Saturday, April 17, 2010

Amazing Authors & Their Books

Two questions: How do you define 'friend' and what do you feel when you walk into a book store?

Strange questions with no connection. At first that’s the way they may appear, but these questions do have some connection in this rambling. Webster’s defines friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem, a favored companion.”

To me, friend can mean many things. When I think of friend, I think of the people I knew from school. I think of people at work and various friends that we make throughout our lifetime. There are those friends that we would go to the extreme for. In addition, there are the friends that we make in blogdom.

I feel I have made many friends in my short time blogging. These are friends I “talk” with daily and/or weekly. I feel bad on the days I don't get to visit all the blogs of my friends. I miss that time to "catching up and sharing." I treasure these friendship.

Now, let’s talk about book stores. I’ve always enjoyed going to book stores. I feel like a kid at Christmas in a toy store. So many books to select from. I could spend all day in a book store browsing shelf after shelf.

I’ve noticed the last couple of times I’ve been in a book store the feeling is different. I’m not sure I can explain it and you’re probably wondering why would you care. But, here goes anyway.

When I walk in now I catch myself smiling as I browse the aisles. I have mixed feelings of admiration and pride. You see, now as I look at the books on the shelf I see the names of authors that are “friends” and see books I know that took months to write and revise.  

The admiration comes from knowing the hard work and long hours authors put into their work. The admiration is for those authors sharing a little of themselves with the readers through their work. The admiration also comes from knowing these authors are “normal” people who worry about day to day life the same as the reader who loves their work. (They’re not catered to and pampered while lying on the beach of their Villa.) J

The pride is knowing these authors as “friends.” The pride is being able to “chat” with these authors through e-mails, blogs, Twitter and Facebook. The pride comes from hosting these authors for guest posts on this humble blog. The richest pride, however, is in seeing my friends’ books on these bookshelves and knowing they have accomplished a goal they have set for themselves. They have realized a dream they had.

So now that I have rambled about friends and book stores, do you enjoy browsing in book stores? Care to share what you feel when you walk in and see all the wonderful books lined up?

I leave you today with a message I read yesterday on a sign outside a church. “If you say your can, you can. If you say you can’t, you can’t.” I think it says a lot. Which way are you leaning today? Are you having a can or can’t day?





18 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you are saying. My friends are also people like you, who I haven't met in person, may never meet in person, but with whom I feel a mental connect that comes with being on the same wavelenght.
    And while none of my "friends" are on Indian bookstores yet, I am sure I would get the same thrill as you do when I do see them there.

    ~ Rayna

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  2. The one who winces when life's fist hits me is my friend. And when I walk into a bookstore, I go to find old friends and new. Those authors who have lightened my cares with their words are my friends, and I look for their like in the words of others.

    Have a healing weekend, Roland

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  3. I feel the same way when I see my "author friends" books on the shelf. A smile shows on my face as I point out that the author of this particular book is my friend.

    Today is a "can" day.

    Have a good weekend.

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  4. Mason - I know exactly what you mean about sensing oneself among friends when one's in a bookstore (and I love browing in bookstores!). When I see books by an author I really enjoy, I do catch myself smiling as I think about the characters, my experiences reading the books, etc.. I feel that way about libraries, too.

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  5. I love hanging out in bookstores and seeing books by friends. I woke up with a 'can't day' since I sprained my foot yesterday, but your post makes me thing I can turn this around.

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  6. We are your friends! :) And thanks for being ours.

    I used to LOVE hanging out in bookstores. Now I'm more anxious in there...is my book in stock? Do they need to reorder it? Does it have good shelf placement? Sigh.

    Libraries I'm a lot more comfortable in, though. :)

    Elizabeth

    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  7. I am so with you on this one, Mason. I feel close to those I've met here in bloggydom and when I see their books on the shelves in a bookstore, it is exhilirating. Mostly, though, I've purchased books by authors I've met online, online. Or we've done an exchange of books, which is great. I'm having a can day today. Yesterday, not so much.
    karen

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  8. I agree completely! Whenever I see a title by one of my bloggy 'friends' I get a thrill of delight.

    I have a similar sign up in my classroom - 'Whether you think you can or can't, you're right.'

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  9. I love friends and I love bookstores! I'm sorry to be delayed in contacting my online friends by various obligations.

    Books are a sort of friend--you give them your attention and they give you a story, or some other gift. They are an extension of a person, like a letter. Or a comment.

    I love best the kinds of very close friends you can hug and say anything to--but I also treasure distant friends--and some of those I've become somewhat intimate with,

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  10. I'm like you too. It is so cool to walk into a bookstore (or library or even click onto someone's blog) and see a book belonging to someone you know! It kinda chokes me up a little.

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  11. I feel the same way! I've always loved going to book stores, but now, it's even more fun when I see books by authors who have become blogging or Facebook friends at stores. It makes me feel like I want to tell everyone else at the store "look, I know this person - you have to read her/his book, she/he is really cool!"

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  12. Rayna, we are all on that same mental wavelength. I guess the world of blog is the modern version of being pen pals. It's wonderful.

    Roland, you're right. Those authors who have seen us through various stages of interest through their books are friends.

    Dru, glad you're having a can day. It does give you a good feeling to be able to point out authors you know.

    Margot, it is a good feeling seeing those authors' names you know and knowing those books are going to be wonderful.

    Deb, I hope your foot heals safely and quickly. I'm sure you'll find much that you can do that will turn today into a can day.

    Elizabeth, I love the library too. I try to go by once a week. I can't image how it would feel being an author going into a book store. I don't think my nerves could take it.

    Karen, glad it's a can day for you. I'm thrilled by knowing all of you authors.

    Jemi, I love your sign. You are a great teacher inspiring your students to reach for their dreams.

    Mary, books are definitely like friends. They are there to help you relax and to comfort you when you need it.

    Alan, that's the way I feel too. Your new book is one I'm definitely looking for on my next trip to the book store.

    Ingrid, you don't know how many times I've thought those exact same thoughts. In fact, I did recommend a book yesterday in a store where a lady was looking at a book. I told her the other book she hadn't picked up was a really good read. I didn't tell her I knew the author. But, as I walked off she picked it up and started reading the blurb on the back.

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  13. I agree. I love going to the bookstore and seeing friends there (their books, at least). One thing I do is, when I find a book by a friend, I turn a copy face out instead of spine out. (Surreptitiously, of course so I don't get caught.)

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  14. I also get it. Rubbing elbows with a "real" author (for half a second) at a mystery convention makes me appreciate his books even more when I visit a bookstore (or the library, for that matter). It's something about knowing the process and having had a "moment" with the author, even if it's through a blog comment. We find our friends in whole new ways these days.

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  15. I love your music option. I choose whether I want to hear it. Its not forced upon me. Very cool idea. And I love classical piano.

    Stephen Tremp

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  16. Helen, I like your idea. I'll have to try that next time I go to the bookstore, surreptitiously of course. :)

    Patricia, you are so right. We do find friends in whole new ways nowadays. To rub elbows with a "real" author would be unbelievable. I'm thrilled to "meet" authors like youself through comments on blogs.

    Stephen, I wasn't sure about leaving the music on after Christmas. Finally decided to go this right, it does seem to work best for everyone. I enjoy the classical piano too.

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  17. Mason-I agree with you about bookstores. There is just a friendly feeling to them.

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  18. There's certainly something very special about looking at the shelf and seeing a name you can put a face or a blog to.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.