Saturday, May 04, 2013

Bookhunting season 2013

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of bookhunting, signings and getting ready for spring open house at the bookshop.

I traveled to the Chatham County Library for the first time in a year. This time I hit their bag-sale day and brought back four bags of books — a wide variety, from an unusual vintage photograph of the USS Barker to true crime to English castles. Then I headed south by memory and map, enjoying the beautiful spring day with trees and azaleas blooming. I fumbled around Fayetteville (who knew it was a big city?) looking for the Barnes & Noble, where a friend met me for lunch. After food and catching up we wandered around the bookstore, but I didn't find what I was looking for, especially since I wasn't sure what it was.

The next weekend local author Carolyn Nelson signed books at the shop. Worried about sharing my sore throat, I hid behind the counter most of the day. Fortunately, Carolyn had visitors and friends to keep her company.

I recuperated in time for the annual St. Francis book sale, one of my favourites . Since it was the first day of the sale, I focused on the old and rare book room (one of my earliest posts) and only bought a small box full of books, including H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) and Winslow Homer (black Americana from the Civil War and Reconstruction).

I'd planned to go back Saturday for bag-sale day, to stock the shop with "beach reads" from their wealth of trade paperbacks. Friday night, however, the phone rang. It was the Quaker network — which is a wonderful thing. Jamestown Friends Meeting was having a yard sale early the next morning. Now, I'm not a fan of yard sales, and I'm not a fan of early. But a mutual friend was downsizing, and she might have donated her books to the sale.

So the next morning, bright and early (more early than bright!), I switched destinations from Greensboro to Jamestown (both cities named for Quakers, by the way). I found books and more books, got hugs, bought coffee, and was southern sweet-talked into a freshly baked pecan tart. It turned out to be a most pleasant trip.

This week, after final preparations for the spring sale and open house at the bookshop, I drove down to Asheboro to ask Jeffery Deaver to sign a few books. He spoke about his writing life at the Friends of the Library annual meeting.

He started writing at age 11, but went on to other careers, including law. He began writing during his long daily commute, but threw his first two books away!

Stories like that inspire me to keep writing. Have you heard stories from published authors that keep you going?

I met Jeffery Deaver at Writers' Police Academy 2010, when he'd just started the new James Bond novel, Carte Blanche. Now that it's out, I wanted him to sign my copy. He also signed a couple of his previous works for the bookshop.

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