I have been a loyal Amazon customer. If I am going to buy a book, new chances are Amazon will either be shipping it to me or sending it to my Kindle. I am also a member of the Goodreads community. My primary reason for being a member is simple: Their online listing of books I’ve read or want to read via shelves I can create for myself is far superior to my former methodology of keeping a list on a word document. Since I like both companies I shouldn’t feel at all threatened by the recent buyout, right? Wrong. Continue reading
When I was growing up, my dad always gave me books for my birthday. Children’s books when I was little, and more literary fare when I was a teenager – books he’d read himself and loved. He worked in Manhattan and bought books home from the Barnes & Noble there. I still remember what the bags looked like (brown and white), and how excited I was knowing that inside them I would find books for me. Once or twice I actually got to go pick out my own books, in that New York City store that seemed huge. It was the seventies, before the era of the big box book retailers, so our options closer to home were limited to mall bookstores and one or two small independents. Continue reading
And, it’s Cyber Monday! I tend to do my holiday shopping all throughout the year, so I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper, but sometimes Cyber Monday sucks me in. I do spend a lot of time on the computer after all….
I like my Kindle and I’m not looking to replace it. However, I know my brother wants one, and the Paperwhite is already backordered to December 21, so it looks like I’m not the only one on the hunt. And if you’ve been looking for a Kindle Fire, they’re just a little bit cheaper today.
I must have been living under a rock. Until the advent of agency pricing, I didn’t realize the contentiousness and longevity of the thirty years’ book wars. Oh, I do remember talking with one of my favorite book sellers – a retired teacher that opened a book store in Memphis. She shared that she was having a difficult time competing with Waldenbooks. And I remember her talking in dismay about the proposed purchase of Ingram Book Group Inc. by Barnes and Noble. And sure I watched the 1998 comedy, “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks’s Fox & Sons Books putting out of business Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner. However I moved away to a smaller town, and became cocooned against the bookstore closings. Then in the spring of 2010, agency pricing got my attention in a big way. Since then I’ve tried to keep up with the current changes.
Once upon a time, in an economy much better than the one we have today, going out of business sales were a gleeful event for me. I would cheerfully scavenge through the picked over aisles looking for hidden treasures and incredible “steals”. I do my Christmas shopping all year long, so many of my finds were put carefully away to be lovingly wrapped in December. Oh, how thrilled I was to be able to provide gorgeous gifts at a discounted price. Of course this was back in the days when it seemed that most going out of business sales meant either the shop had been mismanaged or the owners were retiring. Most of the ones I shopped were due to the latter reason and so there was joy all around. They were happy to unload the unwanted merchandise, I was happy to snap it up at bargain price.
This past month I attended a booksigning for William Kent Krueger, who was promoting his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Northwest Angle. I haven’t read the series, and still am not sure if they will suit me. But I love listening to authors speak, so jumped at the chance to attend.
There was a large audience, and many had attended previous signings by the author. As soon as the event began I knew why there were so many repeat attenders; he is one of the most engaging writers I’ve encountered. The time went by quickly as Mr. Krueger entertained us with stories about his writing process, his decisions about his characters, and future directions his writing might take.
Mr. Krueger commented that authors writing a series can either write a character that remains static over the series, or they can write a character that changes and ages over time. Mr. Krueger made the decision early on to have Cork O’Connor and his family age and change throughout the series. He noted that this has allowed him to bring some of his own experiences at different points in his life into the series.
Mr. Krueger writes every day in a local Minnesota coffee house. He said that he tried to write in his home office, but found it was both too quiet and too distracting. Until fairly recently he wrote in longhand, but has switched to a laptop. Cork O’Connor is part Irish and part Anishianaabe. Mr. Krueger did extensive research into the Anishianaabe culture before writing the first book in the series, Iron Lake, and continues to do research, and actually have most of his books vetted by Anishianaabe acquaintances. In the end, I ended up buying one of his books; he was just that entertaining.