Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Twist of Fate?

Something fascinating happened to me this weekend.  You may recall that I am working on my novel this month with the help of NaNoWriMo.  With the NaNoWriMo dashboard, you can select your region and keep in contact with other writers in your area through a forum and emails.  I originally became a part of one region and then discovered that there was another region closer to where I live.  I found out that this other region met once a week at a place called Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Mesa, Arizona.  It wasn't particularly close to where I live, but I thought I could suffer through the drive maybe once sometime during the month.

Since my husband works out that way, he was familiar with the store and said it was a good place and I should experience it.  We spent a deal of time debating over when to go since we had appointments and other plans, and ended up going on Saturday morning.  The store recycles all kinds of media, including books, CDs, DVDs, records, games, even craft projects and old sewing patterns.  It's as large and well organized as any of the big booksellers, only Bookmans is doing our community a service by keeping unwanted stuff out of landfills and finding new homes for it.

I can't tell you how guilty I felt having to take boxes upon boxes of books to the dump when we moved.  We started offering to give the books away for free at our yard sales, but didn't get any takers.  I sure wish we had a used bookstore back there where we could have donated or sold them.  The county library was very particular about which books it accepted and the condition they were in.  I used to donate children's books to preschools and elementary schools in my area, but found that my donations were met more with frustration than appreciation.  I'm not sure why, other than that perhaps the librarians didn't want to have to pre-screen and catalog all of them.  So, it's nice to know that we have a place that will take used media where we live now.

Bookmans has a nice cafe and they welcome pets into the store.  One lady was having a latte with her dog.  The first book that stood out for me was Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner.  I love to collect tarot decks, and to see such a unique book about how writers can use tarot cards to help shape their stories interested me.  This book wasn't used, but possibly a remainder from some other store, so it was only $10.  Another book jumped out at me called The Psychic and The Detective by Ann Druffel and Armand Mcarcotte, which is right in line with the novel I am currently working on about a psychic detective.  I could use this book for research and inspiration.

My husband found four other books and we headed to the checkout line.  Another young man arrived to the end of the line at the same time we did.  There was some confusion caused by a young couple adjusting a baby stroller who were holding up the line.  My husband stepped aside and let the young man go ahead of us.  When it was our turn to be rung up, the clerk stood back in surprise looking at our receipt and said, "You're a winner!"

Another clerk said, "Yay!"

My husband and I were confused.  A winner of what?  We figured maybe we won a 10% discount on our next purchase.  The man handed us our receipt and said, "Your purchase today is free."

I thought surely just the least expensive book was free.  Nope.  The whole stack of books was free.  It was a $42.50 purchase involving six books.  Wow!

We were actually going easy that day.  We can usually clean out a bookstore pretty well.  In fact, my husband pointed out the carts they had in front of the store that you can use to either roll the books you're going to sell in or roll the books you're going to buy out.  There were several more books I contemplated getting, but just couldn't do it after taking all those books to the dump while moving.  So, while we got lucky in being winners and our reward was a free purchase, Bookmans got lucky in that we were tempering our usual overindulgence in books.

When I got home I discovered that the psychic detective book was signed by the author, and *BONUS*, according to the book, he lived near me, so perhaps if I needed some expert input on my novel, I could solicit his assistance.  However, I noticed the book was copyrighted in 1983 and 1995, so I thought I'd better do an internet search for more recent information, and sadly, the author passed away in 1999.  I guess I'll just have to channel his spirit if I want any advice for my psychic detective novel from him.  It's funny how you can take such a windy road just to find out that you ended up in the right place at the right time one moment, and several years too late in another moment.

Tomorrow I'll be heading out to see Cut-N-Jump and her pony Kat perform in a driving and carriage competition.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.


Reddunappy said...

I love book stores! Of any kind! LOL I was so sad when Borders went out of business, they were so much more friendly than Barnes and Noble.

Portland has a huge! Used and new bookstore called Powels I have been there once, but had a lot of fun!!!

Johara said...

Grats on winning, that's a wonderful prize! Both those books sound very interesting... and useful to a friend of mine! I think I've found her Christmas gift, thank you! :)

I am looking forward to seeing those pictures of Cut-N-Jump!

Katharine Swan said...

Oh, Pam, I think it really depends on the individual store. In my neck of the woods, it's the Barnes & Noble that is really friendly (and we weren't too upset to see the Borders go).

Cut-N-Jump said...

I didn't know you collected tarot cards. There's a nice little store on Val Vista and Southern. NW corner, litterally tucked back in the corner- I think it is called Dragonstar Books or something like that. I found it several years ago by happy accident. Thay had just opened. Not too long ago I found them again, still there.

The show was fun, I bombed out in cones at the ADT but still had a blast. Way to go me! Lol. Can't wait to see the pic's. And of all of the groups I have been in, breed shows, local clubs, etc. these guys are all about Fun! More than willing to help each other out and give you either a pat on the back or kick in the arse as needed. All in good fun of course.

fernvalley01 said...

Congrats! Sounds like a great store, I usually run wild in a book store too

achieve1dream said...

That is so awesome! Congrats on getting your books free. That's so cool. :D