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Bookseller’s Corner

October 20, 2007 by in category Blogs tagged as with 3 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Bookseller’s Corner

Hey there bibliophiles,

This is the strangest fall, because for the first time in 25 years I haven’t been planning my Autumn Book Sale. Weird, unsettling, a little crazy making and( because I usually use the “extra” money to pay my property taxes) sorta scary. I told someone the other day it was like divorce. I was really glad to lose the cranky customers, fighting about money and property maintenance with the landlord and the day to day sameness of it all.

What I miss are my wonderful customers/friends, the freedom of working for myself, the tingly feeling of got when a really rare book came in and just getting to touch it.

I’m still grieving my loss, I know this is what I had to do do to save my sanity, my health and not having live in a box on the street, but I really miss seeing all those people who loved my books as much as I did. I miss opening boxes all during the week and seeing the new book covers on the racks and calling my author friends to tell them that their books were in and I was had been hand selling them. I miss decorating the store windows for Halloween. Silly, yes, I know, but I JUST REALLY MISS IT!

I got over being married, I’ll get over this. I just don’t know when, but I’ll let you know.

Don’t cry for me Orange County, BUB was supposed to be immortal. I never wanted to leave you but hey *hit happens

Michelle Thorne
www.bearlyusedbooks.com
agreatreadoccrwa@aol.com
1998 RWA Bookseller of the Year

The Bob and I

I want to tell you about OCC’s October speaker, or rather his books. I was first introduced to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike in 1987. A friend of mine who is also a bookseller said he had just read a new author in paperback mysteries and his name was Robert Crais.

I ordered The Monkey’s Raincoat–Yeah, a funny title, but I almost didn’t read it because the main character’s name was Elvis. I don’t know why but that was too cute, but I took Jim’s advice and I am so glad I did. Here was a new voice in mystery fiction and he spoke to me in a way that I understood. I could hear his dialogue in my head. Elvis was young and very cool. He was sexy and funny and he liked women. Well, The Monkey’s Raincoat went on to win all sorts of awards and Robert “The Bob” Crais became a big time famous author and I wait for the drop date of every book he writes.

I have been “stalking” RC in the nicest sort of way since the early nineties and he has never disappointed. When Bobbie took over as Program Director and asked us for a wish list, Robert Crais was first on my list.

THANKS, BOBBIE!

Take my advice and read The Monkey’s Raincoat and all the rest of his books. I have handed his books to hundreds of people over the years and I can honestly say I’ve never had a complaint. I recommend that you read the Elvis/Joe books in order because Elvis and Joe grow as characters and Robert Crais grows as an author and he was great to begin with.

Happy Reading,
Michelle Thorne
OCC/RWA Bookseller
RWA Bookseller of the Year 1998
www.bearlyusedbooks.com

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I HATE BOOKS AND THE CALENDAR!!!
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By Michelle Thorne
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Two weeks a year I am allowed by the Book Gods to hate books.

Last week was the spring portion of our game. We had our semi-annual book sale last Saturday. Yes, I know it was the day before Easter. I had to have the postcards printed twice, because the original ones had the sale on Easter too. How did I miss this?

In 25 years this has never happened, Easter has never fallen on my book sale. I blame global warming. It somehow changed the moon cycle, as I’m now told that Easter depends on the first full moon after something…I really wasn’t listening, but NOBODY SENT ME THE MEMO.

Suffice to say, I didn’t look at the calendar very carefully, I just looked at the numbers of the first full weekend in April. Why, you might ask?

Good question! Well, I’ll tell you, because I was surrounded by books, they were everywhere, they were multiplying at night when I went home. I would shelve them only to find more. They were like dirty dishes, just when you think the kitchen is clean, you find one more glass to wash, don’t you hate that.

I’m allowed to HATE housework all the time. It never gets finished. I’d rather just move to a nice clean house about every three months, but I hate moving too. Now I feel much better, the rant is over.

I don’t hate books anymore, all the unsold over stock just left via the back door to the West Covina Friends of the Library where they will be on sale again this weekend, the store is neat and pretty much in alpha order and just the way I like it, and my week of book hating is over.

I’m reading a really great ARC by Susan Kearney called Kiss Me Deadly, that’s one of the perks of being a Bookseller and loving it 50 weeks of the year. Am I one lucky girl or what?

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Always,

Michelle

Michelle Thorne is the owner of Bearly Used Books…123, Home of A Great Read and OCC’s Media Director. For all your reading needs contact Michelle at:

Bearly Used Books…123
Home of A Great Read
123 So. First Street
La Puente, CA 91744
(626) 968-3700

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Book Groups

By Michelle Thorne

What a Book Group can do for you.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted anything, but this was one of my things to do in the New Year. I really don’t like resolutions because they are sorta like rules and I immediately want to break them, so I just make a list as suggestions. As I recall, I talked about my book group last time and suggested that you should belong to one or start one. I think I said that if you are serious about writing, you should be serious about reading, and reading widely. So put this on your to do list.

1. Join or start a book group.

2. Read.

Now here’s what a reading group can do for you. A friend of mine, who is an editor, said that sometime as little as 10 books in a series romance line is all that separates the #1 book in a month from the book that was in last place. 10 Books. Amazing. My book group has 11 members. You do the math. You should reach out and “touch “ book groups all over the country. You could virtually “visit” a meeting with just a speakerphone at the book group. In your jammies. Jayne Ann Krentz did one with us a few years ago and although my girls froze when actually confronted with one of their all time favorite, Jayne and I had a very nice chat about her books, I can talk about books for literally hours if need be.

I recommend that you ask you publisher to put some book group questions in the back of your book as a jumping off point, a mapquest for your book. Go to a bookstore and look in the back of books in the Chick Lit section or, and I really hate to say this, but to give the girl her props, any Oprah books, although I would never recommend you read them. They have some great questions that you can “borrow” and tailor to your book. If your publisher doesn’t want to put in ??? in the back of the book, simply put in your author notes “Visit my website for book group discussions questions. Easy.

But the most important thing I can tell you today is take some time for yourself and READ. I’m pretty sure that’s why you wanted to become a writer. You enjoy the written word. You like a great story. I give you permission to stop writing for an hour and read. After all, I am the BOOK GODDESS, if only in my own tiny little brain.

Happy Reading,

Michelle

P.S. What would YOU like to know about book selling?
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Michelle Thorne is the owner of Bearly Used Books…123, Home of A Great Read and OCC’s Media Director. For all your reading needs contact Michelle at:

Bearly Used Books…123
Home of A Great Read
123 So. First Street
La Puente, CA 91744
(626) 968-3700

2 Comments

  • Anonymous
    on March 14, 2007

    She is telling the truth about wanting to “move” into your shop!

    Great advice…even for a non-writer like me. I am fortunate to have my best friend captive 3 hours a day in the office. We discuss favorite books we are reading. We trade.

    I just finished “Because She Can” by Bridie Clark and she just gave me “Birthright”…Nora Roberts.

    Wonderful post!

    ~Sandy

  • Anonymous
    on March 14, 2007

    Okay, it’s official I want to join your book club!

    Which shouldn’t be too hard seeing as how I want to move in to your shop.

    🙂 d

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