Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving is over.  Today is Black Friday.  It is 7:30 a.m. and I am still in my pajamas drinking a cup of hot tea, a glass of orange juice, taking cold medicine, contemplating a shower and planning my next few days.  We were scheduled to have a reading and book signing featuring Dillon author Joe Drivdahl. Joe now lives in Glendive but was headed to Dillon to spend Thanksgiving with his family.  Due to the severe weather conditions and road closures we have had to postpone this event.  The books are available here and we can send them to Joe to be autographed.  Just let me know how you want the book signed and we will take care of it for you.
Today we will begin decorating the Bookstore for the upcoming holiday season, pulling out the Christmas music and tucking away the fall decorations.  Peppermint hot chocolate and marshmallows will be a popular beverage (peppermint sticks for the younger set and peppermint schnaaps for those of us that prefer that extra zip in our cocoa) and as always there will be a pot of tea.  We will lovingly put out copies of "The Night Before Christmas," "The Polar Express," " How The Grinch Stole Christmas," and other holiday favorites.

As I watch the news and see the frenzied shoppers waiting in line at 1:00 a.m. or 3:30 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. or some other un-Godly hour I shake my head.  Well folks you don't have to be at The Bookstore at an early hour.  We will open at 9:00 a.m. like we always do.  We will offer you friendly service with a smile.  We will go that extra mile to help you find the perfect book for everyone on your shopping list.  We will wrap your purchase (at no extra cost), we offer a mailing service (you pay the shipping, we take it to the Post Office, Fed Ex or the UPS pick up center) we can have your books shipped directly from one of our warehouses to just about anywhere in the world and for a nominal fee you can also have it wrapped and a card will be enclosed.  We don't have fancy plastic gift cards, we have a paper gift certificate that fits into an envelope or card.  We hand write it (and we would even write in colored ink and add a bow if you wanted it to look festive)  We accept credit cards (just like those stores online or down the road)  We also happily take checks and cash, and we have an easy lay-away plan. 
We are a hometown business that knows we are here because of you our customers.  We may not offer deep discounts but we do offer you the best selection, the best customer service and a lot of fun.  We can usually order a title for you if we don't have it, we can make suggestions based on what we read.  Most likely we will know the person you are shopping for and we will have a good idea what they like to read (and sometimes we already know if they have the book you want to share with them)  Our store doesn't look like any other Bookstore out there.  We are unique, we are independent and we are individuals and that is what sets us apart from the chains and according to more than one customer we are AWESOME.

Today is Black Friday, it is the day after Thanksgiving, it is a day for turkey sandwiches and leftovers.  It is a day that kicks off the holiday shopping season.  Tomorrow is Shop Small Saturday.  I appreciate that American Express recognizes the Small Businesses and what we do.  Monday is Cyber Monday.....................before placing that order online call us.  We can take your order over the phone, we can process your credit card (safely), we can wrap your purchases, we can deliver them locally, we can ship them and you can do it all on the phone if that is more convenient for you. 

We have calendars for 2011, Christmas cards, Solstice Cards, Hanukka cards and books, booklights, bookmarks, book plates, gift books, kid kits, art kits, journals, sketch books, books for kids, books for adults, picture books, coffee table books, chapter books:  We have books galore and so much more!!!

Event Schedule:  (check back often as we add events)
November 28th: Sunday hours begin 12:00-5:00
December 3rd: Bookstore open until 8:00
5:00-7:00 Author Signing Featuring Dee & Don Laubach
Dee is the author of Jimmy Jack the Little Christmas Elf
Don is the author of Deer Talk, Elk Talk and Elk Tactics
December 3rd: Christmas Stroll - Santa arrives in town
December 4th: Experience the Magic Button drawing @ The Courthouse
December 5th: Bookstore open 12:00-5:00
December 10th: Bookstore open until 8:00
Parade of Lights
December 11th: Experience the Magic Button drawing @ The Courthouse
December 12th: Bookstore open 12:00-5:00
December 17th: 1:00-3:00 Author Signing Featuring Stan Lynde
December 18th: Winter Festival --Street Fair and Family fun for everyone
Dillon Dunk Polar Plunge
Experience the Magic drawing on Idaho Street
December 19th: Bookstore open 12:00-5:00
December 20th-23rd: Bookstore open 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
December 24th: Bookstore open 9:00-???
December 25th: Merry Christmas -- Bookstore closed
December 26th: Bookstore Closed

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Idaho author to visit Dillon

Genie Monte-Pelizzari a licensed massage practitioner and Reiki Master with over thirteen years of practical experience will be in Dillon November 20th.  She is certified in Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, Somat Emotional Release and Movement Therapy. Genie is an experienced instructor and curriculum developer for professional licensing programs in massage therapy.

She is the author of the book "A Balanced Life with Source Connection Therapy". Genie discovered balance through a close connection with the Source in her life, God. Following personal revelation and guidance from her Source, she developed a therapy through which others can achieve the same sense of well-being.

The term Source has different meanings for different people. To Genie, it’s a connection with God. For others, Source may be anything in life that provides focus, direction and comfort. Source Connection Therapy is based on the fact that unhealthy patterns can be unlearned and each of us has the ability to adopt new, positive ways of living and relating to ourselves.
Today, Genie is well known as the developer and teacher of Source Connection Therapy, a technique perfected over time and proven through work with hundreds of clients. Motivated by a strong desire to help others attain wellness, balance and harmony in their lives she teaches people to identify the Source in their own lives and then connect with that Source for effective personal growth.
"A Balanced Life with Source Connection Therapy" is Genie’s gift to others; a carefully thought out and meticulously presented book showing each of us how to find the personal Source, and then attain full potential by using the connection techniques presented in the book.
Genie will give a presentation, demonstration and reading from her book on Saturday November 20th from 1:00-3:00 pm at The Bookstore in Dillon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thanksgiving and other Thoughts

This time of year things get pretty crazy around here.  As I prepare for our busiest season I wander around the store scratching my head trying to remember where I shelved the extra inventory last year.  Cursing myself for not taking pictures of finished displays as a reminder that all of these books do eventually find a shelf. That we really can rearrange, decorate, add tables and stands to our already overcrowed floor space and still have it look inviting.  I love this time of year, I love the chaos, I love helping people find the perfect book to give to a friend or family member.  I love the glitter and shiny decorations.  I love the excitment and anticipation and I love that this all means that winter is headed our way.
What I don't like is that somehow Thanksgiving gets lost in all the hype.  I have to balance the fact that I am in retail sales with the reality that I don't like all the commercialism that happens this time of year.  I am always in awe when a customer will ask me to wrap a christmas gift for them in July.  I have to wonder are they really that organized, will they actually remember that they bought this gift in December and further more will they remember where it is hid?  I am equally fascinated by people that purchase their calendars for the upcoming year 6-months before January.  The same list of questions run through my mind.

For me Thanksgiving is a day to breathe.  It is a day to reflect on all that is good and to remember not only what we are thankful for but also why we are thankful.  I have a lot of blessings in this life.  I really love my job, I have an awesome husband and family.  I have great friends and good health.  This year my family is celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 20th.  My nephew, Wally, is home from the Navy and then he will be stationed in New Hampshire.  He won't be home for the holidays this year so we are doing what the government has done many times:  changing the date of a holiday to fit our needs.

For me this date change is perfect.  It has been at least 20 years since I have been to Augusta for Thanksgiving.  That commercial hype I mentioned before has kept me in Dillon.  The store is closed Thanksgiving day but the day after (Black Friday) has me at work going nonstop until we close the store on Christmas Eve.  Travelling for Thanksgiving just never happened.  I love Bill's family and always enjoy time spent with them but that being said I am really excited to spending this holiday up north.

I am looking forward to time spent with family and friends and to a few days off before the whirlwind of activities begin.  We have the festival of trees, 7 book signings, the Christmas stroll, the Parade of Lights, holiday open houses, Christmas parties, storytimes, the Winter Festival, a polar plunge and somewhere in there we should put up some decorations at home.  I love this time of year and equally love when it is over.

But for now I am thinking about Thanksgiving.  I am thinking about taking a moment of quiet and reflection.  I am hoping that the grizzly bear has bedded down for the winter or left the area so that I can walk in the field with my Dad.  I am thinking about playing scrabble and drinking tea and showing my Mom how to put her photos on facebook.  I am thinking about being in Augusta and how I always get re-energized when I am there.  I am thinking about my nieces and nephews and how they make me laugh and give me hope for the future and of course I am thinking about my Dad's prime rib and my Mom's stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Books of the Week

"The Art of Racing in the Rain"  by Garth Stein.

This novel is wonderful. I find myself recommending it to customers all the time.  It is unique, original and thought provoking.   This book speaks to the animal lover in all of us.  The dog (Enzo) narrates the story and talks directly to us.  He observes the people in his life and understands them better than they understand themselves.   He watches TV and is a fan of car races.  He knows things, understands things and loves more deeply than any human.  I have customers tell me how much they liked this book.  It is impossible not to love Enzo and  his humans.

"The Casebook of Sheriff Pete Benson"  by John S. Fitzpatrick

Meet Sheriff Pete Benson a former big city policy detective.  He loved his job it was intense, dangerous and 24/7.  But he had a wife and two kids, he made a choice.  Now he is the sheriff in Rhyolite County, Montana.  Rodgersburg, the county seat is his beat now and it is where he and his family live.  The people (for the most part) are good, honest, friendly and at times a bit quirky.  He knows most everyone and they know him, he gets the daily gossip from the regulars at the Apex bar.  Of course even in paradise trouble sometimes come calling.  Fortunately, Sheriff Pete Benson is on the job. 
John S. Fitzpatrick is also the author of the novel, "Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles."

"Ranger's Apprentice:  Halt's Peril"  by John Flanagan

The author of the terrific series "Ranger's Apprentice" lives in Austraila.  He began writing an epic fantasy for his son, Michael, in order to encourage him to read.  That story eventually became "The Ruins of Gorlan," book 1 of the Ranger's Apprentice books.  "Halt's Peril" is book 9 the the New York Times bestselling series.  This story continues this action packed fantasy series.  It is fast paced and leaves us wanting more.  I love these books and they are one of my favorite young adult reads.

"Towers of Midnight" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

"Towers of Midnight" is book 13 in the Wheel of Time series and to quote a customer "Brandon Sanderson is as good an author as Robert Jordan."  Bear in mind this customer wasn't sure he wanted to read the last books of this series after the death of Robert Jordan.  He was skeptical that anyone would be able to do this saga justice.  But Brandon Sanderson has done just that.  This is the next to last novel in this epic series.  The subplot is reaching some conclusions and we are reunited with characters that have been separated by time, space and several books.  There is also the reintroduction of the minions of the Dark One.  "Towers of Midnight" is a great segway to the rest of this series.

"The Confession" by John Grisham

"For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside"  Such is the case in John Grisham's newest legal thriller "The Confession."  Donte Drumm was a highschool football star when he was accused of abducting, raping and strangling a popular cheerleader.  One lawyer believes in Donte's innocence and another man knows he is innocent of the crime.  Donte is on death row, days away from his execution, hoping for a miracle.  The true killer is suffering from a brain tumor and is maybe looking for some redemption.  In true Grisham fashion this story has you hoping for a miracle, cheering for the underdog and forcing you to face the reality on injustice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Anniversaries, Hunting Camp and Fancy Nancy

Party dresses, tuxedos, cupcakes, tea, cookies, wedding anniversary, hunting camp, elk, roses and a magic show.  You might wonder if  these things have anything in common.  Well they all happened on the 23rd day of October 2010 right here at The Bookstore.

Bill and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday.  It happened to be opening day of hunting season.  He left for hunting camp on Thursday leaving behind a note and a card specifically telling me not to open nor read before Saturday. (I was good and  followed those instructions)  The card was beautiful and the words
he wrote even more beautiful.  A dozen roses were delivered to me that morning.   He bagged his elk opening day and slipped back into town to wish me a happy anniversary in person and then just as quickly went back to camp.

We hosted a Fancy Nancy Tea Party and Magic show the same day.  I had no idea what to expect.  I advertised in the local paper and I dropped off 180 invitations to the party at the elementary school.  I also failed to include an RSVP on either the ad or the invitation. 

We were thrilled when guests started to arrive.  Beautiful, twirly party dresses, one Tuxedo, fancy hats, shiny jewelry and big smiles.  Not sure who had the biggest smiles, those of us hosting this soiree or the guests.  I started out keeping track of the attendees.  The first two that arrived were greeted by my fairy princesses and me.  They were taken to the face painting table, shown where stories would be read and where the magic show would happen.  They were escorted to the tea party room, served tea and a cupcake.  I dutifully marked two on my sheet of paper, went into the kitchen to check on something.  I stepped back into the Bookstore and was stunned to see 30 people milling about being cared for by my staff.  According to my records we had 2 people at the party because I never did get back to my record keeping.  My sister, Cindy, was in charge of tea and cookies and she estimates that we had at least 70 children plus their guests (parents, grandparents, aunts.....)

We had necklaces, rings, feather boas, red shoes and of course tiaras to share.  It was an amazing day.  Luke's magic act was outstanding and we were all amazed at the tricks he pulled out of his hat.  The facepainters placed wonderful works of art on the faces, wrists and ankles of the tea party people.  We had parents reading to kids and kids reading to kids.

It was a fabulous day.  Filled with books galore and so much more.