Sunday, November 30, 2008

Acccent on Books . . . and Bookplates

I did an 'event' yesterday at my long-time favorite little bookstore -- I was a regular customer at Accent on Books on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville long before I became an Author.

It's the closest bookstore to where I live, being on the north side of Asheville in the area I often do my shopping. Downtown Asheville is terrific and has another wonderful independent bookstore but it's not as convenient -- the parking thing -- plus it's farther away.

Accent on Books is the kind of friendly, cozy, neighborhood bookstore everyone should have near at hand. Their inventory is carefully selected with a discriminating eye to quality. No, they don't have every book you ever heard of (they could order it though) but their selection is exquisite and they have far more books that I really, really want to read than I could possibly afford.

I was amazed, back in October when I was doing last minute shopping for John's birthday and decided I would love to give him a book of various chicken breeds. I stopped in at A on B, just on the chance . . . And they had one! Gorgeous glossy pictures of every weird sort of chicken, duck, and goose with emus and such to boot! It's The Little Bookstore That Could!

There's something about a bookstore -- going in and looking at all the books, picking them up, leafing through them, being seduced by a beautiful cover or an enticing review. It will be a sad day, if we lose these little bastions of culture.

There was a gratifying turnout yesterday -- some folks I'd met before, most new to me. Some had read all the books; others hadn't read any -- yet. So I rambled on, read bits of Miss Birdie's book, answered questions, and the whole thing felt like being in someone's living room, talking about books. And not just mine. There was an enthusiastic recommendation for Mark de Castrique's Blackman's Castle and votes for Ron Rash's Serena and all of Barbara Kingsolver's stuff . . .

That's the kind of folks you run into at these nice little bookstores. And that's why I always encourage folks to support their local, independent booksellers. These businesses are already feeling squeezed -- between online sellers and the big chains, it's harder and harder for the indies to keep afloat. Add to that, these tough financial times and it's enough to make a bookseller groan.

I'll be doing a few more local signing events (see the calendar over there>>>) and hoping lots of people decide to buy my books as gifts. If you 'd like to share Elizabeth and her world with a friend as a Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Solstice/any reason present and you'd like to embellish this (very economical) gift a bit but can't make it to one of my events, I can offer you lovely bookplates, signed and personalized as you specify.

All they'll cost you is the bother of sending me a self-addressed, stamped envelope with directions for the personalizing. Email me -- (there's a hot link on my website but I can't put one here) and I'll give you the address to send the SASEs to. And I can put the bookplates in the mail the next day so you can have them in plenty of time for whichever holiday it is you're celebrating.

As you see from my pictures, you have a choice -- the photo of moonrise, taken from my porch, or the tasteful border of violets, taken from the internet. Let me know which you would want.

So here's your chance to kill many birds (figuratively, of course) with one stone. Buy a new book for a friend -- support an author, give that friend a trip to the mountains (if you buy the right book.) Buy that book from a local independent bookseller -- support a valuable community asset!

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Pat in east TN said...

Wow Vicki, I haven't been to A on B in years, at least not since I moved over the state line 6 years ago ... your pictures brought back good memories. A good bookstore.

The bookplate idea is really neat!!

Carol Murdock said...

Sounds like you had a great time Vicki.Must have been something to sign books at your favorite bookstore,like a dream come true?
We have just such a store here called Main Street Books.In Nashville I always went to Davis-Kid,I could spend all day there and often did.I find that ordering is much better for my budget because book stores do to me what Casinos due to gamblers,I don't know when to quit!
You can boast all you want Girl.
Like the line from Dolly's movie Straight Talk, "Sometimes you just gotta blow your horn so everybody knows your coming"

Anonymous said...

The bookplates are a terrific idea. My SAE is on it's way. Thanks!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hi Vicki, these bookplates sound like great ideas. I always feel a bit writers-blocked when it comes to signing my books, but maybe something like this would help and make it more special.
I'll be featuring NC writers' books--and zines--- starting tomorrow, for Christmas I hope readers help us out. Our indie bookstores need all the help they can get. k

Vicki Lane said...

It seems a bit pretentious to put a bookplate in a mass-market paperback but some folks like signed books, especially for giving. So I'm willing to accommodate.

I'll be checking out your blog, Ksy -- great idea!

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