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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yankee Paperback's closing

So, you've probably heard: Yankee Paperback Exchange [aka 'The Yankee'] is closing. Saturday, June 21 will be its last day. I'm feeling kind of melancholy about this. On the one hand, Bob & Toni [Forrend] have kept the store going for over 30 years; they richly deserve their retirement. On the OTHER hand - I'm really gonna miss 'em. They're terrific people. I was in the store last Saturday watching them herd their granddaughter around while she & her small friend put up books and remembered their daughter doing much the same thing [25?] years ago. It's a great success story.
And the books: any number of writers who have become popular here in hardcover showed up first at the Yankee in paperback. Donna Leon? She showed up at the Yankee in paperbacks from Canada before she was ever published in the States. Charlaine Harris? I found both the Aurora Teagarden & Sookie Stackhouse series there one fine day. And this is not even to mention the romance section. Name a romance writer, Toni could give you a rundown on her [or his, pseudonymically] output. And she's a pretty fair guesser-from-vague-descriptions too.
They started a paranormal romance/suspense section a year or so ago, too. [Well, where else would you put Sookie?] In that section, about a month ago, I found my new favorite writer. Her name is Patricia Briggs. She's published science fiction and fantasy novels before and is now three novels in to the Mercy Thompson series [Moon Called, Blood Bound, & Iron Kissed] about an auto mechanic who can also shapeshift to coyote form. As it happens, this comes in handy. I think Briggs will be the Next Big Thing - her first hardcover, fourth in the Thompson series, will come out next year and I'm sure the library will get it - but without Yankee Paperback I'd never have heard of her, much less have zipped through most of her books. The Yankee's the best. Send Bob & Toni your good thoughts, or just stop in to wish them well. Me, I'll be stopping by Thursday. And maybe Friday.

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