I love a good bookstore. (I know, big surprise, right?) I will wander the three big chain stores in my area. I'll use gift cards, take advantage of sales, use my membership to get extra deals. I'll roam their aisles, sipping iced coffee, imagining my book (books!) on those shelves one day.
But when I'm looking not only to buy books but also for someone to talk to about books, to hear what's coming out, to learn what authors will be stopping by in the next few months, I go to Circle Books. It's a small space with big book energy. The co-owners, Deb and Eric, and their staff know their books and their customers. Eric points my husband in the direction of a good thriller, and I've lost count of how many books Deb has recommended to me that I have loved. Circle Books was where Kim put Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner in my hand way before anyone was even talking about it. It's where I've met authors such as James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and Blaize Clement.
It's not only the big name authors Circle Books presents; they also champion the lesser-known local writers. When one of my stories was included in an anthology, Deb ordered a handful of copies and made me sign them before they went up on the shelf. (I guess you could say my first "book signing" was at Circle Books.) So, while I still imagine my books on the shelves of those chain stores, I know my work is already up in a place where the people - customers, staff and owners - love books as much as I do.
Anyone else have a favorite independent bookstore?