Curiosity and Generosity with Blind Date with a Book

In the past few weeks, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to one of our new programs: Blind Date with a Book. This is one of the ideas we brought back with us from our trip to the American Booksellers Association conference last February, and while we were excited about its possibilities, we didn’t anticipate how popular it would be with all of you. The "Blind Date Books" are flying out of the display, and this match-making couldn't make us happier.

Three Years In

Just over three years ago, in February of 2012, we re-opened BookPeople of Moscow after we had closed it for 7 weeks to remodel, revamp, and restock the store. As brand new owners of a venerable store, we had a lot to learn, and still do. Overall we feel proud of what we've done in three years and are immensely grateful to the community for its support all along the way.

Growing up right

Coming up on Sunday afternoon, Jesica will be meeting with two groups of amazing local kids and teenagers, our advisory boards. They get together once a month to discuss the books they've been reading, which have been supplied to them in "advance reader copy" or uncorrected proof form by our publisher friends before the books are officially published.

New Year, New News

Happy New Year! We're always excited by new beginnings at BookPeople and are enjoying our freshly inventoried store and that post-holiday glow. A grant check from author James Patterson for $6000 also helped get our new year off to a great start.

Winter reflections

In the midst of the holiday busy-ness sometimes it is hard to take a deep breath and truly celebrate the season. But I get glimpses of it every now and then, such as earlier this week while I was driving at dusk towards Lewiston and enjoying the twilight spread across the Palouse. Or early this morning when I was awake before the rest of my family, sitting in a quiet house with a cat on my lap, a cup of tea to warm my hands, and only the lights of the Christmas tree illuminating the darkness. Sometimes the magic moments happen at the store, such as the other day when a woman was trying to remember an old favorite poem and its author, and the man next to her in line recited it completely from memory, eliciting tears all around.

No matter what your persuasion, the darkness this time of year invites a turning inward for reflection. To prepare for the solstice and the new year, I find myself cleaning out old paperwork, burning outdated files and any papers attached to bad memories or people it is time to forgive or forget. Yet the darkness also puts me in the mood for socializing, for gathering friends around and celebrating how lucky we are to know each other and care about each other in this amazing place.

It is in this spirit that I send out my best wishes to all of BookPeople's friends, without whom my life would be so much emptier. Thanks to all of you we enjoy the immense pleasure of the book business, work with the most wonderful people, share in your joys and troubles, and make the Palouse a worthwhile place to live, and of course, read.

PNBA Book Award Committee

One of the greatest privileges I've had as a bookseller so far is serving on the Pacific Northwest Bookseller awards committee. Please see the short list of finalists here. Note that 3 of the finalists visited Moscow for author events at BookPeople just in the last 3 months!

I didn't know what to expect but when the hundreds of nominated books began arriving at my house by the boxful I quickly realized into what I had gotten myself!

Whether self-published or published by a small or big press, each book had to go up against my own criteria: I looked for books that looked beautiful and felt good in my hand. I wanted, whenever possible, for the subject matter or point of view to be uniquely from the Pacific Northwest region. I gave a second look to books that have sold well, or that were extremely well written yet so far overlooked, and to those that called out to me to be read, because, frankly, sadly, it is impossible to completely read every book that is submitted for consideration.

I was tickled when books I had missed were pointed out to me by other committee members, and then turned out to be some of my favorites.

As the list was narrowed to the top 30 and then to the short list of 15, by each of us awarding points to the titles on a spreadsheet, I thought to myself, will I be proud to share this book? Is this author someone I want to encourage? Committee members probably asked themselves different questions - insuring a diverse list.

Choosing the winners feels, I suppose, like choosing which of your friends you love the best. Really, you love them all, for differing reasons, and you need them all in different ways.

Happy reading!