An introduction to the neighborhood bookstore

I do love bookstores - especially an inviting small, independent operation. Seldom can I walk by any bookstore without going in and getting lost in the selections available. If one is on the horizon, as we walk in just about any city in the world, my partner Ed will actually try to create a diversion to keep me from seeing the bookseller.

With my previous book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, I had a lot of fun stopping by and volunteering to sign copies on the store's shelves. Even the large chain bookstores were very pleased to have me do so.

Last weekend, my friend Mike told me about our friend Chuck's relationship with an independent bookstore - and he suggested I might also want to establish such a cooperative venture. Those wanting copies of Chuck's books can order them through the bookstore and then he will go in to sign the books on a somewhat regular basis. With the number of books I signed with Savvy Designer, it might be wise to set up such a situation for Identity Crisis!.

For some time now, North Portland friends and clients have hinted that I needed to visit the fairly recent business community addition of St. Johns Booksellers. I think I was avoiding an introduction to the place due to concerns about my book-buying addiction. In the past, for a period of five years, I'd lived four blocks from Powell's City of Books and it was detrimental to my finances and book storage abilities. A new bookstore could be dangerous for me.

Earlier this week, I saw an ad in The St. Johns Sentinel announcing the second anniversary of St. Johns Booksellers. I couldn't believe a bookstore had been in my neighborhood for two years and I had not visited. This needed to remedied immediately.

The St. Johns Booksellers (located at 8622 North Lombard, Portland, OR 97203) is a great little store. It carries new and used books, and the variety ranges from local authors to children's books, to poetry and more. Chuck's latest book, Rant, was prominently displayed when I walked in the door. I introduced myself to the two women working in the place and learned they were the owners, Liz Dorman and Nena Rawdah. The two met years ago when both worked at Powell's and we seemed to immediately hit it off. I told them I was a previously published author who had a new book coming out in the fall. They said they would be very interested in hosting a signing, or some type of workshop event, to announce the release of my book to the Portland market - and they would serve cake! I mentioned that I'd be very interested in also coming in to sign ordered books on a regular basis - but the details will need to be ironed out in the future.

I appreciate the fact that the St. Johns Booksellers is affiliated with the BookSense organization. Whenever I'm in another city I always check BookSense for listing of stores I may wish to visit.

So, it looks like I'll have a book signing at St. Johns Booksellers in the fall. I'll post announcements of future signings, or speaking engagements, on the Identity Crisis! blog. I'll keep blog readers posted about the possibility of ordering personally signed volumes, too.

Until then, if you're in the neighborhood, I suggest you stop by the St. Johns Booksellers and say "hi!" to Liz and Nena.

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