Saturday, December 22, 2012

The kismet just keeps on coming (or how we got an awesome book table)

Dear Reader -  We are in that season of magic, and we had our own little magic moment this past week.

Linda was watching the shop while I was moving the sorting room with Ingrid and Julie and Nathalie (lovingly dubbed by Minivan Mafia sisters). We wrapped up our move round about 1:30, and after some errands I headed home to grab lunch.

Linda called. She said, "What're you doing?" Excitedly ignoring my reply that I was eating lunch, she continued, "You need to come over to the shop. There's something you need to see."

I put my lunch on the bookcase, picked up the dog, and over we went.

Linda greeted us with a Vanna White-ish gesture, drawing our eyes to the couch and this:

Yes! A book table! What every bookshop needs (and its beat up in such a way as to make it perfect here in a used setting).

So you're wondering how it got here, right? Well, that's the magic part, dear Reader.

A nice lady that Linda'd never seen before came in to get a card, and when she was checking out she said, "You know, I have something out in my car that you might like to have." She told Linda that the table was slated for a future at Goodwill. Linda took one look and happily accepted the woman's kind offer.

It's perfect for the space: perfect footprint, perfect height, perfect colors. The detailing throughout is awesome, like the indentation of the "pages" along the sides:

We're in love with it - and we're so grateful. Thank you, Nice Lady, for giving us your wonderful table and for buying a card.

Happy Christmas, indeed!  - Jen

P.S. We've all been digging the She and Him Christmas album this season. Here they are with Conan, having a little holiday fun with one of the classics:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A little childlike wonder here in Lewes

Dear Reader -  One of my favorite family traditions growing up in small-town Kansas was hitting the road in our gianormous Pontiac station wagon to "go see the lights." We'd toodle around our little town of Augusta a bit and then head over to the "big city" of Wichita, lingering the longest in Eastborough, where Mom loved the neighbors' tasteful takes on holiday hoopla.

To this day, I'm a sucker for a simple, pretty holiday display, and I'm charmed by so many of my neighbors' homes here in Lewes.

But what I'm in love with this December is the new creation that our town blacksmith (you may remember how I met him a couple years back and what an interesting and astonishing character he is - here's the story) has assembled over at Preservation Forge.

By day it's delightful and engaging:

By night it's stunning and enchanting:

Now I don't have to tell you, dear Reader, that my silly iPhone photos are sad, not coming close to doing John's art justice. So, if you happen to be driving through Lewes over the next few weeks, make a turn onto Third Street and stop by at the corner of Chestnut. John's creation is sure to kindle that sense of childlike wonder in your heart, too!

Blessings to you, dear Reader, as you settle in to celebrate with those you love.  - Jenny

P.S. I've been wearing out my Doris Day CD here at the shop this season - love this little ditty (cheesy graphics notwithstanding):

P.S.S. In my eyes, the best thing that those of us who care about the tragedy in Connecticut but who are distant from it can do in response is to love the children who're closest to our lives. Whether it's sharing a smile with a child in the checkout line at the grocery store or dashing down the stairs with our own children to find what's waiting under the tree, every act of kindness that we share with a child sows a seed of hope and peace. Let's love every child in our lives with utter abandon.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A couple of adventurers venture to Lewes!

Dear Reader -  I got a call a year or so ago from a gentleman who's stopped into the shop and was smitten by it. He followed up to let me know this and to also let me know about his card line: The Adventures of Mirabelle.

The man was Michael Muller, former owner of Details gallery in Reho. A few Christmases back, Michael received a gift: Mirabelle. Mirabelle is a little Boston Terrier who has changed the course of Michael's life - utterly:

Six years later, Michael and Mirabelle's card line is all over the country and they have published three children's board books with Workman Publishing. The books came out this fall and Mirabelle has been touring ever since to do promotions and signings.

We're smitten with both Michael and Mirabelle. Michael is among the nicest of human beings you'd ever wanna meet, and Mirabelle is a canine who's ready for adventure - always. Our favorite Mirabelle cards are the ones that feature her in Lewes, like this one at the farmers market:

Or this one over at the Zwaanendael Museum:

Or this one where she "skitches" a ride on the Ferry:

Boston people, dog people, Lewes people, good-humored people - it doesn't matter, they all love Mirabelle. So it's no surprise that people have been loving her new board books, too:

They're adorable - perfect for the preschool and early reader sets. And what child wouldn't be charmed to have their book(s) signed by a dog?!

Mirabelle will be over in Reho on Saturday morning from 10:00 to Noon at Proud Bookstore, near Arena's. After some lunch and a nap, she'll be here in Lewes from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.:

So stop by and say hello, shake Mirabelle's paw, and consider a special gift for a child or Boston-lover in your life!

Cheers!  - Jen

P.S. I'm thinking that Mirabelle's the kind of girl who'd dig some funk, a la George Clinton and Parliament - "Why must I feel like that, must I chase the cat? Nothin' but the dog in me . . . ":

P.S.S. And don't forget that we're happy to have a book or two signed for you if you can't make it on Saturday!  - J

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Children's Book Signings for the Holidays!

Dear Reader -  While the rest of us can all get more than a little swept up in the holiday spirit, the kids're the ones who really sit at the center of our Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations. There's really nothing like the joy that special traditions and, of course, gifts can evoke in the wee ones.

That's why we're so delighted here at biblion to host two children's book signings over the next two weekends.

This coming Saturday, December 1, Lewes author and illustrator Caryl Ekirch Williams will be at the shop from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. to sign her imaginative book The Words:

Caryl is a retired educator (who still teaches in her retirement at the Lifelong Learning Center here in town), and that's evident in her book. The Words encourages children to play and engage with language, getting them to think about the power that they hold in their own hands.

In the end, though, the illustrations are the stars of the book. Each word has its own personality, and they "speak up" as the story progresses. Caryl studied fine art at Skidmore, and it's clear that she's a gifted artist:

So come on down and say hi to her between home tour stops, after grabbing a bowl of yummy soup at St. Peter's, or before you line up for the parade!

Next Saturday, December 8, Mirabelle will be here in all her canine glory, along with her friend Michael (a.k.a. Mr. Muller of Details fame):

While biblion guests know Mirabelle from her adventuresome cards (including her exploits in Lewes), she's coming to sign her three new, darling board books, featuring adventures with Mr. Muller, a bouncy red ball, a butterfly, and a healthy walk:

They're starting the day over at Proud Bookstore in Rehoboth, and then they'll make their way to Lewes to be with us from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

I'll write a little more about them next week, but I wanted you to get a chance to put her on your agenda.

Can't wait to see you here!  - Jen

P.S. Jingle Bell dogs, of course:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Wilds of Hospitality, or Cream Puff?

Dear Reader -  I first learned of Hospitality Night in legendary terms in advance of last year's event. You'd think that inviting our regular guests, as well as our friends and neighbors here in Lewes in for a little touch of something at the holidays'd result in a heapin' helpin' of that sweet, small-town-Americana-run-amok-ish-ness that we've all come to love here. The kind that's exemplified in this beatific photo from the Cape Gazette of my fellow shopkeeper Maureen down at Aquamarine:

But my colleagues on Second Street terrorized me with tales of gauche, greedy, often thieving hordes (literally hordes and hordes of people). I have to admit that I was kinda unnerved by the prospect. For instance, one shopkeeper had a tradition of serving homemade meatballs each year, 'til someone showed up in the crowd with a Tupperware container and proceeded to fill it. Another told of how they'd been robbed blind the first year they did it, so they've since learned to remove their valuable merchandise from the floor.

Trampling and breaking and spilling, oh my

This image from the bonfire tradition in Lewes, England somehow seemed more apt:

But rather than running willy-nilly into the streets, wailing and decrying tradition, this, dear Reader, is when my penchant for control issues came in handy. I quickly stepped back and realized that we are a bookshop - we sell things made of paper. Paper does not do well with liquid, so we decided not to serve any. I also recognized that self-service is for gas stations and buffet restaurants, so our offering would be individually served.

Then the question was, what to offer? I remembered my days as a development director at Yale and the horror that was the mini-spanakopita. Good heavens! They served that most socially inept of all noshes at every darn cocktail hour in the 90s:
The mini-spanakopita had multiple problem points:
  1. Garlic. Way too much of it for polite company.
  2. Spinach. Cooked down so as to make it ideal for lodging between teeth.
  3. The relativity of "mini." Mini-spanakopita are, granted, smaller than the traditional ones that I've ordered at many a Greek diner. However, mini-spanakopita are still too darn big to eat in one bite.
  4. Phyllo dough. Phyllo dough is the world's most crumbly substance. I know this 'cause I've witnessed it at near nigh a million cocktail parties. You cannot bite into something made of phyllo dough without having it rain down on whatever you're wearing. If you're all decked out in a little black number for said cocktail party, well, you get the picture. (And don't get me started on how it sticks to your lips ['specially lipsticked ones] and sorta spits off in little puffs as you start to try to say something cocktail-party-worthy after your last bite.)
  5. The net effect is the most socially awkward cocktail gnosh known to humankind.
I could not inflict anything remotely mini-spanakopita-ish on biblion's guests - hordes or no hordes - it just wouldn't be cool. So I regaled Ingrid with my spanakopita exploits at Yale, and she had the perfect solution - the mini-cream puff:

The mini-cream puff is a lovely food. It's a perfect bite. It's sweet, but not over-sweet. It has an appealing blend of textures and temperatures. And it's socially simple, since (nearly*) everyone knows what a cream puff is all about.

So we put Ingrid just inside our front door, greeting each guest with a friendly offer of, "Cream puff?"

Once inside the guests were delightful, as our guests typically are. They had a blast giggling together over our cards and gifts, finding fun things for many of their friends and family members. And we had a blast with them. It was a lovely, evening, and we're looking forward to it again this week on Thursday night from 6 to 9.

So come down, enjoy the music-filled streets, sit down with Santa, visit our nice array shops, and stop by for a little cream puff on us!

Festively  - Jenny

* We did have one guest who was a little baffled by the puff. She shyly asked Ingrid what was in it. "Cream," Ingrid smiled in reply.

P.S. We've gotta have some tunage to go with this. Speaking of the 90s, let's go with Aaron Neville's Christmas album from that vintage:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Dear Reader -  'Tis the season, and we have much to be thankful for here at little biblion:
  1. We are continually stunned and humbled by how engaged and loyal our biblion guests are. Whether you're year-round Lewes folks, weekenders, friends from wider-Delmarva, or once-a-year visitors here, you have been unflaggingly supportive of our shop, and we know that we couldn't be doing this without you. I mean, heck, what other shoppers'd be the kind of people who send thank you notes for their time with us?!
  2. We love (love, love) the people who fill our shop with wonderful things - those who bring their beloved books in to trade, those gifted local authors and artists who are "rare finds," indeed, and those who bring us fun and functional gifts and cards from all over America. It's because of you that we can offer our guests playful and thoughtful shopping experiences.
  3. Our family here is truly top rate - Ingrid, Linda, Grace, and Zac provide small town hospitality and sophisticated insights and expertise to our guests. Plus, they're each super-cool in their own way.
  4. We love Ted and Joe, who provide us with a lovely, well-maintained building to live in - and who're among those faithful guests mentioned above.
  5. We're also grateful for all those who help to get the word out about what we're doing here.
  6. And we love Lewes.
Thank you, dear Reader, for being part of the biblion experience!

Gratefully, Jen and Miss C (and Nellie, too!)

P.S. My friend Anne introduced me to Louie Schwartzberg's work. I'm thinkin' that his film, Gratitude, is perfect for today:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A little helpin' of small-town-life-is-just-too-darn-sweet

Dear Reader -  Two or three weeks back the sweetest-little-Lewes-ish thing happened: Carolyn and Matt, two of our regulars, stopped in to ask if they could have some of their engagement photos taken here, saying biblion was just one of their favorite places. Of course I said, "yes," and much clicking of shutters and giggling ensued:

Their photographer, Kate Callahan, was just as charming as they are. My poor iPhone photo pales in comparison to the spread that she took of the blissful couple which she popped up on her blog here [late-breaking editorial addition: gotta say that the combo platter of looking at the pics while listening to Landon Pigg's song - below - is about as perfect as it gets]. Aren't they fantastic? Both the photos and Matt & Carolyn?!

Go love!  - Jenny

P.S. They're looking for a really cool, old, big dictionary (but not too big like the massive Websters that I have up on my upper shelf) to use at their wedding. If you have one that you think might work for the cause, please let me know - thanks!

P.S.S. We gotta have a love song, too - we're not a coffee shop, but we're close enough for horseshoes or engagement photo shoots, and, heck, Landon Pigg's lovely voice sets the perfect tone:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Celebrate Veterans Day

Dear Reader -  We're marking Veterans Day this weekend with two book signings by local authors, and we hope that you'll stop by to support them.

We've carried Vincent dePaul Gisriel's book Hearts Away, Bombs Away for some time, but this'll be our first chance to have him in for a signing. We're thrilled, since every guest who finds his books walks away delighted - it's a real treasure:

After his father's death, Vince was inspired to learn more about his dad's experience in World War II. As part of his research, Vince poured through his parents' correspondence from those years. And while he learned a lot about what the war was like on the front lines as well as the home front, the real story that emerged was the love story between his mom and dad.

Vince will be here on Veterans Day, Sunday the 11th, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Terri Clifton's book A Random Soldier is likewise about war in real-life: a young Marine's experience of the Iraq War and how his family and friends lived it with him and then lived together through his death:

Terri comes by biblion from time to time, and she never fails to move our guests. She'll be here on Saturday the 10th from Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, please be sure to take a moment to honor our veterans in a way that feels meaningful to you.

Truly  - Jen

P.S. The Andrews Sisters, of course:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

God's Opening Flower: Marianne of Molokai

Dear Reader -  Today is All Saints’ Day. For those of us in America, it’s not a big deal unless we’re part of a liturgical church (and, heck, even then it’s lost its luster as a feast in some circles). But I remember back when I lived in a more traditionally Roman Catholic country: the whole world shut down to mark the occasion.

Since I’m sitting here in Lewes, my shop is open – and nobody’s stopped by to wish me a good one. Not surprising. But I’m finding myself feeling a little wistful this year.


As I told my church choir buddies a week ago at rehearsal, my mom’s Aunt Marianne (for whom I’d written a poem that our former director, George Bayley, set to music for us all to sing) was canonized at St. Peter’s Basilica on October 21 (the eleventh American to be named). So this is her first All Saints’ Day as an official saint.

Now, anybody who knew of her knew well that she didn’t need any official designation to deserve reverence and appreciation, but it still feels good to have her recognized.

Known as Mother Marianne of Molokai for most of her life, the work that gained her the most attention was with the leper colony on that remote Hawaiian island. But her work for those who were outcasts and social pariahs began long before that, as I learned in the books that my mom shared with me about her when I was growing up.

She opened and administered some of the first general hospitals in the United States in upstate New York. Her work was groundbreaking in two ways: she figured out that good hygiene was key, implementing practices that are still in place today, and she also refused to bend to the social barriers that kept many from medical care, including race. In particular, her willingness to care for alcoholics scandalized society.

As mother superior of her order in Syracuse, she answered the Hawaiian king’s plea for help with the leper colonies after 50 other religious orders from around the world had refused – and the sisters of her order volunteered in droves to help as well.

The conditions that the nuns encountered on the islands were horrific. Employing the same brand of practicality and determination, Mother Marianne transformed the hospitals into clean, functional institutions. She and her sisters had to exercise a lot of bravery as well, standing up to the royals and their government as well as the unscrupulous men who ran roughshod over the lepers, particularly in the colony on Molokai (an island which served as a natural prison).

After Father Damien (who has since been canonized for his groundbreaking work on Molokai) succumbed to the disease, Marianne and her sisters took on his responsibilities. In the course of their work, the women transformed the colony – not only making it a clean and sanitary home, but also adding beauty and joy to what was previously a bleak existence - planting gardens, making beautiful clothes, teaching the children, and sharing music. Not one of them ever contracted leprosy in the decades that they served.

Marianne’s love of music became the inspiration for the title of my poem: God’s Opening Flower. Her favorite song was Makalapua (The Opening Flower), which was sung at her beatification at St. Peter’s seven years ago. And the heart of the poem, the line “What I did I did for joy,” came from an astonishing and transformative moment that I shared with her in a meditation.

So, even though I can’t be part of any particular celebrations on her behalf this All Saints' Day, I figure I can celebrate with you here, dear Reader, and share my little poem. Thanks so much for indulging me!

Blessings  - Jen

God’s Opening Flower:
Blessed Mother Marianne of Molokai
 written in honor of her feast day on January 23, 2006, by Jen Mason

Who are the wretched and outcast among us?

Do we see them? Do we know them? Do we hold them as they are?

Or do we turn away, veiling our lives: setting a darkness and distance which calms our fears?

In our darkness a voice breaks through:
            What I did I did for joy
            My life filled up to brim and over
            Sharing in pure brightness the joys of living
            God has made me an Opening Flower

Lives that knew nothing but wretchedness and isolation: cast out and left to the wolves of lust and greed.

To these lives came our Opening Flower, revealing the beauty and dignity that dwelt there all along.

Lives that lived in another kind of prison: locked in the illusion of perceived superiority.

Our Flower gently lifted that veil of security, shielding the open souls from all danger and harm.

For in our darkness a voice breaks through:
            What I did I did for joy
            My life filled up to brim and over
            Sharing in pure brightness the joys of living
            God has made me an Opening Flower

Our Opening Flower knows the wretched and the outcast among us. She knows what is outcast within us, too.

She boldly, safely leads us through the trappings of our own shuttered minds and souls to the beauty and dignity that dwells with us today.

“The charity of good knows no creeds and is confined to no one place.”

We, too, must follow where joy and beauty lead.

For what we do we do for joy
Our lives filled up to brim and over
Sharing in pure brightness the joys of living
God will make of us Opening Flowers.

(And now, dear Reader, you can see what a talented fellow George Bayley is for figuring out a way to set this less-than lyrical poem to music - and how kind my fellow singers were for singing it with me!)

P.S. We gotta have music, right? I've listened along to Mr. Bruno Mars every now and then with Miss C on XM, but none of his songs have ever really stuck for me. That is, until now - I saw this new song of his performed on SNL a couple Saturdays ago. It's so darn happy (even talks about heaven [grin], and I figured it was performed pretty darn close to the same time as her canonization - so I'm thinking it's a good, if unorthodox, accompaniment to my musings about Aunt Marianne (hint: don't skip the ad, or you'll get taken to some odd place on youtube):

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Steve Hayes is coming!

Dear Reader -  Our regular guest and neighbor, Steve Hayes, has written an engaging and compelling adventure story called Light on Dark Water, and he's coming to sign it here at biblion this Friday, August 31, from 6-8 p.m.


Our friend Henry Evans from the Cape Gazette recently interviewed Steve and wrote one of his wonderful stories. You can read it here.

Our advance readers loved the book, calling it engaging and very well written. The story pulls from Steve's own experiences as a seasoned sailor and a Vietnam War veteran. Adventure with a little thoughtfulness woven in - very nice.

As you may remember, Terri Clifton has an ongoing presence here at the shop, as her advocacy for veterans continues. In all of her conversations with vets, she's heard from many of those from Vietnam that they regretted that others have told their stories. Terri has taught me that anytime one steps forward to give us a glimpse into the heart of that war, it's our place to pay attention to what they have to say.

Plus, Steve's book is brief and accessibly priced, so if you haven't enjoyed one of our local authors up to this point, there's nothing to lose with trying this one!

Come on by on your way to or from dinner on Friday, have a little glass of something festive with us, and wish Steve well!

Cheers!  - Jen

P.S. Who among us couldn't help but be affected by the forces at play through the 60s . . .

Thursday, August 23, 2012

'Cause I'm in the . . .

. . . Miss-C's-going-off-to-boarding-school-tomorrow frenzy/funk, dear Reader, I've only got time for a super quick one.

Today's super-sweet-super-Lewes-sight-outta-our-window: five nuns eating King's ice cream . . .

Happily hitting the road with Miss C (who's almost fully packed: all hail the power of the list!)!  - Jen

P.S. Miss C has very wisely chosen those wonderful, whacky brothers Davies for our first traveling music. So, in honor of her now-size-12 feet, which attest to the likelihood that she'll be taller than me 'n my size 10s by the time I see her next:

P.S.S. My sincere apologies to anyone who listened to the first Kinks recording that I linked to - I picked the vintage footage from Youtube when I was at the shop, but I was unable to listen to the audio (didn't wanna disturb the guests with conflicting tunage). The audio was disturbing - modulated keys like 20 times - lesson learned, dear Reader. I thought that this road trip footage seemed happy and fitting.  - J

Friday, August 10, 2012

Along the Delmarva Coast

Dear Reader -  You know how we often start sentences with phrases like "as many of you know"? Well, I started to do that, and then I thought - heck, other than Weather Channel junkies like me, who else is gonna know that we celebrated National Lighthouse Day this past week on August 7?

We have two beautiful ones here - the Delaware Breakwater East End and the Harbor Refuge Lighthouses, and of course there's our lovingly restored Lightship Overfalls docked in Lewes. Several of our regular visitors even remember the iconic Cape Henlopen Light, which collapsed due to erosion in the 20s.

This week's book signing calls them all to mind, and it's a charmer. Jean Abplanalp, a former resident here and a dear friend of our dear friend Hazel Brittingham, has written and illustrated a delightful book: Along the Delmarva Coast.

Jean has researched the histories of all of the lighthouses, lightships, and lifesaving stations from Delaware down to Virginia on the peninsula. Each history is accompanied by a charming watercolor of the subject (many of which Jean will bring with her for sale as well). Her publisher decided to put it out as in paperback, making it accessibly priced as a gift or personal keepsake. We've had the book in the shop now for a couple of months, and feedback has been very positive - particularly on how well the histories are researched.

Please join us on Saturday, August 11, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Sounds like it could be a drippy day, so what better way to spend a rainy Saturday (after you visit the Tomato Festival!) than to take one of the lighthouse tours, catch a yummy lunch in Lewes, and then visit biblion!?

Delighted  - Jenny

P.S. Here're a few lighthouse keepers (serenaded by Neptune's Car) to get you in that lighthouse state of mind:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guess who's joining us for Friday evening cocktails?

Dear Reader -  I've been in a bit of a Miss C's-away-at-her-dad's-for-a-couple-weeks-and-I-miss-her-all-the-more-'cause-it's-much-too-close-to-when-she's-gonna-be-away-for-a-long-long-time funk.

Luckily, little biblion has been hoppin', so that has kept my fully occupied (my poor home is so neglected, though, that one of the dust bunnies in the living room actually grew to such maturity that it up and asked me when I was going to attend to it!).

But, there're just too many fun things going on over on Second Street. Tomorrow night, Friday, August 3, we're welcoming one of our most popular local authors, James Schneider, for a little book signing from 5-7:

Jamie's mystery, based in Lewes and Reho of the 60s, In the Shadow of Silver Lake, was a huge hit last summer:

We had several guests come back and comment on how much they enjoyed this fun, beach read of a book. And Jamie was surprised and delighted when he received notice in the mail of the unsolicited, independent publishing awards that it'd won (hence his title of "award winning" in the flier that he produced)!

This year he's done another suspense novel with some local flavor, legal intrigue, and romance tossed in the mix:

Come and join us for a little glass of something, meet Jamie, maybe hear about his charity, and have him personalize a copy of his book(s) for you! What a happy way to start a Friday evening!

Cheers!  - Jen

Friday, July 13, 2012

Signing and Sighing

Dear Reader -  Well, it's been a week - a whole darn week - since (Ann) Revere Reed's books signing, and we're still having fun watching folks find her book, On a Dime: Senseless in Lewes. I've been wanting to share some photos with you, but, of course, I forgot my own camera and phone last weekend, so I borrowed Grace's, who was minding the shop that night (I was just the resident Pourer-o'-Spanish-Cava for the evening - Grace did all the work).

The night started out quietly, with a fan who had to leave early showing up in time to get her books signed before the crowd started arriving:

She bought five copies, so it took awhile to get them all personalized. Then a few minutes before 7:00, a few more folks showed up to meet and greet the author:

I enjoyed seeing Ann connect with friends and family, as well as other locals who'd read about her work in the Gazette and Countian. By 7:15, we had a nice little crowd going:

And then by 7:30, all happy h__ broke loose, as Rehoboth and Lewes descended on Ann and little biblion. As one guest who stopped in on Saturday put it, "What was going on in here last night? We walked by, but it didn't look like one more person could fit in this shop!" It was a very gratifying and supportive reception for a local author, and we were so grateful to help facilitate.

Ann signed several more copies, which are available at the shop (Mike stopped by just today to get a copy for the Lewes Historical Society's archives - so cool).

Jamie Schneider, whose locally-set novel, In the Shadow of Silver Lake, was a huge hit last summer, has released his second book: The Highest Burden of the Law. He dropped off several copies this week, and he's planning a signing here for early August (which, as it turns out, is dependent on Miss C's schedule - we'll confirm the date/time later).

And we have two other local-author signings on the back burner, awaiting final scheduling info from their publishers.

Sigh. While I love, love, love everything about used books, I am beyond thrilled to be able to have books by local authors be our only new titles offered here - it just seems to fit with the spirit of this little town and our little shop. This instinct received the warmest of confirmations last Friday, as I watched folks who'd grown up here with Ann and her family stop by to support her. Thank you, dear Reader, for joining us in supporting these authors, too.

Contentedly  - Jen

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reminder: Book release/signing today!

Dear Reader -  Hope you can drop by this evening to raise a glass and say "huzzah" to Revere Reed on her new book, On a Dime: Senseless in Lewes. She'll be at the shop from 7-9 p.m. See you then!  - Jen


Thursday, July 5, 2012

The artists are coming! The artists are coming!

Dear Reader -  You may remember when I wrote about St. Peter's Art Show round about this time last year, as we were in the throes of the final preparations for the 45th annual event (see The Love of My Life post, if you're curious).

One of the many things that I gave up this year to spend more time with Miss C was chairing this event - after five years, it was time anyhow. Not surprisingly, a stalwart and committed group of volunteers has picked up the ball quite ably - 'cause that's what the folks at St. Peter's do.

A diverse and talented cadre of fine artists and fine crafters are due to descend on little Lewes over the next couple of days - some of them long-time participants, some of them brand-new. As you can see from this awesome photo that I picked up on the Internet (that's a whole other story, Reader - my hard drive has crashed - irretrievably - not a happy turn of events for an editor!), all 140 of them will be a stones throw from the shop, so we can't wait to stop by with Miss C and do our shopping!

It's one day only - running from 9 to 4; there's a free shuttle running constantly from Shields Elementary School to the show, so parking's not an issue; there's an huge silent auction, so bargains are to be had; there's an art project for the kids, as well as a face painter, so they won't go too insane; and the ladies of St. Peter's ECW are producing their Famous Turkey Salad lunch (available for eat-in or take-out), so it's easy to make a day of it!

Come out and join us! Vive la art!  - Jen

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Small-Town-Americana Run Amok

Dear Reader -  Having a bookshop in Lewes is kinda like being an adjunct visitors-center-information-booth-public-safety-patrol-realtors-association-restroom-locator-restaurant-reviewer-town-ambassador-yadda-yadda-yadda - in short, whoever's working is Julie on the Loveboat. And one of the phrases that I'm heard saying about little Lewes over and over again that it's the quintessential small-town-American run amok. There is some sorta festival somthin' happening just about every week for locals and visitors alike to dive into.

Now no day embodies this reality here more than July 4. As Miss C'd say: it is so adorable.

The day kicks off around 9:00 a.m. with the Old Fashioned Children's Games:

We shut down Second Street and let kids loose on it for the entire morning to do every manner of goofy game - sack races, ice-block pushing - there even used to be a greased pole contest, but I think that had to be ca-bashed with the new streetscape a few years back. It's a blast and a half for everyone - the families who participate and those of us who just show up to goof on it.

(An Aside:  For years, the event was run by Larry McLaughlin and Gilbert Holt - two City of Lewes employees [Larry ran the Streets Department and Gilbert was at the Board of Public Works]:

They both loved the tradition and were fantastic about making it fun for us all - giving selflessly of their time and energy to bring it to life. Tragically, Larry was killed in an accident on the evening of July 4, 2010, and we mourned the loss of Gilbert this past year. Because of their efforts, the games are a tradition that is strong enough to survive their loss, but I can't help but feel a little bittersweet at the remembrance of them today.)

The next big thing is the boat parade down at the dock at 2:00 p.m.:

It's typically a whole lotta flags and a whole lotta waitin', but it's a whole lotta fun, too!

And then, late in the afternoon - at an -ish-ish kinda time around 5:30-ish, the most un-grandish of traditions commences - the Doo-Dah Parade:

Everybody and their dog (literally) shows up to be part of this ad hoc parade, that legend has it started as an adult beverage run from the Shockley's. The parade sports everything from the most organized of organizations to the last-minute-inspired-by-the-small-town-Americana-spirit visitor. It has become one of the most beloved of traditions for it's untraditional traditionalness. We love it.

So come on down to Lewes and get your own heapin' helpin' of Americana (and a little glass of somethin' while Doo Dah-ing with us this afternoon at biblion)!

Vive la Independence!

Amok! Amok! Amok!  - Jenny

P.S. And a couple perfect doses of that Americana tradition to close . . . 
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