Monday, April 22, 2013

Turn the Page

This week we continue to celebrate our Fourth Blogiversary (the official date is today!) with our giveaway extravaganza.

From Carmela's Friday post:
Today, I'm thrilled to announce an extra-special giveaway in honor of our FOURTH BLOGIVERSARY. To show our appreciation to our blog readers AND to one of our favorite independent booksellers, we'll be giving away FOUR $25 gift certificates to Anderson's Bookshops! And, as a bonus, Anderson's is generously offering our winners a 20% discount, which will help defray the shipping costs if you're unable to redeem your gift certificate in person.

If you haven't already done so, hop on over and read the rest of her post for entry details as well as more information about our blog, Anderson's, and a terrific bonus poem from our very own April (who's also celebrating a birthday this week).

In follow-up to our ode to D.E.A.R. and Beverly Cleary, we Teaching Authors are discussing the great independent bookstores that play such a crucial role in getting the right books into the hands of the right readers.  I will never forget my first visit to the Tattered Cover in Denver.  I was on a business trip, and I got no other business done on that day.  [I owe a debt of gratitude to my patient boss, Stan Cohen.]

Here in exurban Maryland, we have nothing like the Tattered Cover or Anderson's.  Washington has the great Politics and Prose, but my visits to DC with kids at this point in life typically involve the Air and Space Museum, the National Mall, and a stroller.

If you ask me, the coolest and most accessible independent bookstore in my neck of the woods is Turn the Page Bookstore, owned by the husband of local (and international) celebrity Nora Roberts.  Roberts lives in rural Washington County and has singlehandedly turned the tiny town of Boonsboro into a Destination (with a capital D).  Visitors from around the country flock to the bookstore for signings by a variety of authors and may stay overnight in Roberts's nearby bed and breakfast, stop by her gift shop, or have a meal at her son's taphouse. 

In my job as an adjunct instructor at Hagerstown Community College, I am fortunate to be a part of the advisory committee for this summer's Nora Roberts Writing Institute.  Before a recent meeting at Dan's Taphouse, I slipped into Turn the Page for some speed shopping.  Unlike the sprawling Tattered Cover, it's a tiny space, with a nook devoted to children's books, a coffee bar featuring a local roaster's brews, and a terrific assortment of popular fiction, with the literary book club du month selections shelved beside the "beach reads." 

As someone who writes in what may certainly be considered marginalized genres (soap operas and children's books), I greatly appreciated the equalizing effect of this shelving method.  As a child, I fell in love with reading because it was fun and transformative.   There is much good writing in popular fiction, and I love the idea of celebrating the books people read because they want to rather than the ones they feel they have to.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Nora Roberts.
--Jeanne Marie


Carmela Martino said...

Sounds like a TERRIFIC bookstore, JM. And I love the name, too!

Linda B said...

I love reading about bookstores, and am sometimes disappointed when I visit a town without one-sad for me & for those who live there! Your 'Turn The Page' sounds wonderful, Jeanne Marie. In addition to Tattered Cover, we have a small Indie bookstore also in Denver that caters to teachers and children, with some adult inventory. It's called The Bookies, and is a marvelous place to hang out. Thanks for your memories!

Joyce Ray said...

Hi, Jeanne Marie. Bookstores are just the best, I agree. Here in my part of NH, we have Gibsons, just about to expand to a wonderful new space, and Main Street Bookends, a cozy bookstore that does so much with the community. On my one trip to Denver, I saw the Tattered Cover bookstore as I was LEAVING on the bus. No one had told me about it or I would have been there in a heartbeat.

Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford said...

Linda, thanks for the recommendation! The Bookies might be the best bookstore name ever. I can't wait to visit.

Joyce, I hope you get back to Denver to visit The Tattered Cover. And I hope to get visit your corner of NH someday!