♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you have a favorite bookstore?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Bookstores were a big deal in my youth. Before I even started school, there was a store we would see on our excursions to the mall. This additionally framed my attitude toward books, much like my mother reading Tolkien while I formed in utero. Once school started, the elementary school library I had along with the fantastic Scholastic Book Fairs, sealed the deal. Books were everything!
Getting to the bookstore was few and far between, in the way of activities. Where I live, the stores weren’t just up the street. You had to pack in the car and drive a half hour or so into the bigger towns. Having won a spelling bee in third grade resulted in winning a gift certificate to my then favorite store: Friar Tuck’s. I can still see the store in my mind, and my anxiety over what I would spend my winnings on.
The store went with an Elizabethan tone to the overall decor (wattle and daub to be more technical). The walls went about three-quarters of the way up with shelves. Then, the usual stacks and tables rested around the floor space. The register rested about halfway up the inner right hand (from the entrance) wall. Yes, I remember it that well.
Until my early teens, this was the store. At that time, the old mall faded off, it’s place taken by a shiny new one installed in the next lot. My store initially moved, taking a spot by the food court, and a more modern (1990s) image, with white and natural oak/pine. It never recaptured its magic here. Eventually, this store succumbed to the larger chains–namely Borders.
I was not pleased at all. If you read about Friar Tuck’s Book Shops, you’ll see that it used to span four states. Borders became the enemy fairly quickly in my mind. However, it was the only store in town for a long while. Barnes and Noble was not yet a thing, and the only one of those stores was located an hour away. While I was miserable about it, they did eventually redeem themselves.
Borders ended up the first place I had a signing. That signing was in the large, two floor, corner store in the city of Saratoga Springs. I sold every copy. They had me back. They placed additional orders. I was thrilled. Meantime, B&N was putting me down and refusing to give me space. I have marked them off my possible venues since. I only begrudgingly sell my work through their site. Almost always, I will recommend Amazon.
Borders soon when the way of Friar Tucks, and I was left with only B&N as a possibility. Their store moved into a new shop in my town. While I have been inside them, made purchases there, it is not my preference. I still despise their treatment of authors, and I don’t feel welcome at them. It’s an overly pretentious store, trying hard to be the it-girl. There is no real charm, just plastic façade (or composite and veneer stacks with a Starbucks).
Do not mourn, however. There is a better option available to people in my area. They had me in for a book signing and reading with a few other authors. It was a great experience. Their store reminds me of the old Friar Tuck mood. There’s a lot of charm! Coming from humble small town beginnings, Northshire Books really brings everything you’re looking for in a bookstore.
I’d visit this weekend, as I am in town, but with the shopping fiasco upon us, I think I’ll just enjoy the photos online. Let’s look at what the favorite bookstore is of our other authors. Click on their links below to read more. Don’t forget to drop your email in the box at the top right to get this hop delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.