Since the launch of Twenty Boy Summer this past June, I’ve gotten tons of support and encouragement from booksellers here in Buffalo and all across the states. I’ve done readings and signings, I’ve been selected for bookstore book clubs, I’ve walked in off the street to sign copies. But the best part? I’ve met some amazing people who are as passionate about books and stories as the authors who write them.
As we approach the hectic, crazified, whirlwind final days of holiday shopping, I want to show some love and appreciation for my book selling friends by encouraging you — whether you’re still doing some last minute gift buying or you’re looking for some great reads to kick off the new year right — to visit the bookstores in your area, hug the friendly people behind the counter (if the mood strikes and you aren’t the type to illicit an immediate call for a restraining order), and fork over some dough for a few new books. You don’t even have to bring any ideas or advanced research — the booksellers will help you! Go ask for a recommendation! Check out the merchandise! Squeeze in another hug!
Finding the Books
Not sure where to start? Support the locals! Visit IndieBound to look up independent bookstores in your neighborhood. Indies are great for personalized recommendations, books on local lore, eclectic collections, and specialty focuses like a mystery bookshop or a just-for-kids store. Some indies also have membership programs for frequent shoppers and discounts for authors and educators. Be sure to ask!
Check out the Barnes & Noble and Borders sites to locate the big stores in your area, perfect if you need a large selection to inspire gift ideas or you’re looking for a book that wasn’t available at your indie. Many of the larger stores also have cafes, which is a nice place to kick back with a hot chocolate when you need a break from your marathon shopping. These booksellers are also happy to help with recommendations if you need some ideas, and both stores have frequent shopper programs and discounts.
Best Buffalo Area Booksellers:
Jane and the staff at B is For Books in Orchard Park, NY.
B is For Books is a wonderful bookstore in the heart of the village with a focus on books and gifts for kids and teens (they have some adult stuff, too). There’s even a teen reading room if you need to get off your feet and page through the latest YA reads. B is for Books also hosts parties. Way better than the roller rink stuff of my past!
Vivian and the lovely ladies at Borders Express in the Boulevard Mall in Buffalo, NY.
Sadly, this Borders location is closing in January. Until then, stop by to wish the ladies well and snag some amazing deals on books. Prices are already marked down 20-40% and will continue to drop from there until they have to close their doors for the last time. Sales at this location are final, but you can still use your Borders Reward card.
Megan and Dave at Barnes & Noble in the McKinley Mall in Hamburg, NY and Jill at the Transit Road location in Clarence, NY.
With huge selections, friendly staff, and cafes full of sweet treats and hot drinks, you’ll find everything you need here (maybe even a few signed copies of Twenty Boy Summer *wink wink nudge nudge*)! 🙂
Talking Leaves Books, right here in Elmwood Village next to Cafe Aroma (with another location on Main Street in Buffalo).
Great gifts for kids and adults (and free gift wrapping, too)! Be sure to ask about the member program — sign up for a 10% discount.
Fave New York City Shop:
If you happen to be in New York City this season, stop by Books of Wonder. In addition to having a great selection of books for kids and teens and a super knowledgeable staff, B of W hosts tons of author events year-round (remember the Sarahs of YA signing in August? Yep – Books of Wonder!). They’re also attached to a cafe that serves, among other things, yummylicious cupcakes. One step through the door and you’ll see why this place is my fave for booksplurging in Manhattan.
Denver Indie Book Hotspot:
What’s a trip to the Centennial State without a visit to the Tattered Cover? TC has 3 locations (Downtown Denver, Highlands Ranch, and Colfax Avenue), but the downtown store is my favorite. It’s all big and old and made of wood and awesome. There’s a cafe and three floors of bookshelves and event space. If you can think of a book or book-related gift, chances are it’s available at the Tattered Cover. And even if it isn’t, TC is just a cool place to hang out.
Show Some Bookseller Love!
Yeah, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and snag some books, and take heart in knowing that when you give the gift of story, you enrich someone’s life in a way that a Whitman’s Sampler and a pair of slipper socks can’t. Truly.
To my local faves and booksellers everywhere, thank you for working tirelessly this season and all year long to bring the magic of books to the world of readers. Happy holidays, and best wishes for a wonderful 2010!