Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Day to Celebrate; A Day to Mourn

Today marks the 3rd birthday of Jen's Book Thoughts. I had anticipated a great day of celebration because I'm still slightly amazed that it's been 3 years since I started this blog. In a way it feels like just yesterday and in other ways it feels like I've been talking with you all forever.

I'm proud of the way the blog has grown and the accomplishments we've been able to make, the authors we've been able to talk to and hype, spreading the crime fiction love! I want to continue to grow and accomplish and discover. That's what my goals are. A bit broad, but it leaves me room to be creative, which is what I love.

However, this is also a sad day. Yesterday the announcement came out that The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles is closing its doors at the end of the month. If you're a regular reader here, you've heard me talk about them and their link is at the bottom of the blog. Two years ago, when I was still a wee blogger and basically didn't know my way out of a paper bag, I visited The Mystery Bookstore for the first time. They were friendly and welcoming, despite the craziness of the pre-Festival of Books party going on.

The Mystery Bookstore is where I met Chris Grabenstein, Craig Johnson, Jeff Parker and Gregg Hurwitz for the first time. It's also where I met my wonderful friend Michael Alatorre for the first time.

I returned to my home across the country but continued to develop a wonderful friendship with the folks there. Linda introduced me to Reed Farrel Coleman's work and sent me pictures of Gregg Hurwitz signing my book; Emily - bless her heart - was always so thorough about my e-mail orders; and when I sent a request and said, "I'd like to spend xx dollars for prizes for my theme week" Bobby picked the greatest selection of books for me. Their entire staff is just amazing.

I had the good fortune to return again last year to see them in person. There's something just so magical for a crime fiction fan walking through the front door. You just enter a world where everyone "gets" you. Even though I couldn't walk through that front door very often, I still feel a loss. The Mystery Bookstore is much, much more than bricks and mortar. It's friends; it's family.

Please, if you have the chance between now and January 31st, visit the Mystery Bookstore. Take a picture of yourself there and send it to me. If you have a mystery indie bookstore near you, VISIT! Patronize. We can't afford to lose more of these magical places. They're endangered as it is; let's not allow them to become extinct.


Perry St Lawyer January 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

Thanks for this bit of history. I'm a "newbie."

Resolved: to visit my own indie book store more often!

Christine January 12, 2011 at 9:41 AM  

Celebrating a wonderful blog and a wonderful friend! Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary!

And you have my heartfelt gratitude for introducing me to The Mystery Bookstore crew! It wasn't even my local indie, and I was heartbroken, and pissed off to be honest, at the news. My first trip to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books would not have been the same without this fabulous group! Hugs to Linda, Bobby and the TMB team!

rhapsodyinbooks January 12, 2011 at 9:48 AM  

I hate hearing about small bookstores closing. If Borders can't make it, how do we expect the little guys to do so? I agree - we must patronize these places! My husband and I always try to buy something, even if it's only a postcard! (but in truth, it's hardly ever "just" a postcard!)

Happy Blogiversary! I so enjoy your blog and look forward to many more years of reading it!

Serena January 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

It seems odd to me with all the crime fiction fans I see on the subway that a mystery indie bookstore would be going out of business. Crazy. These readers need to find those niche stores and get buying.

I want to extend my happy wishes for your blog...keep up the good work...its too bad you can't rally enough people to keep the store open.

bermudaonion January 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

I'm sad when any bookstore closes. Happy Blogiversary to you!

Liza January 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM  

Congrats, Jen! Happy Blog anniversary! My day wouldn't be the same if it weren't for your blog!It's the very first blog I visit early in the morning -actually my morning is 7 h ahead of yours- to enjoy your reviews and catch up on news in the genre. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts on authors we know and love and on newbies we should know...Here’s to more years filled with creativity!

Lesa January 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM  

Happy anniversary, first, Jen. What a difference you've made in the crime fiction world in just 3 years! Great job, and I'm proud to be your friend.

I've never been to The Mystery Bookstore, but I've heard so many good things about them that it breaks my heart. I'd hate to see the same thing happen to The Poisoned Pen. It's one more lost outlet where readers could connect with their favorite mystery authors. Ereaders just aren't the same. I like to hold that book, and have the author sign it, if I get the chance. Darn, darn, darn.

Pop Culture Nerd January 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM  

I'll definitely visit TMB again before it closes and celebrate all the amazing things it has brought forth into the world. Will send along any pics I take.

Happy 3rd blogoversary to you, Jen. I celebrate all your wonderful accomplishments as well.

le0pard13 January 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM  

Happy anniversary, Jen! Time sure flies when reading your blog.

I stopped by yesterday at The Mystery Bookstore. Great to see Bobby and Linda, again. Sad for the reason you've expressed.

My thanks to all of you.

Kay January 12, 2011 at 4:39 PM  

First of all, Happy Blogversary, Jen! Can't believe it has been 3 years. Amazing! I remember you when you were just a baby blogger! LOL

And...I'm so sorry to hear of another wonderful independent bookstore going under. It saddens me so much. Never got a chance to visit this one, but I know I would have loved it.

Lenny Kleinfeld January 12, 2011 at 5:00 PM  


Congratulations on Year #3.

Bummer about the Mystery Bookstore. I live not far from there and was a customer before I became a rookie author. The staff couldn't have been more personable or more knowledgeable.

The Borders a half-mile south of them is also closing this month.

Soon e-readers will probably also go obsolete, and Amazon will download bookfiles directly into the reader's frontal lobes. And we will end up reading with our eyes closed.

BV Lawson January 12, 2011 at 7:16 PM  

Despite the sad news about the Mystery Bookstore, just wanted to say "congrats" on your anniversary and give you some well-deserved pats on the back. Bloggers like you can help fill the void created by the loss of bookstores and literary publications via an online virtual community and gathering place. Thanks for all your hard work -- and many happy returns!

Jen Forbus January 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

Thank you all for such nice comments today. You've given me wonderful smiles and a warm feeling inside.

I so enjoy this blog and sharing books with you and knowing all of you. Thank you for letting me be part of your blog world!

Liza, I'm sending you a great big hug. What a wonderful thing to say and you could not have possibly given me a great blogiversary gift!

I've had the great joy of meeting my friends Chris, Lesa, PCN, and Le0pard in person. I hope to be able to meet some more of you throughout the coming years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Michelle @ The True Book Addict January 15, 2011 at 5:31 AM  

Congrats on your three year milestone and I'm so sorry to hear the news about your beloved bookstore.

Beth F January 17, 2011 at 7:24 AM  

Sorry your blogiversary had a bittersweet note to it.

But still -- congrats on 3 years!!!!

kathy d. January 17, 2011 at 9:34 PM  

Congratulations on your blog's third anniversary!

It's a great place to visit while traveling through the blogosphere, wonderful posts and interesting news.

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