For the Love of the Indie Bookstore

I have always loved small, independent bookstores. I love wandering through the stacks, seeing bright and shiny new covers, plunking myself down on the floor to read the back covers and feeling the textures of the pages. I love the feel of being enraptured in story – stories of love, romance, adventure and mystery.  And I absolutely adore the people that work in indie bookstores – people that really and truly know their books and have a love for them.

There is one such bookstore tucked away in Hamilton’s Westdale Village (by McMaster Unviersity).  Bryan Prince is the name of this little piece of heaven.  What makes this bookstore so extra special that I am writing about it now?  Well, usually when as an author you sell a book to a bookstore, they take 40 – 50% of the sale of the book and the author gets 50 – 60%, much of which goes to printing costs and other expenses, so as you can imagine, the author sees very little at the end of the day for the months or sometimes years they spent writing.  Well, Bryan Prince has a policy of only taking 20%, whilst the author sees 80% to cover their printing costs and time.  Why do they do this in an age where indie bookstores are struggling to survive? To encourage local authors, who have their own struggles, to find the time and money to write. You can’t imagine how pleasantly surprised this made me when they bought our Reading is Sexy Calendar just days before Christmas. So if you are in the Hamilton/Dundas area, make a point of stopping in this little slice of heaven, at Bryan Prince Bookseller (1060 King Street West, Hamilton, ON), buy a book or calendar and support a local author.

I would be remiss here if I didn’t highlight a few other indie bookstores, who have beautiful spaces and have been incredible to me this past month:

  • Ben McNally Books (366 Bay St, Toronto, ON) – who hosted our Toronto Calendar Kissing over the Christmas rush.
  • Duthie Books (2239 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC) – who were the first bookstore to pick up the Reading is Sexy Calendar and who, as it was for a good cause, offered us a great deal on calendar sales.
  • The People’s Co-op Bookstore (1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC) – who similarly offered us a great deal on Reading is Sexy Calendar sales.
  • Biz Books (302 West Cordova St, Vancouver, BC) – who is carrying the Reading is Sexy Calendar.
  • Blackberry Books (Unit 3 – 1666 Johnston St., Net Loft Building, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC) – who is carrying the Reading is Sexy Calendar and who gave me some great marketing advice on calendars for future years.

I’d be remiss here if I didn’t mention our two non-bookstore retailers of the calendar:

An enormous thank you to all!

Ringing Out the Year with a Little Scandal

Well it would just be wrong to ring out the year without leaving behind a little scandal. And Mark, being a good friend, understands this, so he decided to help keep my reputation in tact.

How you ask?  Well, Mark posted this pic as his facebook profile pic:

Mark's and my controversial pic

‘Supposedly’, Mark posted this pic to garner attention for the ‘Reading is Sexy’ campaign.  Well, it garnered attention all right, as complaints were raged and the pic was pulled from facebook, marked as ‘obscene’ (Only on Mark’s profile, however, as it seems to be perfectly acceptable on the Reading is Sexy Launch Event Wall).  Curious to know which of us was being obscene?  Personally I think it’s Rob playing with his ‘camera’ in the background.

Oh, and all this comes with rumours that the red head in the photo is Mark’s new lover.

Sultry Pics for Literacy

I’ve been remiss in mentioning that we have a wee auction going on on blown up versions of Rob Shaer’s pics from the #ReadingisSexy Shoots.  The pics are beautiful and inexpensively framed. They really have been looking lovely decorating the office the past few weeks. All the proceeds from the pics go to The International Dyslexia Association.

We have already auctioned off pics of Patrick Tubajon and Lorraine Murphy, but you can bid on the following pics up until January 2:

#1 - Monique

#3 - Monique

Ian and I

#5 - Ian and I

#3 - Rayne

#6 - Rayne

#4 - Mark and I

#7 - Mark and I

#5 - Me Writing

#9 - Me Writing

Hanging in the Kitchen

#8 - Hanging in the Kitchen

To bid, come out to the Toronto Calendar Kissing tomorrow or comment with your bid on the photo on facebook or drop a comment with your bid below.  All photo bids start at $25, except for Mark’s which already has a $25 bid on it.

Happy bidding!

Emme xoxo

Holiday Shopping Guide for Van City

I know! You are horrified. Horrified to discover that I am out of town and you have yet to buy your 2010 Reading is Sexy Calendar.  The stuff of nightmares!!!!

Well fear not!  I am here to save the day (with my cape, tights and all)! Yes, thats right!  I have strategically placed calendars all through out town, so that you are not that person thats left having to explain that, “No, sorry. I couldn’t get IT. They were all sold out. I know I really should have looked sooner.”

Photographer: John Biehler

Photographer: John Biehler

So the strategically placed Reading is Sexy Calendars and that all round good feeling of knowing that you’ve supported dyslexia and promoted reading this holiday season in Van City, can be found at:

  • Duthie Books (2239 West Fourth Avenue, Vancouver – Kitsalano)
  • Blackberry Books (#3 – 1666 Johnston St, Net Loft Building, Vancouver – Granville Island)
  • The People’s Co-op Bookstore (1391 Commercial Dr, Vancouver – Commercial Drive)
  • Biz Books (302 West Cordova St, Vancouver – Gastown)
  • O’Hare’s Beer & Wine Store (5031 Steveston Hwy, Richmond – Steveston)
  • Gudrun (#150 – 3500 Moncton St, Richmond – Steveston)

And if all else fails, try @robertshaer as he has a few.


Emme xoxo

Toronto Calendar Kissing this Saturday

It’s rough, I know, but out of the kindness of my heart, I’ve decided to pucker up for dyslexia this coming Saturday. And just cause I am a worldly kinda gal, this time I am puckering up and moistening my lips, across the Rockies, the Prairies and a few freeways, in Toronto.

Photographer: Robert Shaer

Photographer: Robert Shaer

Really excited to be at Ben McNally Books in Toronto kissing Reading is Sexy calendars  from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday December 19, 2009 to promote literacy and raise money for The International Association of Dyslexia.

Photographer: John Biehler

Photographer: John Biehler

Would love to meet some of you sexy TO cats there and if you are still kicking around at 3 pm, I plan on hitting up one of the local pubs and kicking off the festivities with a few pitchers of beer for the table and a couple of plates of nachos.

Calendars are $18 at the event or $20 (if you want to kick in an extra $2 to dyslexia). We will be accepting cash or cheque.


Emme xoxo