Apr 25, 2009

Procrastination Reviews #2: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Hardcover, 9781599903347, $16.99

The second book in the exciting "Procrastination Reviews" series, I picked this one up off the shelf when I was searching for an appropriate book to send to the 14/15 year-old girl in the Odyssey Bookshop's Gift of Reading Program. This is a program where people sign up a child in their life to receive a book that has been hand-picked for them. I do the hand picking. This is one of my favorite, and one of the most challenging, aspects of my job. I have 20 children each month whose reading history I review, personal preferences I review, and then I make an age-appropriate, genre-appropriate book choice for them. Occasionally, I throw something different into the mix; reading too much of the same thing isn't good for anyone. This book can be exhibit A in my case - it's hardly my usual "for myself" reading, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Sort of like a teenage version of a Harlequin romance novel, only without any of the sex or violence.

Lucinda Chapdelaine used to be the only child in a wealthy family that was close to the king. Orphaned by a carriage accident that killed her parents on their way home from a ball, Lucinda has grown up in her uncle's jewelry shop, hated and made to work as a servant by her step-aunt. Lucinda doesn't remember much of her life before the shop, though the grief of her parents' death is still with her. Then, in one day, a beautiful woman visits the shop, an enchanted stone makes its way into Lucinda's care, and Lucinda meets Prince Gregor for the first time since childhood. Soon Lucinda is off on an adventure involving a thief named Peter, an immortal woman named Beryl, the Amaranth Witch, and the truth behind her parents' death.

It turns out the enchanted stone holds Beryl's soul and someone is out to steal it in order to rule the world. Lucinda is drawn to the stone, and so tries to keep it safe, only to have it stolen by Peter, a street thief, who is unaware of its true value. Peter sells it to Prince Gregor, who is looking for the perfect betrothal gift for the Princess he has never met, but who is soon to be his bride. Lucinda makes a deal with Beryl - in return for getting back her soul, Beryl will restore her parents' lands to Lucinda, making her a woman of wealth and property again. On her quest for the stone, Luncinda is caught as a thief, meets her parents' murderer, is almost hanged but manages to escapes, dances several dances with Prince Gregor (is she falling in love?), gets saved more than once by her trusty goat sidekick she calls Dog, and unveils more than one person's true identity.

(See what I mean about the Harlequin romance novel plot-line? Throw some duels and hot sex in there and you've got yourself a whole different type of book contract.) It all works out in the end, and the right people marry their true loves without any awkwardness or bruised feelings. A quick read, the book is plot heavy with fairly little character development. Perfect breezy book for a teen summer read.

Procrastination Reviews #1: The Compound by S.A. Boden

The key to successful procrastination: do something that is halfway legitimate; extra points if you can turn that something halfway legitimate into more work because of its very pseudo-legitimacy. Case in point: in order to procrastinate the three papers I have hanging over my head, I've read two teen novels (for my job, not for school) in the last three days, thus creating the need to blog about them so that my reading will not have been for my pleasure only; the act of blogging my reviews puts these novels firmly in the "for work" category. So, review #1.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
Hardcover: 9780312370152, $16.95
Paperback: 9780312578602, $8.99 - due out September 2009

I have my Macmillan rep, Bob, to thank for this book. He dropped off a box of ARCs (advanced reader copies, pre-published books), with this book in it because "the paperback is coming out soon." ARCs I can take or leave, to be honest. I find I don't read nearly as many of them as I should, and then whenever there's a new round of releases, I devour 10 books in 2 weeks to catch up on all the reading I should have done in ARC form 6 weeks earlier. Now, normally, I'm also not one for the inside flap, dust jacket description, whatever the little phrase is that's supposed to give you a taste of the book. I much prefer to read the first chapter. That said, I admit to being sucked in by the mini-blurb of this book. It reads: "Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they know is gone. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out. He won't let them." Creepy, right? It's not boogy-man, jump in the dark sort of scary, but just twisted enough that it takes your mind a minute to put two and two together because it just doesn't want to see it.

So what's the basic story? Billionaire dad, mom, older son Eli, daughter Lexie, and daughter Terese all make it into the underground Compound, seconds before the world is blown apart by a nuclear war. Eli's twin brother Eddy and the grandmother (mom's mom) didn't make it. Or so Dad tells them... *cue creepy foreshadowing music here* Flash forward six years: Meat ran out. Fish ran out. Flour is low and going bad. Each family member is holding it together and slowly losing it in their own unique way. Lexie's the perfect Daddy's girl. Terese speaks only in a British accent. Eli refuses to let anyone touch him. Dad's gotten increasingly controlling. Mom's gotten increasingly suspicious. They're all beginning to suspect they're not going to make it the number of years they have left until it will be safe for them to try the world outside. Eli begins questioning what he knows, what he thinks he knows, and what he's been told - some things aren't adding up. When he begins searching the Compound for clues, Eli begins uncovering secrets that shouldn't exist. Like the internet - if there was nuclear war, how is there a wireless signal? Why has his dad written a note to his accountant, if he accountant should now be dead? Where is all the new music coming from that his dad keeps giving him? It seems not everyone on the outside was killed by that nuclear war, if there even was one. If Dad was lying about nuclear war, what else was he lying about? Why did he build the Compound? And why won't he let them out, now that things have started to go really wrong?

Now, I mean this complimentary (I know, not a promising beginning), but one of the things I liked best about this book was once I thought I knew where it was going, it went there. My guess about what the "Supplements" really were? Dead on. My hunch about where Eli's missing twin brother might be? Got it. I liked that. It's satisfying. There was enough twisted about the story in general, that it wasn't one of those, "Hell, I could have written this," sort of feelings. It was more of a relief that the author didn't suddenly throw some weird plot twist in for the hell of it, just to mess with your head. The twists in this story were logical, made sense to the plot, and though things wrap up well at the end, there's a suggestion of unease under the surface that leaves you satisfied nothing's ever quite as perfect as it seems. A solid read, with nothing too kinky that a 13 or 14-year-old couldn't handle.

Apr 22, 2009


So, you may have noticed I have a small interest in bookshelves. The pictures on the right side of this blog may have been an indication.
Hopefully, you share that fascination as well. I'm well-aware I am not the only person out there with this passion. A blog all about bookshelves is here. I've written a previous post on the actual order of books placed on shelves, a post that continues to be inspired by Nicholas Hornby's assertion that the best way to judge someone's taste is not by their music collection, but by their book collection. My co-worker has written on her blog about how she should not be allowed to shelve books in the store anymore because she keeps finding books she has to read and buy, and I confess to having the same problem. Because my world revolves around all these books I seemingly can't live without, it should come as no surprise that I need a place to put them all. This is where the shelving comes in.
It's amazing how many things can be used as shelves, other than regular shelving, of course. In my room alone, beside a big floor-to-ceiling bookcase, I have an old doll's cradle (stolen from my sister years ago; I can't quite remember if she let me or even knows about it or not), the fold-out seat of an old school desk, the surface of the old school desk, and, of course, the floor, all filled with books. This being the beginning of tag sale, yard sale, garage sale, and flea market season, I'm very much looking forward to finding some new shelving treasures.
It doesn't stop with just my room. Books spill out into the rest of the house. An old ceramic cistern of some kind holds favorite magazines. My living room has a fireplace with built-in bookshelves on either side - my side is filled with books, my roommate's side with DVDs. Oddly enough, there are only two books on the fireplace mantel itself, but there are plenty of other things to fit it.
This is one of the wonderful properties of the shelf - it can be used as a resting place for anything. The fireplace mantel holds a painting by my mother, the two previously mentioned books, a collection of three doorknobs, a set of wooden type, two fuzzy toy chicks (housewarming presents from our upstairs neighbors), a red devil rubber duck, two framed photographs, and a plant in half a plastic bottle. Apparently, I collect things other than books, too. Surprise, surprise.
The real inspiration for this post came from a NY Times article about a former stockbroker-turned-bookshelf designer. I should clarify, it's not that he designs the shelves themselves, so much as he goes out and finds specific books for wealthy people to round out their book collection. This is similar to a job at the Strand I've heard rumored to exist, a job where someone is called upon to create the prominent libraries visible in movies. The former stockbroker is quoted in the article as saying, "The best decoration in the world is a roomful of books," a line he borrowed from someone else, and which I'm reproducing here because I find it so applicable to my own life. In addition to the aforementioned shelves, I have a shelf of old school books and romance novels in the game/guest room, cookbooks in the kitchen, and there is a small collection of bartending books belonging to my roommate on the bar in the dining room.
What is it about books in a room that instantly make it more homey? Almost like a plant, they have the same power to make you believe real people live there. Gilbert Highet, a legendary Humanities professor from Columbia University, once wrote, "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves." Maybe that's the key, in a room empty of everything but books, you would never be alone; every conversation in the world can be held with a book. Writing that makes me question the need for any sort of companion or polite society, but then again, isn't that half the pleasure of being a reader: sharing that pleasure with someone else? Dissecting the minute details of whatever it was that made you laugh, cry, uncomfortable, hate whatever you were reading? Even as books suck you into their world, they spit you back out again to experience and share the world you've read.
William Ewart Gladstone, a former Prime Minister of Great Britan, wrote, "Books are a delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome." I like that sort of welcome, and just realized I've surrounded myself with it. Welcome to my store. Welcome to my home. Skim the titles, grab a book, and welcome to the bookshelf of me.

Apr 17, 2009

Book Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire by Kristin Cashore
Publication date: October 2009
Hardcover: 9780803734616, $17.99

Also counts for Chunkster Challenge, Book 2.

First of all, let me just say that, particularly as first novels, Graceling and Fire (and Kristin Cashore, for writing them) are an inspiration.

I really enjoyed Graceling, and despite the fact that I'm apparently reviewing primarily fantasy books recently, I don't read much fantasy (honest!), so this is saying a lot. The premise - that there are these beings called Gracelings, who have eyes of two different colors, and who are gifted with some sort of enhanced ability - struck me as intriguing. Katsa and Po, the two main characters, were compelling in their development as individuals, as was the plot as it twisted its way through the world of the seven kingdoms.

In Fire, the companion prequel to Graceling, Cashore has created an equally original world of beautiful "monsters": animals, plants, and occasionally people who are irresistably beautiful and extremely dangerous. Fire, the last living human monster, lives in near-isolation, protecting herself from those who want to harm her because of the way her father, also a monster, harmed them. Her father was the advisor to the previous king in the land of the Dells - a land over the mountains from the seven kingdoms in Graceling, a land on the brink of war. He was a cruel and twisted man who could control people's minds and make them suffer in unimaginable ways. While Fire has inherited his abilities, but not his cruelty, sadly there are many people who would rather condemn or kill her first, and ask questions later. When her abilities are needed to help fight to keep the rightful rulers on the thrown, Fire has to face her own inner monsters in order to make the best use of her gift. She is afraid of the way people's minds open to her; all except for the mind of Prince Brigan, the commander of the royal army, and an increasingly fascinating man. By exploring the depths of her abilities, and how far she is willing to go for this kingdom she is beginning to love, Fire carves a place for herself. Much like a phoenix (sorry, the metaphor had to be used), Fire rises from the ashes of her father's universal betrayal to form her own solid reputation of self-discipline, courage, and love.

How is this a prequel to Graceling? The bad guy, Leck, in Graceling is introduced as a boy in Fire. Clearly rotten from the beginning, he plays a deceptively minor role until a pivotal moment of the book. Though it was nice to see some sort of connection between Graceling and Fire, I actually thought that the connection hindering on Leck was the weakest part of the plot. His apperance as a character didn't add much (in my opinion) to my pre-existing knowledge of him, based on Graceling. There was no deeper understanding of him, or explanation as to how he got to be the evil man he was. He was apparently born that way. So, it was a connection, but not a meaningful one, for me. I hope to read more of Fire and Prince Brigan in Cashore's third work, Bitterblue.

Though the stories of both books offer (relatively) resolved endings, Cashore doesn't hold her punches, writing difficult (as in, sad) story developments with sensitivity and grace, making them understandable and necessary, despite being hard to read. Her strong female leads discover their own strengths and weaknesses. They are matched by the men in their lives, but not sheltered, led, or protected by them.

This is a good series to give to that difficult group of 10-13 year-old-readers, the ones who read above their level, but who may not be ready for scenes of graphic sex or violence. There are some references to sex, particularly in Graceling, and of course some violence, but it is never gratuitious, and the sexual references alluded-to, more than shown.

I wish you all had early copies of the book, too, because I can't wait to gush about it with other people who have read it!

Bibliophiles R Us

No, this is not my arm.

But, funny enough, a friend sent me this picture, so there are clearly at least 3 of us out there who think this is a cool idea.

Apr 15, 2009

Poetry Post

In the secret life and times of me, it will be discovered that I love poetry.

I don't always understand it, I don't always know how to read it, but for some reason I feel it in a way that is pretty unexpected to me. Is poetry like that for most people? I feel that it's one of those secretive things, though I have no idea why it should be. How many people do you actually know who read poetry? Maybe a lot, but that's the point right, you (or I) don't know for sure because it's never discussed because it's a secret.

April is Poetry Month.
(20% off poetry books at the Odyssey in case you're interested.)
In honor of this, I've picked up some old favorites and discovered some new-to-me, and have decided to step out of the poetry closet, declare to be a poetry-lover, and shar
e some of my favorites with you.

In exploring the history of my love affair with poetry, I've discovered it began much earlier than I expected. In 6th grade, I was attending a public school program for the Gifted and Talented (a piece of irony that never escaped my mother - she often called it a program for the Precocious and Naughty); one of the yearly assignments was to memorize a piece of something and then perform it in front of some select group of people (it may have been the whole school or just the whole grade, I don't remember). At the ripe old age of 11, guess what I chose to recite. No, not Dr. Seuss, as did the girl who won the contest (oh, did I not mention that part? Yes, it was a contest). Instead, I memorized and recited, to the snores of the entire audience, Robert Louis Stevenson's "To Minnie". I still remember some of it:

The red room with the giant bed
Where none but elders laid their head;
The little room where you and I
Did for awhile together lie
And, simple suitor, I your hand
In decent marriage did demand...

Why on earth did I choose this poem?!? I remember several people - teachers, parents - try to talk me out of it, but that was the one I wanted. Reading back over it now, I know for sure I didn't understand half of what I was saying. But I was so obstinate! I gave a thoroughly boring performance, I'm sure, and I even think it might have been captured on video somewhere (probably mildewing in a box of VHS tapes forgotten in som
eone's basement in southern Indiana). Needless to say, I did not even place among the contest winners, but I'm so glad I stuck with what spoke to me. See, my bullheadedness began way back in the day.

The next poem to fascinate me was by William Blake, and he remains one of my favorites to this day:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I give myself extra points for loving this poem even before it was used in a Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie.

Next came e.e. cummings, who I have to admit, I didn't discover until college:

Kisses are a better fate than wisdom.

And now, only recently have I read Nikki Giovanni. Her book Bicycles:Love Poems was featured at the Odyssey for both February and April, but I didn't read it until last week (or maybe the week before?). I am in love all over again (in love with love, not with anyone in particular), and I blame this book for my recent mood swings, odd dreams, and minor bouts of love-lorn depression. Dear Nikki Giovanni, I was doing just fine until you came along to stir up all those old feelings again! Must mean you're doing something right, dammit.

If Only

If I had never been in your arms
Never danced that dance
Never inhaled your slightly sweaty odor

Maybe I could sleep at night

If I had never held your hand
Never been so close
To the most kissable lips in the universe
Never wanted ever so much
To rest my tongue in your dimple

Maybe I could sleep at night

If I wasn't so curious
About whether or not you snore
And when you sleep do you cuddle your pillow
What you say when you wake up
And if I tickle you
Will you heartedly laugh

If this enchantment
This bewilderment
This longing
Could cease

If this question I ache to ask
could be answered

If only I could stop dreaming
of you

Maybe I could sleep
at night.

Apr 10, 2009

The Necessity of a Book-Aunt

"The Necessity of a Book-Aunt" by R.E. Finklestein.
(NOT my real last name.)

Doesn't that sound like a great book title?

But what on earth is a book-aunt, you might be asking.

Book-Aunt, n.

- person, either biologically or not biologically related to a person younger than themselves, to whom the first person supplies reading materials that may or may not be sanctioned by the parents or guardians of the second, younger person, with the intent to expand the mind of, educate, possibly corrupt, or in some other way influence the second person.

- Common qualities of the book-aunt:
- young, or young-at-heart
- hip in some way (also know as cool, rad, possibly even hot)
- is in touch with reading material that would be of interest to the younger person, based on their age, gender, sexuality, hobbies, and other personal interests
- is not afraid to defy the wishes of the parents/guardians if the book-aunt believes she is in the right in providing a specific type or example of reading material

- Related terms: book-uncle, book-non-gender-specified-friend

- For book recommendations in your role as a book-aunt, this book-aunt blog may help.

I, for one, am book-aunt to the delectable L. Isn't he the most adorable child? I realize, being his book-aunt, I'm a wee bit biased, but still! I love to spoil him rotten on the rare occasions I see him in person, and generally make myself a nuisance with my book suggestions to his equally wonderful parents.

If you are not currently acting as a book-aunt, -uncle, -non-gender-specified-person, to a child or someone younger than you, I highly recommend running out and finding yourself someone. The rewards are infinite.

Apr 9, 2009

Fantasy Literature

What do Fantasy Baseball, Nick Hornby, and Gina Barreca have in common? They've all popped up in my life within a few weeks of each other, and strangely, when blended together, have inspired today's blog post. This, of course, is the obvious answer, but figuring out exactly how they've done so is the tricky part. Any guesses? There's a clue in the blog title...

Okay, I'll put you out of our misery and tell you. Nick Hornby and Gina Barreca are both brilliant critics and hilarious writers. If you don't follow
Gina's blog, you really should, and if you haven't read Nick (yes, I'm on a first-name basis - in my head - with both of them) by now, well, you've got some 'esplainin' to do. Aside from that, however, they also seem to be clued into a similar wavelength, as they've both written about a phenomenon Nick calls "Fantasy Literature" and Gina calls "imaginary tradeoffs".

Familiar with Fantasy Football leagues? I was having lunch with a friend the other day who mentioned her recent obsession with her Fantasy Baseball league - the first time I'd heard of such a thing, but maybe I was just late coming to the game (that happens sometimes, I can't be on top of everything, you know). It works in pretty much the same way, where you get to create a team (a fantasy team, your dream team, if you could have any and all the ball players in, well, not the world, but the States at least, on one team, this is your chance). You get a league of people together, either private or public, and then have your own draft, and then depending on how your players do during the games they play in real life, they get awarded so many points for being on your team. The person with the most amount of points from players on their team (or something like that) wins at the end of the season (for a blog post that explains this in a little bit fuller, okay, better, detail, go here). My friend was lamenting she was unable to choose her players "in person;" instead she had to rank them and then let the autopilot fill in, so she only has one Sox player (Youk, I think, if memory serves) actually on her fantasy team, but that's how the cards fall, I guess. Anyway, that aside, I was thrilled when later that same day, I read a passage in Nick Hornby's Pollysyllabic Spree that went like this:

"Reading...now means that one can, if one wants, play Fantasy Literature - match writers off against each other and see who won over the long haul."

Brilliant! And which reminded me of one of Gina's blog posts the same friend had forwarded me sometime recently, entitled "Would You Trade T.S. Eliot for George Eliot?" about something similar, only in Gina's case, she takes it a step further.

"What else are imaginary tradeoffs? I'd give up Scrabble for Monopoly. I'd give up
The New Yorker for People. I would give up the paintings of Van Gogh for The Simpsons. I would give up Marilyn Monroe for Mae West, T.S. Eliot for George Eliot, Arthur Miller for Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway for Virginia Woolf, Woody Allen for Lily Tomlin, Naomi Wolf for Cynthia Heimel, Andy Rooney for Dave Barry, and Andy Warhol for a flip-top soup can."

While I may not agree with all her tradeoffs, for the sentiment - Double Brilliant!

So what if we combine the two? Though being generally
interested in baseball, I confess to not being obsessed with players stats, teams other than the Sox, Yanks, and Mets, nor do I like to think too long about how much money these guys are getting paid to hit a little ball with a stick and run around some sand bags (shock, gasp, take a moment - okay? Moving on.). This basically means that a Fantasy Baseball league would not be for me, but a Fantasy Literature league that not only pits book against book, author against author, but also life against books and personal desires against practical realities? I'm trembling with excitement at the thought.

What would I trade? Who would I want to win?

In my
Fantasy league, Tolkein would win over C.S. Lewis. Little House on the Prarie over American Girls. Nick Horby's essays in The Polysyllabic Spree would tie with Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris. Memoirs of a Geisha, movie vs. book, would tie. A hike in the woods over Gone with the Wind, any day of the week. How I Met Your Mother would win over FRIENDS. I would give up my car for the ability to eat starch again without a belly ache. I would go through life without my left arm, for the ability to sing like Etta James.

It's a bit of an awakening (sorry, Kate Chopin, no pun intended) to think about where your priorities might lie.

Apr 6, 2009

Rainy Afternoon

I love rainy afternoons. It's my favorite type of weather, favorite time of day - particularly when I happen to have that day off. It would be so easy to be unemployed, or better yet, fabulously rich so that I could only work on the days and in the ways that I wanted to. There are always a million (roughly) things that I want to do on my few days off and it's not just a matter of not having the time to do them, it's not even knowing where to begin!

I have at least 18 books that I am either in the middle of or are waiting to be
read, but we all recognize that's just par for the course. Then there are the arts & crafts projects I have in mind like refabing the sweater I purchased at Sally's (Salvation Army), playing with the wooden type I was given last week, patching the holes in at least 3 pairs of pants, repainting my bedside table, finishing the wooden bowls that need to be sanded and oiled, repainting the frame of the mirror I picked up at a thrift shop, scrapbooking pictures that have yet to be scrapped, designing the back tattoos I've been thinking of; on top of which, I want to be cleaning and organizing my room, cleaning and organizing the storage/craft closet, baking, cooking for the week, writing more of my novel, working out; or I could be napping, reading, watching a movie, hanging out with friends, taking a walk in the rain, sitting in a cafe, driving around in the rain... See what I mean? Endless!

So what did I decide to do today? Well, I wrote about 9 pages this morning, did a light workout, had lunch with a friend, and am now blogging because I couldn't decide whether to read, watch a movie, take a nap, or (horrors, and notice I haven't mentioned it until now) do homework. I'm having an issue - I'm a bit children's literature saturated! This may come as a shock, considering how little I actually mention children's literature in this blog, but I am constantly reading children's books. All. The. Time. And I am getting sick of it! I need a grown-up book to satisfy me, and I don't mean in the Nora Roberts satisfaction sort of way (though last week, I did read a trilogy of hers that I had not previously read, and it hit the spot in that way as well - The Sign of Seven trilogy, in case you're interested).

I'm picking up Nick Hornby, who almost always does it for me in these cases. My co-worker has loaned me the second book cataloguing his column - Housekeeping vs. The Dirt - but I have to finish the first - The Polysyllabic Spree - in order to get to it. I know, I've been reading The Polysyllabic Spree forever, but it's just that it's so good I feel guilty reading it because I know there are a million other things I should be doing - like writing that paper that's due on Wednesday. Which reminds me, I really should go do that, and now, see, here we are, back at the beginning with too much to do and too little time to do it in, and with homework winning out over all of it. Sigh.

What are you all up to on a rainy afternoon?

Apr 4, 2009

Rude or just mildy irritating?

I spend a half hour helping a family pick out books, chase their toddlers, read them a story, and then they purchase the books using an Amazon.com credit card. Yes, they're purchasing the books from me, the independent store, but with the Amazon card. I know the woman didn't mean anything by it. I know it wasn't done as some sort of odd intentional backhanded slap to the face. But really?
In my head I'm thinking, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but would you mind using another credit card? It sort of defeats the purpose of purchasing books at an independent bookstore when that sale is still going to support the empire threatening to put me out of business."
Instead, I smile and take her card, hand bookmarks to her two squabbling children, bag her books, and hold the door open for their overloaded stroller on their way out the door. Sigh.
Maybe we should start producing an Odyssey credit card.
Sometimes fighting against the man is harder than you think/want it to be, especially when the man appears to be everywhere. Even in your own bookstore.