Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Found One!

Every month we receive 10-20 ARCs (advance reading copies) of books; these are early runs of books and will likely have some spelling, grammar and usage errors; the cover art may not be final. Publishers hope we will read the pre-publication editions and stock the final editions. All booksellers cope with the problem of what to do with them.

We have come up with two ways to share the ARCs that people seem to like. Although we cannot sell them, I do put some out and ask a suggested $2.00 donation/book, which we then give to charity. I also give copies to loyal customers, or to people I know will enjoy a particular title. One of the best parts of my job is matching up people with the right books.

All of that works nicely but, as you can see, theARCs are taking up valuable shelf space in our kitchen, and in other areas of the store. Inspired by a current project led by Pam Aikins at Washington Junior High School, I have decided to "release" some of the ARCs. The Washington kids picked out favorite books, and are leaving them in predetermined spots in hopes that someone will find them and enjoy them as they did. I believe they tracking the travels of each book.

Keep your eyes open for "released" ARCs. You may find them on a park bench, in your grocery cart, under a theatre seat...I plan to release some in a few retail locations as well, with the owners' permission. I would enjoy a shout back if you find one. Each book will have instructions on how to do that. Once you're done with the book, re-release it. Writing your comments in the inside flap would add to the fun!

I woke up at 4:17 this morning when this little guy, or one of his relatives, started partying in my backyard. At first, I thought it was an obnoxious water sensor I have in a large plant in the living room. Ironically, it is a cardinal that starts chirping when the water is low. So, trying not to wake the dog, I snuck around in the dark to water the plant, which was not in crisis as I had assumed. The dog woke up, decided it was time to start her day, gobbled up some food,washed it down with a stiff drink of water, and then needed to rush outside to empty out.
The bird was still celebrating something the last time I looked at the clock at 4:47. When I finally caught up with him at a more reasonable hour, he shot me the annoying look you see here. Birds in the morning, crickets at night, and letting fresh air into the house through widely open window always signal spring to me. My only wish was that this guy had waited another hour before announcing his presence.

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