Who ever said that independent bookstores are dead haven’t been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina? I’m on a book tour for “The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina”. Yesterday I spent a long, long day meeting and greeting at two small but vibrant bookstores.
In the morning, I visited Duck’s Cottage, a sweet, small cottage with intelligent books plus great coffee and goodies. OK, so I had tea but it was made very well.
I was skeptical of how I would spend my time when I first came in. I feel so comfortable giving talks and presenting the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that I didn’t know if I’d have anything to do, just sitting and meeting and greeting customers. I was wrong!
From the time I put my display together, people started coming in-young people, families, older couples. I tried to approach everyone but it was impossible. They kept flowing in like a flooded river.
I gave each a postcard from my book and told them about our North Carolina trail. If they really seemed interested, I told them about my book. “You know, like Wild without the angst.” Well, not really since mine was non-fiction but it seemed like a funny line.
Jamie is the book buyer at Ducks Cottage but is part owner of Manteo Downtown books. That was going to be my next stop, but not until 5 pm. So I spent the intervening hours first having an obscenely large ice cream. Then I went to Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site to sign books. Eastern National, which manages the bookstores at most small national park units, is now carrying my books in the Outer Banks. Yippee!
The Wright Brothers Memorial hadn’t changed since I was there last in 2011. But Fort Raleigh got a new visitor center. When I was there, the visitor center was in a trailer. But though the wheels of the federal government grind slowly, they do move. The visitor center is beautiful.
Then onto Manteo Downtown Books for First Friday. Yes, the bookstores have the same website. It was a very active evening. For the first time, I sold and signed a book to a child. A 12-year old girl bought my book. I was surprised but delighted.
Page was my host at the bookstore–see the picture on top. No fancy baked goods here, just thoughtful books. More North Carolinians came by, so we could have a better discussion of the MST.
A long, long day but a good one. Onto Page after Page in Elizabeth City next. That’s what I’m here for.