Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why I Love Barnes & Nobles

I love all bookstores. My favorite store will always be a bookstore. I love the smell of paper. I love the feel of books. I love small indie bookstores and large chain ones. Anywhere there are books, I'm in heaven. But I have to admit that a piece of my heart will always belong to what was my childhood bookstore - Barnes & Nobles.

Ever since I was a little girl, one of my special treats was when my parents would take me to Barnes and Nobles on 5th Avenue and 18th Street in Manhattan. It was my favorite store in the whole world. My parents were smart enough to never take me to the toy store, but Barnes and Nobles we went to almost every month. There were neighborhood bookstores that were closer, but taking the train ride into Manhattan and walking into that big beautiful store was extra special to me. I looked forward to it every month.

We didn’t always buy books, but my parents would let me save up my allowance for the fairy tale books that I adored. I have vivid memories of saving up every coin I could find in readiness for our monthly family outing. I remember my first purchase when I was 7 years old – a beautiful fairy tale collection with pictures so bright and vivid that I would stare at them for hours. It had taken me several months to save up for it. I remember how proudly I took it up the cashier and how devastated I was to realize I hadn’t factored in for taxes. And I remember the cashier taking my money and passing me my book with a smile, telling me to enjoy it. Booksellers tend to be the best people in the world.

As I grew up, Barnes and Nobles has always remained dear to my heart. Wherever I go, I can find a B&N nearby. The Oh family even owns 4 nooks. I have a Nook HD and my 3 girls all own Nook tablet or Nook colors. We love our nooks even though we still all prefer reading from real books. I've been a B&N member for so long that when I take out my old ratty membership card booksellers are impressed. When I started writing, my writers group would have writing nights at a local Barnes & Nobles. We would rotate locations, moving from Bethesda, MD to Rockville,MD or the Tyson’s Corner, VA location. It was just the natural place to go. Even now, on writing nights with my writing partner, Caroline Richmond, we still try to go once a week to the Bethesda store. It's routine. Library during the day, and nights at Barnes & Nobles.

So when PROPHECY came out and I started getting photos sent to me from all over the country of my book on tabletops and endcaps in Barnes and Nobles, there was a certain serendipity to it all. The bookstore I spent so much of my time writing PROPHECY in is promoting it! 

I am euphoric. I am elated. I am humbled and touched and so very grateful. 

 When I went to see the books myself, I don’t think I can really explain how I truly felt. It was like I was small again, browsing through the store back at the 5th Ave location, looking in anticipation for that certain book which will catch my eye. Excitement growing as I search the tabletops and covers until I see it. The bright blue cover with the glowing red ruby. My name in gold lettering. This is me. This is my book. And suddenly I’m that little girl again, reaching for my book, treasuring the feel and smell of it. I am that little girl again saving up my pennies to buy a book that I simply must have. But this time, it's my own book and a dream that had seemed completely unattainable as a child has come true.

As luck would have it, I will be at a signing at Barnes & Nobles in Charlottesville, VA this Friday, January 25th at 6:00pm. Charlottesville, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 1035 Emmet St Suite A, Charlottesville, VA 22903, 434-984-0461. If you are in the area, please consider stopping by!


Susan Francino said...

Wow, that must be the coolest feeling. What great parents to make B&N your treat. :) I didn't have that sort of tradition as a child, but I still just love the feeling of that store...

Anonymous said...

I actually just saw Prophecy on the front table at my local B&N yesterday and wished I'd been able to take a picture for you! <3

Charles Gramlich said...

So excellent. I am a fan of all bookstores as well. We do have a nice B & N not far away. I've had a couple of signings there. they are always tres nice.

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