Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Heart Indies!

We've always loved bookstores. The feel, the smell, the rows and rows of books. We smile like a couple of goons every time we walk into one because the possibilities are endless. And then, clutching our paper or plastic bag, filled with final decisions, we're overwhelmed with hope and excitement. The only thing more exciting than the bookstore itself is heading home to tear into all of our new adventures. 

Or something like that.

But there's a special, special place in our hearts for independent bookstores. They're local and unique and entrenched in the community and usually cozy and inviting and have staff members with years under their belt who hand sell books, who care (not to say employees at other bookstores don't care, but you know what we mean). Breezing through the doors of an Indie feels different, magical even. Like you couldn't pass by if you tried. There's just something magnetic about a neighborhood bookstore.

So today's post is devoted to two of our favorite Indies so far. The Learned Owl Bookshop is nestled into a historic building in downtown Hudson, Ohio, which may be one of the cutest towns on earth (Biased? Who? Us?). From the second we walked into their bookshop many moons ago, ARC in tow, nervous about the speech we'd practiced about how to approach booksellers, we were embraced. Calendars were whipped out, a launch party was set and Liz and Mary said they couldn't wait to read the book. And it actually felt like they were telling the truth! Then, not too long after, we received emails about what they enjoyed, why and how they couldn't wait to recommend the book to readers. Doesn't get much better than that. The launch was incredible, the staff beyond welcoming and their support throughout this entire process priceless. They spread the word in the papers on their website and beyond and we can't thank them enough.

And we were overwhelmed all over again a few months later when we stepped foot in Anderson's Bookshop in downtown Naperville, IL that *gasp* rivals Hudson's, it was love at first sight.  Publisher's Weekly named Anderson's bookstore of the year, which was not surprising after stepping through the door and meeting everyone. They rolled out the red carpet for our author panel and put up with all the craziness that happens when you get 10 young adult authors in the same room. And for that, we'll love them forever. 

So today is about thanking independent booksellers across the country for their unwavering support of authors and books. We aren't the only ones overwhelmed by independent awesomeness which is why we've banded together with a bunch of other writers who feel exactly the same way. 

Check out all of the Indie-love and if you have something to add, send us your link and we'll tack it to the list! You can also follow us on Twitter using the tag #iheartindies. Because today is all about spreading the love. In fact, one lucky commenter will win a book of their choice ordered from the Learned Owl and another commenter will win a book of their choice ordered from Anderson's. 'Cause we love you and we love them.

Sarah Frances Hardy
Shana Silver
Elana Johnson
Stasia Kehoe
Shannon Messenger
Carolina Valdez Miller
Mundie Moms
Myra McEntire
Sara Bennett Wealer
Janet Gurtler
Joy Preble
Ty Drago
Kate Walton
Julia Karr
Randy Russell
Adele Griffin
Helen Landalf
Andrea Higgins
Beth Revis
Tess Hilmo
Sheela Chari
Gail Handler
Crystal Allen

Christine Fonseca
Lee Nichols

So, go ahead and tell us about the Indies in your neighborhood. And while you're at it, let's join arms, sway and maybe light a lighter or two. Kumbaya bitches. 

PS: Check out what Randy Russell's got cookin' in his neck of the woods. Because it's cool. Like $2500 in support of schools, libraries and Indies cool.

PPS: Equally amazing is what Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Lit is planning to help all bookstores. Check it out!


salarsenッ said...

That picture of all the books inside the store makes me all warm and fuzzy. Thanks for giving Indies some love. :)

Actin' Up with Books said...

I love learning about independent bookstores. I always try to visit the local indie when I am visiting a new town or city. In my town we have used bookstores but not independent bookstores that sell new books. The closest indie store is Notebooks which is about 30 minutes away.

Not to have a shameless plug, but I have a weekly feature on my blog called Love My Indie where authors, bloggers, and readers share their favorite independent bookstores. In the spirit of sharing the indie love, please stop by!

katebakes said...

Anderson's is my favorite bookstore!!!! *love*

booksNyarn said...

I love indies, and they are so necessary this day and age. Sadly, one of our last indie/used bookstores was going to be closing at the end of the summer - and tragically caught on fire this past weekend. I have to travel a little further to find them, but I will!

Jen Daiker said...

I just stopped by Elana's and then had to follow her here because I wanted to see more Indie bookstores!!!

I wish I would have known the awesome that was happening I would have added my two cents!

Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston is such a qaint little store and a little piece of heaven. The staff or not only sweet but have such an array of knowledge when handling books. Brilliant I tell you! Brilliant!

Christine Fonseca said...

I love the pictures...ahh, bookstores. Are there anything better???

K. M. Walton said...

The Learned Owl may be more quaint than the one Elana J. highlighted. Wow.

Thank you for organizing this!!!

Katie Anderson said...

Great post! And such a wonderful idea. I love our indie here in Oxford.


lake said...

Ours is kings English. Hadn't been there until the signing of a book this month. What a quant little place. We loved it!

superpaige said...

I love the off the path bookstores.

Melody said...

Mmmm, more indie books!! :) I tweeted my favorite: BookPeople in Austin. Just went to a friend's book launch there, and it was great! Plus, they have this ginormous YA wall... *swoon8

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

If I didn't use my local indie store, I'd never see new books. There aren't any chains in my town.

Love this "blogfest."

Marsha Sigman said...

Great, I already posted today but definitely going to send some love out tomorrow. Can I still lock arms and sing Kumbaya Bitches?
'Cause that's like my fav version.

There aren't that many indies near me since the one in my neighborhood went under. It was classic. A little hole in the wall and the guy who owned it lived in the back. He had long white hair and huge sodapop glasses that maginified his eyes to scaretheshit out of you size. He had like five cats and knew where every single book was by name...and the place was not alphabetized.

One time he decided to run an errand while I was in there shopping and made me answer the phone. We'd never spoken more than a few words before. I loved that freaky little guy.

Faith E. Hough said...

I definitely want to visit those stores someday! My very favorite indie just closed this month (restrains sobs), but I haven't found one yet that I don't bear a great affection for!

Riv Re said...

I was thinking long and hard about joinig this mini-blogfest thing, but life kind of gets in the way, and I've decided to stick to my hiatus, anyhow. But it's awesome! (Also because my indie is a little too small and indie for me to feel comfortable blogging about it.)
BUt the giveaway makes it even awesomer. ;) Thanks!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I LOVE our indy bookstores! I live in an ultra-liberal, ultra-cutsie city with a small town heart, and we have the best bookstores, I love them. :) One may be a chain - Village Books - but it does a lot of small community stuff, like poetry open mic night, local authors meetings, and so on. The other one is called Eclipse Books and is a used bookstore. I'm not kidding when I say it is covered, literally covered, with books. Top to bottom, rows and rows of shelves, two floors. And walking down the staircase to the lower room, even the staircase is lined with books. Oh, and as if that's not enough books, there are piles of books all over. It's sloppy, yes, but absolutely amazing. Plus the rule is pretty much 1/2 original price for everything, so it's fairly cheap (4-8 dollars most books).
It feels like a magic bookstore. I'm have convinced it is. :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

By which I meant half convinced, of course. :)

Tracey Neithercott said...

That top bookstore looks adorable! I love how indies make you feel at home.

There's this bookstore my family and I would always go to when we vacationed on Cape Cod. It was a two-store house turned into a bookstore and it was so perfect. I haven't been in a couple years but that always stood out to me as an ideal independent bookstore.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You ladies are just full of awesome! What an awesome thing to promote!! :-)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Such an awesome thing you guys have organized here--thank you so much for letting me be a part!

(Oh, and you don't need to count me for the contest. Better to give it to someone else)

Vivien said...

Mine is Cover to Cover in Vancouver WA. I ordered a signed copy from an author last year. When I called again 6 months later for the next release they remembered me. This is huge seeing as how I'm multiple states away and they've never met me. Love them!

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

ashelynn hetland said...

I live in the middle of nowhere, literally, and the closet bookstore is a hundred miles away and in a different state. Those are chain bookstores, Barnes and Noble and Borders. Siiiigh. Although I am going to find out of Billings has an indie bookstore (SURELY, it does, I just don't know about it.)

I do like what you two planned here. Thanks for the giveaway!

Nahno McLein said...

We just had a huge neighboorhood bookshop fair and it was great to see all the people interested in their books and new releases. It's the best partner for us "independent" writers as well, because the bigger shops charge us too much (unless you have a publisher)
Nahno ∗ McLein

Elana Johnson said...

Fabulous pictures! Indies are great, and so are you for this great idea. :)

Stephsco said...

I attended the Anderson's event w/ the 8 or so other authors. What a treat. The best was seeing the younger girls there with a teetering stack of books to have signed by every author. It warms my heart!

Rebecca Knight said...

I *LOVE* this idea, you guys! :)

I remember this one indie bookstore from when I was a kid. They had this huge, fat orange cat in there that would drool all over me when I picked it up, and I would browse the bookshelves with him.

What a great idea. Now, I'll have to join the fun on my blog!

Jemi Fraser said...

Our last indie bookstore closed about a decade ago. It was wondeful - I still miss it.

GhostFolk.com said...
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GhostFolk.com said...
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GhostFolk.com said...

Two blog posts in one day... this is so much fun, I had to do it twice. Thanks, L&L for a wonderful idea and perfect execution (as usual)!!

mromero said...

I love indie bookstores, my favorite is Wellesley Booksmith which is next to my college. It has great events such as hosting Suzanne Collins and Meg Cabot.

Rebecca Knight said...

Yay, you guys!

I love what you're doing here, and had to participate :).

Here's my post on my local bookstore: http://rebeccaknightbooks.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-love-indies-vintage-books.html

They even have a bookstore kitty. Love it.

Thanks for doing this!

Andrea said...

Thanks for an eye opening post. I live in an area that only has 1 indie. They need all the support they can get.

tfalick said...

Thanks for this post! LOVED IT! and thanks for this chance to win♥ would love to have more indie books! I have nothing but love for all indie authors. and have read some pretty amazing indie books♥

Misha said...

Sadly, we don't have indies in our town. Got taken over by the chain stores. :-(

Christina Farley said...

No indies near me. Boo hoo. But I love bookstores. There's something magical about all those books on the shelves.

throuthehaze said...

Unfortunately I don't have any indies in my city, but there is one a couple cities over that is pretty nice

Alison Miller said...

I love that you are doing this blog fest! Yay for Indies!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I love it so much that I actually know Anderson's!! Now I need to get to The Learned Owl. I wish we had something like that in our area. I have no idea where I'd have a book launch. Probably Chuck E. Cheese.

donnas said...

I had the best indie right down the street from my last apartment. Even if they didnt have it, they would get it right away for you. Still looking for one like that where I live now. Its nice to actually know your bookseller.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

kristina shields said...

Thx for the giveaway! I would have to say Novel Place. I don't have many indie books stores near where I live, but I am glad this one is. The employees are so nice and will help you with anything you need. They are always recommending books that I would never of picked up but ended up loving. They are more personal than a higher brand store, like Borders.


Pokadots1121 said...

Lovely giveaway. I just adore my local indie. I have no idea how I would survive without it.
Woo Indies!!!

Regina said...

This is just a fabulous opportunity to support them. I am in.


Marsha Sigman said...

Ok I posted about mine yesterday and you have to take a look at it. You need to visit, we can make my husband babysit.lol


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