Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter Institute--Part Two

After lunch was a choice of more panels, I went to one on inventory management (a fairly dry and boring topic to blog about, but critical for buyers) and one for prospective bookstore owners with a panel of folks who have opened their stores in the past eighteen months. I'm not planning on opening my own store anytime soon, but I was curious to hear what these folks had experienced.

There was an opportunity to go to a rep picks session after that, but I was a little tired of sitting and being talked to so I decided to take a break and start blogging before it all got away from me. I brought my computer down to the second floor, as that's where the free wi-fi can be found, but I ended up doing more talking with others than blogging at that point. I'm so glad I got to meet Michele Filgate, the events coordinator at RiverRun Bookstore, and we spent the better part of an hour talking books. We actually were talking with a librarian--in a nice bit of book confluence, it turns out that there is a conference for SLA, the Special Libraries Association happening at the same hotel at the same time! I kind of feel bad for the librarians---I wonder if they know that just one floor above them is an entire room of galleys for the taking (We actually snuck our librarian friend into the author reception happening so she could meet Augusten Burroughs as he is her favorite author!)

As you may have surmised from the last sentence, there was a wonderful author reception/signing for the big evening event. My swag: The new collection of short stories from Tobias Wolff, Our Story Begins (another cat out of the bag--he's coming to the store later in the spring! Yippee! I don't know that I've ever blogged about it, but Old School was my favorite book the year it came out, and it remains a favorite. If you haven't read it, you must! There are so many reasons why you MUST read it--a killer coming-of-age story is one, but another is his portrayal of classic literary figures--Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway. He writes these characters just as I would have imagined them to be. I could go on and on (which I did, embarrassingly enough, when I met him last night...sigh), so instead I'll move on.

I also got Mary Roach's new book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, which I'm eager to read. I've never read Stiff or Spook, but I've always meant to read her as I know there are lots of folks at the store (both employees and customers) who lover her and, hey, this book's got a topic I can totally get behind (oh, and by-the-by, I have a feeling she'll be coming to our store too! I tell you, Brian is ah-mazing). For the boys at the store I got a copy of Mr. Burrough's new memoir about his father, A Wolf at the Table. I'm not sure who will get it yet--I know that Carl and Chris and, one other person, I think, have his books on their Essential Reads lists, so I might just have to have a sudden-death Rock Paper Scissors tournament.

Finally, for my mom, I picked up a copy of Pocketful of History: Four Hundred Years of America One State Quarter at a Time by James Noles. It takes each state quarter and uses the iconography to talk about state history. As my mom is an avid state quarter collector (and middle school teacher) I thought she would really like it for herself and her students. By the way, in case you were wondering, she's collecting those state quarters for her future grandchildren. And she's not just collecting one set, but two. But no pressure. Sheesh, mom, thanks! I guess, though, it's better than the mom of a friend who, while we were in high school and college, would collect Disney VHS tapes when they came out for a limited time so that her future grandkids would have them. I wonder what she has done with them now that I don't know that they even still manufacture VHS players? Anyways, sorry for that digression...

It's almost time for lunch, so I think I'll sign of for now but more later about my dinner with E. Lockhart and all of today's highlights!


Patty Cryan said...

I'm loving these reports. Keep'em coming!

Bookseller By Night

Word Savvy Woman said...

Hi Lori! It was great to meet you too! -Michele