« This Woman Driver (Sort Of) | Main | Total Lunar Eclipse Or Pass the Joystick »

Meet a Wonderful Bookseller - Karen West at Book Passage (I Did!)

Yesterday, one of my incredible publicists, Kim Dower, set me up to meet several booksellers in the Bay Area. Yes, I know my last post was about what a lousy driver I am, and how I have no sense of direction. So how in the world would even Queenly I presume to get to San Francisco and back from Modesto, nearly 100 miles away?

This Queen has her own driver, of course.

Sir Tim very nobly agreed to chauffer me on his day off (perhaps less due to his being one heck of guy, than his fear that if allowed to go by myself he’d be getting my late night, frantic call – from Portland).

I met with a few booksellers, and Karen West at Book Passage in Corte Madera, was the very first.

Book Passage, for any of you who don’t know (living under a rock, perchance?) is an ultra-fabulous book store in Marin that also hosts writers workshops, conferences and classes complete with very illustrious faculty. Indeed, the biggest names in publishing make sure to stop by for readings and signings, including Isabel Allende, Bill Bryson, Tim Cahill, Amy Tan, Michael Chabon, Anne Lamott, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Madeline Albright to name drop just a few. (Check out their website for all the wonderful upcoming events at "BPU." Even if you don't live near San Francisco, Book Passage hosts writing workshops spanning several days. What could be better than learning from the masters and spending time in the greatest city in the world?)

I had lunch with Karen, Director of Events & Conferences outside in the California sunshine (we’ll be heading back to Boulder in a couple of weeks, so this was even more of a treat), as we ate salads and sandwiches provided by Book Passage's very own, in store café. (How neat is that?)

Of course, we talked about QUEEN OF THE ROAD, but we also had an interesting discussion about the issues it raises for us baby boomers who hit their 40s and ask, “Is this all there is?” Karen expressed, oh so well, that even though many readers can’t drop everything and travel for a year, hopefully, by reading QUEEN OF THE ROAD they can learn an important life-lesson or two. (Very wise woman, this Karen.)

I had always envied booksellers. I mean, getting paid (in part) to read? But, Karen pointed out that she actually reads fewer books than she would like because she also has to read periodicals and newsletters about books and publishing. So, I’m a little less envious than I was. A little.

Here’s a picture of the two of us standing at the very same podium as all those amazing writers, movers and shakers. Karen was kind enough to suggest we pose there, saying, “So you’ll have a picture of where you’ll be speaking!”


More on my other meetings at other fabulous bookstores to come…

Comments (9)

I've met a lot of interesting booksellers too. It is nice, the idea of reading all day. While the corporate stores sell big volumes, we really need the independents to provide diversity. There are many good books that never find their way into chain stores.

So true, John. As I was leaving Book Passage, a book on one of the tables caught my eye. I'd never heard of it and I asked Karen if it was something she could recommend. One of the other booksellers immediately chimed in with, "That's my favorite book!" I'll be starting it tonight.

So many books, so little time. (Karen also commented she only recently gave up the dream to read all the books she wants to in her lifetime. If SHE can't, then there's really no hope.)


I LOVE this store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I had no idea authors did this type of thing. I thought it all came after when the book publishes. Very interesting. Hope I get there some day.

Ahhh, you're a natural behind the podium. Look how it comes right up to your... hmm... well, I'm short too. Shorticakes everywhere, unite! :) :)


As Karen said when we got up to the podium, "Isabel Allende needed something to stand on, too."

Hey! I've been compared to Isabel Allende!

Who's Isabel Allende?

And for Eileen and the comment on doing this sort of thing . . . I now stop at booksellers in every city when I travel, even though I don't currently have a new release on tour, just to show my support.

You look like a natural behind the podium. Most queenly.

I haven't heard about that book store. I wish there were more independents around. A good one is hard to come by these days.


Why many thanks, m'lady.

If you're ever in Marin, do check Book Passage out. It's quite impressive - even by royal standards.

Enter email address below to subscribe/unsubscribe to comments on this post without having to post a comment. Your email will NOT BE PUBLISHED. It will be used only to notify you of replies.

Subscribe to Comments
Unsubscribe from Comments


About Me
About My Book
Contact Me

Friend me on Facebook

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 Subscribe in a reader


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 19, 2008 6:18 PM.

The previous post in this blog was This Woman Driver (Sort Of).

The next post in this blog is Total Lunar Eclipse Or Pass the Joystick.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35