I don’t know what it measured on the Richter Scale, but I apologize if you thought we were having an earthquake. That was just me, jumping up and down with excitement about the news I’m going to share in this post. I’ll try to not cause any after shocks, but I’m not making any promises, because I am SO excited to share this news with you.
One of my favorite things in the small town I call home, is our local bookstore. Our little town of Blytheville, Arkansas is so fortunate to have had one of our native Blythevillians return home and open this magical store in her home town. Not only has the store fostered reading among our citizens, it has become well known in the literary world. If you have visited my blog for very long, you may recall posts I’ve done about famous authors whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, thanks to the amazing proprietor of this store. When the store first opened in 1976, it opened as “The Book Rack”. When it was learned that the store name was previously taken by a chain of stores, it was logical that it would become “That Bookstore in Blytheville”, because that was the name used for the store when it was discussed by authors and publishers all over the country! An author would say, “I just autographed books at that bookstore in Blytheville”. Publishers would say, “We need to get this author to that bookstore in Blytheville”.
Let me take you inside this wonderland of books and fun.
Before we open the door, I want to show you these tiles on the outside of the store. This is an old building, and when the original tile began deteriorating, Mary Gay, the owner of this store, asked community residents to submit hand-drawn pictures depicting their favorite books. She then had those drawings made into tiles, which now decorate the front of the store. Isn’t she clever?
Follow me inside our charming book store, where I think you will immediately feel right at home.
I’d like to introduce you to our local celebrity, Mary Gay Shipley (as usual, she is busy on the phone). Mary Gay will contact ANY author and/or ANY publisher ANYWHERE, and invite them to our small town for a book signing. I don’t have any idea what kind of magic wand she waves, but this small town has hosted many very famous authors, thanks to Mary Gay.
In addition to browsing the wonderful book selection, you might want to buy a gift to take home to your child or grandchild.
Or, perhaps you want to buy a gift just for you. Go ahead, indulge yourself.
Or maybe you just want to soak in the unique atmosphere.
Be sure you check out all of the interesting vintage memorabilia while you’re here.
Don’t be surprised if you find an author sitting in one of these rockers, autographing books.
If the author is reading from his/her book, you can pull out one of these folding chairs and sit while you enjoy the reading. These chairs are autographed by the various authors who have visited this store. Many famous authors have penned their names on these chairs. Each year, a new chair is brought out for that year’s visiting authors. Perhaps you’ll want to look for the one from last year, which has the autograph of Laura Bush (red arrow on my picture) and Condoleezza Rice (white arrow), who discussed their books and their lives, (not politics), when they visited our town.
If that wasn’t enough to make you want to come visit our little bookstore, I want to share a photo of Mary Gay with another famous author, whose autograph is on several of these chairs. This author is a favorite of mine. Do you recognize her?
Maybe this mosaic of her books will give you a hint.
I’m sure by now, you have realized that it is Michael Lee West, our very own Designs by Gollum author!
I am so excited to tell you that Michael Lee’s latest book, Gone With A Handsomer Man, will be launched from That Bookstore in Blytheville on April 12, 2011! I have been fortunate enough to have already read this book, and I want to tell you that it is wonderful! I love all of Michael Lee’s books, but this is my very favorite of all of them!
If you would like to meet “Gollum” (Michael Lee West) and visit the main attraction in our little town (That Bookstore in Blytheville), I hope you’ll join us on April 12th for this exciting book launch. If you can come for this event, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can email my home address to you, because you are invited to arrive early enough to have dinner in our home with Michael Lee and her husband, who have graciously accepted our invitation. After dinner, we can head to That Bookstore in Blytheville for more fun, book-autographing, and dessert. Get on a plane (you’ll have to fly into Memphis though, unless you have a private plane); or get out your Tom Tom or whatever gadget (or husband) you have, invite your family and friends, and drive, ride your bike, get on your motorcycle (no helmet required in Arkansas, but I don’t advise that), or take a bus (Greyhounds do stop in Blytheville!), or go all out and hire a limo. Just find a way to get here for all of the fun and excitement! You also don’t want to miss seeing me jumpin’ up and down with excitement when you arrive!
Thank you for sharing in my excitement. I wish every one of you could be here on April 12th! I’d love to meet you. laurie