Sunday, April 26, 2009

Take a Break, Shake that Frown, Reassess What’s Going Down

By Kevin Guilfoile

A week after his first novel The Rachel Papers came out, Martin Amis saw someone reading it on a train. He didn't say anything to the person because he assumed, now that he was a novelist, he would be constantly encountering random people enjoying his work on trains and planes and park benches and waiting rooms.

It didn't happen to him again for 15 years.

This Friday, May 1, thousands will recognize the Buy Indie Day holiday by stopping in at one of their favorite independent bookstores and making a purchase. A few weeks ago, I asked readers to do that, but also to announce ahead of time where they will be going. The point, after all, is not some one-day indie bookstore stimulus package, but to remind people of their local indies and to raise awareness about the best independent booksellers around the country. You can find an indie bookstore near you here or here.

Below is a list of stores where a number of writers will be on Friday, not as authors promoting their books, but as readers buying a book. If one of those writers sees you holding his or her book you will likely make their day because it really doesn't happen as often as you probably think, even for the big guys. If they don't notice, feel free to make the first move.

I will continue to update this list all week, so authors please write to me (kevin[at] if you want to be added. And I'd encourage everyone to give some love to your favorite indie bookstore by telling us in the comments where you're going to celebrate Buy Indie Day. And tell folks on your blog. And on Facebook. And at your book club.

The holidays are no fun to celebrate by yourself.

KAREN ABBOTT (Sin in the Second City): McNally Jackson Bookstore*.

TASHA ALEXANDER (A Fatal Waltz, and the upcoming Tears of Pearl): Mysterious Bookshop.

ROSECRANS BALDWIN (You Lost Me There): McIntyre's Fine Books.

SEAN CHERCOVER (Big City, Bad Blood, Trigger City): Partners & Crime.

BARBARA D'AMATO (Death of a Thousand Cuts): At the many indie booksellers at Malice Domestic.

MICHAEL ALLEN DYMMOCH (M.I.A.): At the many indie booksellers at Malice Domestic.

JONATHAN EIG (Luckiest Man, Opening Day): Unabridged Bookstore.

JOE FINDER (High Crimes, Paranoia, Company Man, and the upcoming Vanished): Mysterious Bookshop.

BRYAN GRULEY (Starvation Lake): Cornell Store ("Although," Bryan says, "if I were home I'd be at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park, Illinois").

KEVIN GUILFOILE (Cast of Shadows): Centuries and Sleuths.

LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN (Easy Innocence): The Book Bin.

JOHN MOE (Conservatize Me): The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, although John is understandably nostalgic for Seattle's great Elliott Bay Book Co.

SARA PARETSKY (Bleeding Kansas and the upcoming V.I. Warshawski novel, Hardball): Seminary Co-Op.

DANIEL RADOSH (Rapture Ready): The Golden Notebook.

DAVE REIDY (Captive Audience): Quimby's.

J.D. RHOADES (Breaking Cover): The Country Bookshop.

MARCUS SAKEY (The Blade Itself, At The City's Edge, Good People): Unabridged Bookstore.

BRENDAN SHORT (Dream City): The Book Table.

LUIS ALBERTO URREA (The Hummingbird's Daughter and the upcoming Into the Beautiful North): Anderson's (Naperville, IL)

*Karen Abbott told us she wished she could be in Chicago Friday to support the many local booksellers who helped propel Sin In The Second City to the bestseller lists. And since we're a Chicago-centric blog, we are happy to publish Karen's all-star list of Chicago indies:

Anderson's Bookshops
The Book Cellar
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court
Centuries and Sleuths
Lake Forest Book Store
Powell's Chicago
57th Street Books (The Seminary Co-Op)
Women and Children First

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Sara Paretsky said...

Kevin, you're the best, as always.

Sean Chercover said...

What Sara said.

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