Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's YOUR fav Indie Bookstore? And Happy Poetry Friday!

Howdy, Campers!

We're jumping up and down and popping balloons, celebrating our Fourth Blogiversary...and you're invited to join in the fun by entering to win one of four gift certificates to a fab independent bookstore.  Details?  Read all about it here!
And it's Friday, so happy Poetry-Friday-in-the-midst-of-Poetry-Month! Thank you, Laura Purdie Salas, for hosting PF today!

And now...on with the show:

In keeping with our blogiversary celebration, we're talking about indie bookstores.  Here's my riff:

I was a long-time active member of the Southern California Children's Booksellers Association (SCCBA), a feisty organization of indies who generously shared knowledge on how to run a bookstore among themselves and with those thinking about starting a children's bookstore. These newbies could have seen as their competitors, but instead they were embraced as colleagues and became friends. 

SCCBA was a leader among children's independent bookseller associations and in 1984 SCCBA was the midwife in the birthing of the national organization, American Booksellers for Children (ABC) (which has since merged with the American Booksellers Association.)

SCCBA itself folded into the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association just a few years ago. All this merging was hard for many of us, and sad, so sad...but SCIBA has proven itself to be a lively, engaged and strong non-profit trade association.

So which are my fav indies?  Must I choose just one?  A longtime favorite, just up the freeway from me, is Children's Bookworld, founded in 1986 by Sharon Hearne, and still going strong.

I am still mourning Dutton's Brentwood Bookstore, which closed in 2008.

BUT there's great news: indies are making a comeback and I'm lucky to have not one but two fabulous indies just a few miles from my home, both opened within the last few years:

 The marvelous Mysterious Galaxy 
and the absolutely wonderful {pages}!

Here's my rough draft of a book poem in honor of indies today:

HOOKED ON A BOOK (The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore By Benjamin Hale)
rough draft poem by April Halprin Wayland

I’m reading the autobiography
of a classically educated, erudite

I stay up too late reading it.
Rather than listen to NPR’s Morning Edition,
I prop the book against the fish bowl as I brush my teeth.

His story
sticks to the souls of my hiking shoes
as I clamber up a steep slope in Arizona.

While buying half a head of Napa cabbage at the farmers market,
I wonder what will happen to his owner, Lydia
and why he’s writing the book from a jail cell.

Through a dinner of grape tomatoes, Napa cabbage,
juicy chicken and roasted potatoes, baby turnips and carrots,
it haunts me

like cookie dough ice cream
haunts me
from the freezer.

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

Hats off to Indies that offer us so much! Please DO NOT wander around an indie and then go home to order online.  Here's why (under two minutes and worth watching...):

And remember to enter our indie bookstore gift certificate giveaway!

I'm trying to remember to put my name at the end of these posts...this is important because those who subscribe don't see the byline which automatically posts our names for us. So...
tah-tah from April Halprin Wayland!


Linda B said...

Love every bit, April! I didn't know this book, so at first I must admit I had to look it up. Your poem says it well. One is very committed when giving up NPR to read the book! I love the "souls of your hiking boots". Thanks for the funny video, although so true! We are lucky to have some wonderful Indie bookstores in Denver, and some wonderful used bookstores!

April Halprin Wayland said...

That book should be approached cautiously, Linda. It's fascinating and a bit weird and dark, too. But magnetic, as the best books are. xxx

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for sharing the terrific video, April, along with your wonderful poem. You are indeed lucky to have several Indies close to you.

Bridget Magee said...

Indie bookstores ROCK! Love your poem, especially the line:
"His story
sticks to the souls of my hiking shoes
as I clamber up a steep slope in Arizona."
I can relate...thanks for sharing. =)

GatheringBooks said...

Hi there April, Happy Blogiversary! I've been meaning to give some more love to independent bookstores and doing a series of special features on this one too. Maybe in time for our own Blogiversary! Loved reading your poem - made me a little bit hungry though. :)

Mary Lee said...

Just spent $50 at my local indie children's bookstore!

YAY Indies!

laurasalas said...

Haha--great ending, April! And my favorite line is

His story
sticks to the souls of my hiking shoes


There are several wonderful indies in the Twin Cities--especially Red Balloon and The Bookcase of Wayzata and one I must visit called Addendum. I wish one was within 5 miles of me, though:>)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Mary Lee--that's TRUE indie love!

Thanks for coming by and commenting, Bridget,Myra and Laura.

And Laura, I love the name Addendum for a bookstore!

Ruth said...

Wonderful poem! I love it when I'm hooked on a book like that.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Terrific post and poem, April! I love the image of you reading that book while brushing your teeth....

Yay Indies. If you're anywhere near Atlanta, you have a few to choose from. My faves are THE LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES in Decatur and FOXTALE BOOK SHOPPE in Woodstock. In my own town an hour north of ATL, Myra Meade's HALL BOOK EXCHANGE gives so much to the community!

Anonymous said...

Love the poem, especially the cookie dough ice cream haunting you from the freezer. So familiar! Another great Twin Cities indie bookstore is The Wild Rumpus. Gem of a store!