Tim Jollymore's Blog
October 20, 2014
Listener may be a Minnesota story but despite recent political divergence of the two states, Wisconsin in winter could easily be the setting for Tatty Langille’s adventure north. So, a foray into Wisconsin seemed logical and Hudson is right there, just a river away.
Chapter 2 Books in Hudson, Wisconsin proved to be a great venue for us. Brian challenged us. I hope we measured up, if not in style, then in enthusiasm and sisu (don’t know that Finnish word? Read Listener).
It was a beautiful summer day in September. Perhaps that was what drew me to “put out the word” around town by popping into stores asking, “Have you seen the author?” or “Raise your hand if you’re the author.” It worked too. Two readers, both from the shop upstairs, wanted Listener.
But Brian had done his work already. A trio of readers including two members of a reading group in town came to the reading and took away the enthusiasm for the book. Haven’t heard since, but that is nothing new. When was the last time you mailed an author to tell him how much you loved his book?
Well, at least, keep authors and BOOKSTORES in your prayers if not your cards and letters. Incidentally, sales at Indie Bookstores are UP, not down as the electron-people have predicted, and someone whose business starts with “A” is rumored to be opening a ‘brick and mortar’ store soon – its first one.
Chapter 2 Books in Hudson has a jump on “A”. Come on down to visit.
September 29, 2014
JAHN-JOHN, LARA, An Open Book, MICHELLE, KRISTEN, GILLETTE, JENNY, MICHAEL, MOM, GEORGE, DIANE, JANET, ED, DAVID, Cherry Street Books, KATHLEEN, BRUCE, WILLIAM, MARTY, VIOLET’s MOM, DOC, CHRISTINE, MARGIE, KATE, JEFF, KAREN, The Town of Berta, Book World-Detroit Lakes, JIM,VICKI, CARLA, NANCY, ANGELA, the Laker Marching Band & Homecoming Royalty, BETTY, PAUL, Winona Radio, CRYSTAL, SHELLY, Paperbacks & Pieces, LIZ, ROBERT, BARBARA, Bookworld-Albert Lea, SHARON, NICOLE, COUPLES MARRIED IN
Snowstorm of the Century (Halloween 1991), MATT, MICHELLE, RAMON, MARILYN, ROL, DALE, KURT, MARK, BRENNA, GG, ANDREA, TED, LINDA, PAT, LEANN, GLORIA, MATT, MOLLY and a hundred others who bought LISTENER IN THE SNOW, and the many librarians, announcers, news men and women, relatives, old friends, and new friends that helped along the way.
Good-bye, ciao, farewell, moi moi, naadan, au voir, vaya con dios. I carry you away with me and leave a little of me behind.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Erin greeted me and set the day in motion with her picks (top shelf by the register). She is an eclectic reader and a writer too. With her, it’s all about –
For the record, I was kept too busy to take many pictures. I drove through darkening skies and rain to a Cloquet wedding. Poor me, but lucky readers who will brave the snowstorm of the century in an arm chair.
Thanks readers, manager Stephen, Erin and the good folks in Bemidji.
I’ve been thinking of Beagle Books in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and of Jennifer and Sally, sister booksellers (Jennifer is a bookbinder as well), but in the rush over river and dale I LEFT MY POST BEHIND. And Beagle was not only successful – certainly the very best of the INDIEs – but a fun place to be.
Never mind that I did a 20 hour circle tour from the Cities and back. I AM SORRY. Here’s the scoop:
Park Rapids is vibrant. Beagle books is part and parcel of that bright spot. Half a block off the main street where residents insist on parking in the MIDDLE OF THE STREET, the foot traffic has to be intentional, and it was busy. Maybe the lattes next door (the best of my trip, and maybe better than California’s best) might be another reason. But Jennifer’s deep book knowledge and honest smile could be another. (There is a piano in the back room too!). The readers proved feisty and adventurous. Jennifer’s non-beagle pup stayed calm until I went behind the counter for my bag. Good dog!
September 28, 2014
The staff too (sorry Nicole no photo) and management were on staff to welcome me with CANDY. “But I’ve brought my own,” I told them. No matter: Kit Kats galore mixed with my own Hershey’s Halloween fare.
Sharon managed the event and reeled in those she knew were readers. What amazed me was the variety of people who would “give the book a try:” a candidate for political office (and a nationally know dog-reading teacher / yes she taught her dog to read commands), two juniors from different high schools and already veteran readers, Ramon my dad friend who sent his oldest off to college and will send her LISTENER too, a long time reader who bought the money back guarantee , a kayak buying traveling-therapist and a hospice worker whose wife came in later looking for a book by Hyykinen (mystery writer). All have their stories, and some were very cute.
This one came for the candy!
I’m leaving Minnesota with just a few LISTENER’S left behind. Should you need one right away check Fitger’s, B & N at Miller Hill, The Valley Bookseller, Cherry Street Books, Subtext, Paperbacks and Pieces, or Beagle Books. These and other stores on the list will stock more in the near future. Remember: Listener makes a fine gift and great January reading! Ask your INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER.
September 27, 2014
Crystal prevailed at the store with welcomes, water and wifi help. She’s a face-booker (did you know pages can’t be friends?) She is a delight.
Shelly kept me apprised of industry opportunities and shepherded customers my way . We moved books (out the door) and nearly cleared the display.
Thank you for a great afternoon, Paperbacks and Pieces! Go purple.
September 26, 2014
The high school band and homecoming royalty played the high note on Washington Street in front of Book World.
Angela treated me with a front row seat outside the store and we quickly swept every copy of LISTENER IN THE SNOW off the table into shopping bags and pocket books.
Angela knows books!
Now that is fan loyalty!
Vicki Gerdes’ article
The Detroit Lakes Tribune carried a half page article which pictures of the author and book, so we’ll restock asap to fill the coming demand.
Books always attract writers: sometimes they buy two copies!
Thanks for the hospitality and cool gifts, Angela. You know how to treat an author. After spending yesterday indoors when the weather was splendid, I relished sitting in the sun for a while.
I’ll leave it to you do decide the question. But a vision appeared to me between Wadena and Alexandria yesterday. Here is a story in photos. You can add your own text in the comment section. Welcome to BERTHA.
A major mover in that direction is in Alexandria, Minnesota: Cherry Street Books, LLC guided by Kathleen Pohlig and family (I met her husband who spoke about Listener and other things too at yesterday’s Kiwanis meeting, and her daughter, in person. Kathleen came directly from an excursion with her mother and at least three grand children were mentioned). Yes FAMILY.
And what a wonderful bookstore they operate. Gauging it by size of the city it would be a full square block were it in Minneapolis. It is not. Cherry Street Books beckons from the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue in downtown Alex (Alexandria). It is bright, comfortable, cozy-with-books, and draws readers-readers-readers. Make it a destination.
For my part, I touted the snowstorm of the century to each local reader who happened by and then was snowed under by the flakes of the classes of ’66 and ’67. Off we went into a journey that wound from present to past and back again – we gassed for SIX hours. As if in compensation for taking half an hour of “author” time at the store, my unexpected friends nearly cleaned the shelves of LISTENERs before we left late for lunch.
Jeff explains his point.
Margie and Karen “listen”
Now, that was sweet.
September 24, 2014
The trains run frequently here, fast, long and cut the town in two. A tornado did the same more than five years ago. It took the high school with it as it left town. Wadena survives on the verve and vitality of its people.
I didn’t read here. I didn’t sell books here, but per capita more readers finished LISTENER IN THE SNOW than in any town I’ve visited.
We lunched-most of us-and talked about the book, and about George’s adventures in Alaska, and about teaching and social work and about Duluth.
Clockwise from left: Diane, Janet, Jenny, Gillette, Mom, Michael, Tim and George
At the end of the day, Gillette Kempf, the owner of An Open Book, SOLD OUT! Gillette is an open book herself, and if she has her way, you’ll have to buy a chair at the table for the next author event. Look for her Christmas display featuring a book you know.
After the “author luncheon” and a rest, I ate at the Uptown, ogled furniture and went to IF I STAY at the city’s theater.
I’m staying, but only another day.