Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't worry. Really! So the Holidays -- and, wow, even the year -- are coming to their final resting places, but we've still got loads going on at Liberty Bay Books!

First things first, we'd like to thank everyone who came to us to do their Holiday shopping rather than the other guy (whether he be online, or in some frighteningly drab box store), and can't tell you how much fun we had giving recommendations and filling those stocking with knickknacks. It was so busy even I had to fill in a little, while home for the Holidays! So again, we'd like to thank everyone who came in as well as those who took advantage of our Cyber Wednesday, what a season it was. And as a side note: Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife, Stephen King's 11/22/63, "The Steve Jobs Book" (aka, Steve Jobs) by Walter Isaacson, The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz, This I Believe by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, and all the books of the excellent Hunger Games series, were just a few of the titles we had a hard time keeping on the shelves this year.

In other news, we've got a ton of great author events coming up!
  • January 8th, at 3 pm: Seattle author Sarah Jio reads from her new novel, The Bungalow -- a romantic mystery which takes place on the island of Bora Bora.
  • January 14th, at 6:30 pm: Scandahoovian specialist, Eric Dregni, reads from and talks about his latest book Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America. (BYOL: Bring Your Own Lutefisk)
  • January 23rd, at 6:30 pm: Join us for a fun evening with local author, Claire Dederer, who will discuss her memoir Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses, which ruminates on parenting, growing up, and, of course, yoga. Great author, great book!
  • January 27th, at 6:30 pm: Local author and longtime crabber, Joe Upton, comes in to talk about his new book Bering Sea Blues: A Crabber's Tale of Fear in the Icy North. If you enjoy the Deadliest Catch or are at all curious about how all those crabs get into those tanks at Central Market, you've got to hear Joe's harrowing stories of life up North
And lastly, for those of you who were the lucky recipients of Sony E-readers, Nooks, or Ipads, (sorry, Amazon's monopolistic business practices only allow Kindles and Fires to read books bought from Amazon!) don't forget that we, too, sell EBooks online, and have got some great December deals on EBooks going!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Amazon Ugh... (and a SALE)

It has come to our notice that a serious discussion about AMAZON.COM's retail practices has been occurring in the media -- most notably by a group of befuddled authors, who have teamed up with Richard Russo in a recent NY Times Op-Ed article. If you have not yet read it, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Written by the great author, Richard Russo, with some help from his friends Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Andre Dubus III, Anita Shreve, Tom Perrotta and Ann Patchett, it outlines Amazon's jarringly devious retail practices and their nonplussed attitudes toward the Mega-Retailer -- despite the fact that a considerable amount of their incomes comes from book sales via Amazon. In a nutshell it says this: this Holiday season, Amazon is encouraging its customers to go into real-life, physical bookstores and use its price-check app, which allows shoppers to (rather invasively) scan items' bar codes to see if they can get a better price on these items online. If customers do this, they earn a 5 percent credit on Amazon purchases, up to $5 per item, on up to three items. And this is terrible.

As a small, local bookstore, we realize that we cannot outfox Amazon where pricing is concerned, but, like these authors, ask at what cost such brash market-monopolization does to us culturally and economically. As Andre Dubus III puts it in the article, we feel that at the very least, it works to “further devalue, as a cultural and human necessity, the book” itself by taking away your local contact to them, not to mention its hemorrhaging of local jobs from local retailers. I think we can all agree that saving a couple of bucks is great, but seeing "For Rent" signs on every downtown window is not. We encourage you to think about the long-term impact such shopping has on already-suffering stores, and what small towns will look like without them. Amazon, clearly, does not care about these stores, the jobs the bring, or the important roles they fill in the communities nationwide, and in fact, has shown again and again that would rather completely wipe them off of the map, using such devious practices as the one outlined above. This is a passionate topic for us and we'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, for or against. Without a doubt, it's a conversation that needs to be had in every community, rural or metropolitan, nationwide.

One last thing: Don't forget about Cyber Wednesdays on the Liberty Bay Books website with 30% of all items (except e-books) on all online orders taken on the Wednesdays before Christmas (December 14 and December 21). Take that Amazon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


With new hardcover books by the likes of Janet Evanovich, Steven King, James Patterson, John Grisham, Sue Grafton, Karen Kingsbury, David Baldacci, and (even!) Michael Crichton out on the shelves right now, you don't have to look too far for that perfect gift for the-impossible-to-buy-for person in your family. And to make it even easier, don't forget CYBER WEDNESDAYS, with 30% off everything bought online every Wednesday up until Christmas.

Unless. Well. Unless you've got one of those nosy, no-good, don't-like-anything, I've-already-got-everything, don't-waste-your-time-on-me, spouses, in-laws, or even kids. It's a troubling demographic, it really is, but here at Liberty Bay Books we think we've got a couple of great ideas for even the most impossible Scrooges.
  • Go for the Classics: Touch nostalgia by buying them a book from their childhood. Get a nice, updated copy of something they've mentioned in conversation a few times over the years. (And check this recent NY Times article about the pleasure and value of rereading old favorites)
  • Coffee-Table Book: Go for something nice to look at, with a corresponding story or article that seems as though it may be interesting enough to read. Even if they don't particularly like it, it'll still look great on that coffee table in front of the tv!
  • Cookbooks: Everyone's got them, but everyone could use another. Give the gift that keeps on giving. And if they don't use it, don't worry! They'll still enjoy the illusion of looking like a cook!
  • Knickknacks, Gizmos, or Gadgets: A talking moustache keychain? Tee shirts emblazoned with the motifs of classic novels? Bendy robot paperweights? Make it cute and make it count with a few of these toys. Fun for all ages, of course.
  • Check out the PNBA Holiday Catalog: You can't go wrong with anything recommended in this annual Holiday fixture.
AND, if these fail: just get them something that you like! Or the first book of the Game of Thrones series!