EXCLUSIVE: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly seen filming ‘Holmes and Watson’ in Soho, London. (Photo credit: Rowan Pictures for Splash News, as seen in the Daily Mail UK)
It isn’t every day our bookstore ends up in the news in the U.K. Well, not really the news, but a news-related photo. And not really the store, but our tote bag, innocently brushing up against fame in its encounter with actor John C. Reilly and his pal, Will Farrell. That woman in the bear hug is no random fan or friend of the actors; she’s a Flying Pig alum – and works for one of them. I’ll back up.
Cat Grant: Supergirl’s boss, self-proclaimed Queen of All Media.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look, through the lens of my own experience, at various social media platforms and how they might be best utilized by children’s booksellers. For the sake of marketing my business, I wish that I could confidently declare myself the queen of all social media (apologies to Cat Grant). But the truth is, I often worry that I’m not making the most of the available opportunities (We’re not on YouTube! We’re not on Snapchat!
) while simultaneously feeling that I spend way too much time trying to keep the bookstore showing up on our followers’ various feeds when I have so many other responsibilities. Continue reading
Is it a TRAP? It recently came to my attention that about 60 Austinites are currently missing. Ominously, my investigations led me to an old Imperial prison moon. Determined to uncover the truth, I infiltrated the base with a well-seasoned crew to learn what I could. While most of the moon remained under the control of the First Order, a motley crew of Resistance fighters, smugglers, and bounty hunters had turned the tables on their captors and were hatching a plan to fight their way out.
I am posting this brief report in the hope that I can write more soon. As you can see, our visit did not go undetected. Once discovered, we promised to spread word of the group’s valiant resistance by sneaking back out the way we got in. As reporters, you know, we have our ways. We’re on the way out now, but with explosions on the horizon, we’re uploading these photos in the hopes that word will get to the Resistance about what we saw…
We generally see the progression of history as a force of nature which is susceptible to nudges. Hegel depicted historical progression as a dialectical process which was tweaked and goaded by world historical elements. Isaac Asimov, in his classic Foundation trilogy, posited that an advanced form of statistics, psychohistory, could accurately predict the future but that once an accurate prediction was made the course of history could then be altered in a limited, surgical manner. In Foundation the outcome of psychohistoric prediction saw a Galactic Empire doomed to crumble, with a 30,000-year period of misery and suffering ensuing before the next Galactic Empire would form. The two foundations were established by Harry Seldon, the creator of psychohistory, to surgically direct the course of things so that the period between empires lasted only 1000 years.
Our summer staff are all in place, and the daily row of extra large frappucino/slurpee/iced coffee cups with straws is on the staff shelf to prove it. Well, actually, they’re running around like eager puppies in a ball pit, but that’s why we bring them back every year. We have a crew of part-time high school and college students who join us during school breaks on a rotating schedule, but when summer arrives, those who aren’t abroad (those lucky kinder) are on staff and on deck, ready to mop up paint after stories and crafts, demonstrate their alphabetizing prowess in the picture books, and reassure middle schoolers to “go ahead and skip Algebra 1 for geometry as a freshman, but get your PE credits in the summer – trust me.”
We at the Flying Pig are a pragmatic crew. We hope to be creative and energetic, but we also know our limits. This translates into a healthy skepticism for new programs; we know they need to be easy to implement, maintain, and close out.
One of the reasons Candlewick’s Where’s Waldo? annual summer contest — in which bookstores engage local retailers in a fun competition that brings customers into all of our stores looking for the hidden Waldo figurine — is that they make it REALLY easy for us, with instructions, all the materials we need, and even some prizes to give away.
When Linda Devlin of Linda’s Story Time bookstore in Monroe, Ct., wrote to the New England Children’s Booksellers Association listserv about her Summer Reading Challenge, I was intrigued. She has fun ideas to make a game out of keeping kids reading great books over the summer, and trying books outside their usual comfort zones. So tonight, I was noodling around with a simple idea for our own summer reading challenge, and here’s what I came up with:
My bookstore, due to a series of events both unfortunate and fortunate, has relocated a few times over the past 12 years. Lately I’ve been struck by how quickly and thoroughly the store and its staff have become knit into the fabric of our current neighborhood. We just moved in about 16 months ago, but already it feels like we’re part of the family.
Spellbound has been in a stand-alone building, a row of downtown storefronts, and even tucked inside an art gallery for a while. Right now, in what I hope will well and truly be its forever home, the bookstore is in a two-story shopping center on one of the city’s main thoroughfares. One of the owners of the building kindly approached me a couple of years ago about moving my bookstore into his building because, he said, he thought that we’d be good for his other tenants and vice versa. After some good and decidedly not-so good landlord experiences, I was impressed and heartened by this building owner who actually cared so much about the success of his tenants.
Like several of my ShelfTalker colleagues this week, my mind is on the transition to the summer season. As I write this on Thursday afternoon, schools across Austin are letting out, marking the last official day of school. And the store is filling up. This week has marked one of the busiest in recent memory, crowded with people looking for summer reads (although today they were mostly flocking to meet YouTube star Ryan Higa). Continue reading
Today we are finishing up new business and returning full circle to something older. We’ll start with new business. Last week I invited ShelfTalker readers to provide a name for the blank page on either side of the title of a new part of a book, the blank pages that are only there when there is a big stopping point and a new beginning in the story.
There were some great ideas put forward. Thanks to everyone who entered. What I have done this week is pick the four best and put them in a survey below for you to select your favorite from. Please take a moment and cast your ballot!