A light schedule in a month dominated by the holidays:
- UCLA’s Hammer Museum: Wed 12/8 7pm, novelist and short story writer Thaisa Frank (her collection A Brief History of Camouflage has been on my list for a while) reads from her new novel Heidegger’s Glasses.
- Book Soup: Tues 12/14 7pm, if you can’t catch her at the Hammer, Thaisa Frank and Heidegger’s Glasses; Wed 12/15 7pm, LA Times Book Critic David Ulin (formerly the Book Editor with the paper, now with a new role) with The Lost Art of Reading.
Some thoughts on holidays shopping…
One of the reasons it’s a slow month is so bookstore owners can concentrate on the six week stretch that provides a huge chunk of their yearly income. As a former owner of an independent bookstore, and now as a writer who knows the role such stores play in introducing emerging voices to the reading public, I encourage you to give them your holiday book-buying business. No, they don’t stock everything that larger or online stores do–but they can get most things within a reasonable amount of time. You just have to make a little effort and plan ahead.
Here in Los Angeles, Skylight Books at 1818 N. Vermont in Los Feliz is hard to beat for service, and for commitment to independent publishing. Check out their very cool online holiday gift catalogue on the website–one of those nifty turn-the-page-on-the-screen deals. And relative newcomer Stories Books & Cafe at 1716 Sunset Blvd in Echo Park has a special place in my heart. They’ve got a mix of new and used stuff–plus, in conjunction with ABE, a selection of off-the-floor offerings (some cool art books especially). Their Facebook page is probably the best way to stay in touch with them. So, stop in, get something at the cafe and hang out. And while you’re in the neighborhood, check out the Echo Park Time Travel Mart next door, which sells oddities in support of the Dave Eggers-sponsored youth tutoring center 826la; the 826la website also sells some cool stuff for the same great cause.
Finally, be sure to check out Indie Bound, the national marketing effort of America’s independent booksellers. Find indie stores in your area, and check out bookseller recommendations. Most participating stores offer gift certificates that friends & family can redeem at their local stores–a great gift option.