Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Early Christmas Cheer

We generally wait till mid-December to put up our Christmas tree, giving ourselves a little more time to hang on to that mellow Thanksgiving tryptophan state of mind.

But one of our local characters always puts together a funky little holiday display, reminding me that it's time to make lists, address Christmas cards, plan upcoming festivities, and wrap and mail gifts . . .

And speaking of gifts ( WARNING! Blatant commercial plea follows) . . . what about introducing a friend to Elizabeth Goodweather? Easy on the budget, easy to wrap, easy to mail . . .

Of course you can find her on Amazon but over there to the right are links to three booksellers who can provide autographed (even personalized, if you wish) copies of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries.

If mysteries aren't your cup of tea, there are other books that would fill the void in someone's stocking -- I've mentioned some goodies in the past couple years.

As you've probably heard, booksellers and the publishing industry are having a tough time of it these days, along with so many other enterprises. Though we usually make most of our gifts (well, for the past few years, it's been John who's taken over that task, busying away in his wood shop,) I still spend some dollars at my local booksellers, picking out what I hope will be just the right book for certain friends and family.

Of course there are lots of troubled retailers -- and I wasn't one of the patriotic souls out there last Friday, spending to help put one of the big box businesses in the black.

Maybe book stores are redundant now -- with the Internet and E-books and such -- but to me, the independent bookstore is one of the last bastions of a truly civilized way of life. Here's a place where you can browse and find something more than the same few big names -- maybe you're looking for something regional, something quirky, something unexpected -- whatever your interest, you can count on booksellers who can help you. Booksellers who read their wares, booksellers who actually like books. . .

Imagine that!

I'll be signing (and buying) books in one such bastion this week. If you're in the Asheville area, stop by Malaprops on Friday the 4th, between 5 and 6. I'll be there, happy to sign and personalize for you. Or to point you to some good reads in which I have no financial interest.
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Lynne in GA said...

Have fun at Malaprops; wish we could join you.

We come up to Waynesville frequently and do an independent bookstore tour as part of every visit--two there and Malaprops. We didn't get to Sylva this year, but have it on the list for future visits.

We have sadly seen several independents in the Atlanta area go under in the past few years. I miss Oxford and the science fiction/mystery book stores where I found many of my now favorite authors. The chain stores are fine, but their stock is much the same. Some seem to be saving money these days by stocking a book when first published, but not restocking it until it comes out in paperback so there's a gap during which the book isn't available.

So please support your local indy bookseller--and if it's a Vicki Lane book - so much the better. (No commercial interests here, just can't stand the thought of losing more bookstores.)

Lynne in Ga.

Merisi said...

Your words express so poetically what I always feel about the days after Thankgiving, that need to give "ourselves a little more time to hang on to that mellow Thanksgiving tryptophan state of mind." I
wrote earlier this morning that I "need the week after Thanksgiving to slowly ease myself into the spirit of the Christmas season" - especially this year, when once again Thanksgiving fell so close to the first Sunday of Advent.

I simply love the spirit of the local holiday display! :-)))

Vagabonde said...

In the 80s I used to go on so many Saturdays to Oxford Books in Peachtree Battle in Atlanta. I think they opened too many bookstores but then again people read a lot less in this country. I was surprised to see so many bookstores in Paris and some were jammed. In every town we go we stop at local bookstores and sometimes go to a town just for the book store, like we flew to Portland just to visit Powell bookstore once when the airfare was on sale and another time to Seattle to visit the Elliott Bay Book Company. But at Christmas I am not supposed to buy books for myself as I have a Christmas list – yours are on my list, then I wait to see what “Papa Noël” has brought. We are going to my younger daughter’s home for Christmas so my house will not be decorated – it still has all the leaks and flooded carpet (dry now) from the last mishaps.

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Merisi -- So many of my friends launch right in to Christmas decorating; some start Thanksgiving afternoon. Thanks goodness that was never a part of our families tradition. Ease into it, as you say -- that's what works for me.

And isn't that holiday display adorable? True folk art!

Hey, Lynne, as you say, the chain stores are fine for the bestselllers but it's in the Indies that you'll find the shy treasures.

And Vagabonde, Back in the late Sixties my husband and I would make a pilgrimage accross Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg where we would visit Haslam's which was a huge ( for the time and place) book store. I remember stocking up on Beat poets like Ferlinghetti and Theatre of the Absurd plays -- not to be found at the local Walden's or B. Dalton's which, if I remember correctly were our other choices for bookstores.

Tipper said...

Enjoyed the kooky Christmas spirit :) and I so agree with you about the book stores.

Poetry24 said...


You're so right about independent bookstores. I try to avoid the chains and the internet is far too tempting on price. Happily, some independents are now trading online. We have friends who run bookfairs and the atmosphere and range of works is always fantastic there.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

What a WONDERFUL Christmas display!!!

adding my name to those who was sad to see Atlanta's Oxford Books close their doors. It was one of the first of the independents to go, I think.

Have fun at Malaprops, Vicki (laws, I wish Asheville was a tad closer!!).

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Tipper, Thanks for stopping by! (That's some nice music you have playing over at Blind Pig & Acorn!)

Bookfairs are, indeed, terrific, Martin! I take part in quite a few during the year.

When I was a child, our elementary school had a bookfair every year, just before school was out. I was in heaven as my folks approved of buying books!

You're getting right familiar with the Asheville book scene, Miz Barley, what with all the buzz about y'all's wonderful anthology CLOTHESLINES!

Victoria said...

Vicki, I've already bought 5 sets of your books from our local bookstore to give to my sister and some of my nieces! All great minds... :D

Vicki Lane said...

Oh. My. Word! Victoria, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! That is just grand!

I feel tacky asking people to buy my books but the number of books sold is what it always comes down to when the dread They at the publishers decide whether a series will continue.

Thanks you so much!