I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Independent Bookstores

I've never really been an independent bookstore kind of guy. No real reason, other than because they are usually in out of the way places and tend to have odd hours. But, in theory, I've wanted to support them for some time. My friends and I went to a new independent bookstore on Friday night and we had a great time. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a shelf full of books from local authors. Usually chain stores relegate the "local authors" shelf to the back of the store or to some out of the way place that customers rarely frequent. So, two steps into the store, this business had my attention.

The "suggested reads" shelf was close to the local authors shelf and I enjoyed perusing it -- even bought a book from it called "Blogging Heroes." They had a shelf or two of classic literature and a nice reading area for kids -- built up to look like a palace. And toward the back of the first floor, they have a wine-bar, where they also serve coffee and offer several meal selections. I don't know much about wine, expect that I like it white and sweet. The barista/bartender suggested a certain white wine (no idea what it was called) after I told her about my taste. I bought a glass of it and headed for a table.

The table had a black tablecloth, which is a little more upscale than I'm used to. And the seats were cushy. My friend's and I sat around and discussed books and pretended to fit in while I swirled my wine around in my glass and pretended to know what I was doing. I remember several scenes from the movie Sideways in which Miles, a wine connoisseur, swirls his wine to "let it breathe." I don't know why it needs to breathe, but hey, if it needs to breathe, I'm going to let it.

We finished our drinks, and checked out the second floor. They have meeting rooms that are available to the public for free. The first room we walked by was full of women wearing red hats who were drinking tea. I found out that they are called the Red Hat Society. Here's how they describe themselves on their website:
The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.
From there, we examined more bookshelves on the second level. We checked out the fireplace and the plush chairs they had available for customers. And we couldn't pass up the opportunity to examine the bottles of win they had for sale upstairs either. We had no idea what we were looking at, other than prices (the most expensive was $350 for the bottle -- we steered clear of those), but it was fun anyway.

So, I'm making plans to drop off my books one day in the next week to be displayed on the local author's shelf by the front door, and I'm really thinking that the place would be nice to put into our rounds of bookstores that my friends and I visit most weekends. Now I'm just hoping that it stays open.


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