Book Haul & A Little News

Today, I had heard the Barnes & Noble location in the Arrowhead Towne Center (Glendale, Arizona) is closing on March 13th!

So, I decided to still support the one I’m confident isn’t closing by visiting the location closest to me in Surprise, Arizona. Honestly, my original plan was just to buy one book. We all know what’s really about to happen, right? Yeah, I walked out with FIVE! In my defense, four of those are books working towards my author career.

So far, I’m really enjoying the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park. It’s full of humor, sass, and simple to understand lessons beginner reader-aged kids can learn. Plus, they’re indicative of multiple manuscripts I currently have in progress. These books are quite cute, and they remind me of my daughter’s sass and stubbornness. That is to say, well, I’m in trouble when she reaches kindergarten age haha!

It doesn’t hurt to have a writing guide or two in your library as well. This would be my third writing guide on my shelf, actually.

I haven’t read anything by Gary Provost just yet but I’m confident I’ll get a ton of valuable information from this book. At least I hope I do, especially if you have “Proven Professional Techniques for Writing with Style and Power” in the title. It’s not quite geared towards children’s books per se, but maybe what I’ll learn is some excellent foundational techniques.

  • Come up with ideas
  • Create an irresistible opening
  • Develop an effective writing style
  • Choose the most powerful words
  • Master grammar and punctuation
  • Hold the reader’s attention and win the reader’s respect
  • Get past writer’s block (oh, my GODS, YES!!)
  • Craft a strong title
  • Rewrite and put the finishing touches on a manuscript

And much, much more!

I’m excited to dive in to this book!

I must admit – I’ve never read a single Rick Riordan book in my life. I know, I know, I might lose followers/subscribers with that admission. Sorry? Haha! Luckily, Rick Riordan has been expanding on mythologies from around the world such as Egyptian mythology, Norse, and others. You see, I’m a SUCKER for Norse mythology. And no, not just because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe :-P. But if that’s how you were introduced to it, or through the Vikings tv show, The Last Kingdom, or however else, that’s alright, too. I’ve been a long-time fan, at least since I was a pre-teen. There’s so much to appreciate and admire of the Nordic culture – from their food to their music, Viking subculture, and laws. Let’s not forget their otherworldly landscapes. That’s why I decided to buy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (the Sword of Summer).

And now, some more information on the news surrounding the Arrowhead Towne Center Barnes & Noble closing on March 13th, 2021!

Simply put, they’re only closing due to a leasing issue and not because of low sales and other issues. Despite the rise in e-commerce, including e-books, over the last ten years, this location (and some others) are still holding strong. Throw in a global pandemic, and the rumor mill starts spinning uncontrollably. Now, it’s not to say that Barnes & Noble didn’t close any stores any time these last two years. B&N is poised to close 400 of its 627 stores.

At this time, there is not enough information to determine accurately how many have been closed so far if any. What we do know is is that in most stores, due to the pandemic, massive layoffs took place. Most employees who have been working at a location for less than six months got the ax.

Many Barnes & Noble locations that have closed due to local ordinances continue to offer curbside pick up for online orders. These orders allow a small number of employees to continue working while maintaining a safe distance from customers and ensuring time for stores to disinfect surfaces.” – (Source)

To me, if COVID-19 cases continue to decline (hopefully), perhaps soon enough these closures will be seen as nothing more than temporary.

Let’s be honest, though, most Barnes & Noble stores hasn’t been so kind to the author community. A hard to pill to swallow: both B&N and authors like myself know that visibility and ease of purchase is crucial for selling, especially in a seemingly oversaturated industry. It’s why I prefer to refer as many folks as I can to smaller bookstores, and even libraries (if they accept new authors) rather than B&N.

So begs the question of whether B&N will change their overall culture and subculture to better reflect the author communities that support them.

What are your thoughts?

Did you buy some books recently? What are your favorites as of late?