackers, grapes, chocolates, a sweets tray, wine for the adults and, for the kids in attendance (since The Hop has gardening/environmental elements), cups of gummy worms in Oreo "dirt." Dozens of people showed up to share Sharelle's moment and hear her read from her adorable book. The joint was jumping!
My town has a Barnes & Noble and a (new) Books a Million. Luckily for area authors, those stores have friendly staffs, especially Barnes & Noble, where Asst. Mgr. Paul Ziebarth makes this B&N feel more like an indie than a big box store. Paul bends over backwards to make book signings successful. He knocks himself out for our SCBWI-Iowa conference booksales, too, always with a smile and cheerful attitude that makes us feel like there's nowhere he'd rather be. Thanks, Paul, for making authors feel wanted and welcome! I know it isn't that way everywhere.
There's still time to enter our blogiversary contest to win one of four gift certificates to Anderson's Bookstore!
Happy Mother's Day!