Tuesday, July 20, 2010

National Independent Retailers Week

July 18-24 is National Independent Retailers Week, a time to celebrate locally owned, independent businesses that provide quality and diversity to your shopping experiences, and contribute their money and their energies to supporting their communities. It is also a time for those of us who work in such businesses, to thank you for supporting us. So, thanks! There is a cool NIRW graphic on the homepage of the Accent on Books website with a link to the NIRW site, so check it out. By the way, if you haven't been to our website since its recent hiatus, you should know that Byron is doing great things with it and will continue to develop it. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

So what are we doing to celebrate Independent Retailers Week? We're continuing our amazing July sale. In case you've forgotten, that's 30% off virtually every book in stock. Only ten days left in the month, so come in and grab some great bargains, and congratulate yourself for supporting locally owned businesses.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We all hear inner voices -- at least that's what the self-help writers would have us believe. Not the dangerous kinds that could get us institutionalized, but the nagging kinds that tell us we're not rich/smart/successful/sexy/just plain good enough. ("That expensive college education, and you're working in a bookstore?")

Shalom Auslander hears voices every day when he sits down to write, and I imagine anyone who has ever tried to put words on paper (or a computer screen) in a creative way will understand his predicament. In a recent article for "Tablet Magazine" Auslander labeled some of the many voices which second-guess his writing efforts, and while a number of them are specific to his being a Jewish author who writes humorously of his heritage, others are the type that can annoy anyone. There's the "Derogatory Scholar/Marshall McLuhan" voice ("...you should have gone to college. You should have gone to graduate school. You should have gone to the Iowa Writers Workshop."). Or the mellow but damning "Garrison Keillor Writer's Almanac" voice ("If you do enough serious things, for a seriously long time, I might someday mention your birthday. But this? This is not of birthday-mentioning caliber."). Or the dreaded "New York Times Book Review" voice ("...it isn't an important new work, it isn't a bold new voice, it isn't the future of American fiction, and it doesn't limn anything."). And, of course, the most pervasive and dreaded of all, the "Voice of American Express": "This better sell well, you're carrying a tremendous amount of debt."

Auslander's article with his full list of voices (funny, but warning: strong language) can be found here.

("Patrick, do you really think this blog post is informative or clever enough to publish? Are you sure?")

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anticipating Autumn

Well it is definitely July out there. When the space between blue sky and clouds has dissolved into a whitish, grayish, hazy something-or-other you know that the hot temperatures will accompanied by an unwelcome mugginess.

What better time to look forward to fall, and the cool weather -- and new books -- it will bring? I'll leave it to the Farmer's Almanac and the wooly worms to make specific predictions about the weather, but we can be pretty specific about some of the major books due out over the coming months. One of the first major listings of forthcoming books has arrived via this posting from the invaluable website, "The Millions." The novel with the most buzz is probably Jonathan Franzen's new one, his first since The Corrections almost a decade ago. And there will be anticipation here in Asheville for Ape House, the new offering from our local literary celebrity, Sara Gruen. The upcoming nonfiction includes travel writing from V. S. Naipaul (Africa) and Ian Frazier (Siberia, which almost sounds appealing about now).

But again, that just the tip of the iceberg. (Ice! I think I need a glass of sweet tea.) Check out The Millions' full list here.