Thursday, January 8, 2009

San Francisco's Stacey's Book Store Closing


It was September 2007 and my debut novel, MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT, had just been released. Of course I was excited; to have a novel published by a real publisher, one that would actually be on a shelf in a bookstore, was a dream that had finally come true after many years of perseverance. Friends sighted MIDORI in various stores and excitedly told me the news.

“I saw it at Stacey’s!” a friend emailed and when I was in San Francisco one afternoon I decided to visit. Every article I’d read about book promotion said it was a good idea to go to bookstores and “sign stock on hand.” The bookstore would place a sticker that said, “Signed by the Author,” which could help sales. However, I entered Stacey’s feeling rather nervous. If they had only one copy would it be tacky to ask to sign it? Would they look at me and say, “Who are you?” And how disappointing it would be if there were actually no copies.

I approached the fiction section, looking for “T” when something familiar caught my eye. It was the bright blue and red cover of my book. I turned and saw that on a table, all its own, was a display of my book—with about a dozen copies. My heart leapt at the sight. “I’m the author of that book on display over there,” I said when I got to the counter. “Can I sign the copies?”

The woman smiled warmly. “Why of course. Thank you for coming in.”

Seeing my book on display and signing it at Stacey’s, a bookstore I’d wander in many times during my lunch breaks when I worked downtown at boring administrative temp jobs to finance my creative pursuits, is a memory I will always treasure. And now I read in my hometown paper, The San Francisco Chronicle, that Stacey’s, the same as the also wonderful Cody’s, is closing its doors for good. It’s the same old story—Borders, Barnes and Noble, buying books online, and bad economic times.

Stacey’s, I will miss you. Thanks for the memories.

4 comments:

Kathy Holmes said...

I know, I know. So Sad. Had to blog sbout it. Hubby used to work near the one in Palo Alto and go there at lunch. I used to work near the one in SF. Sniffle, sniffle!

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga said...

My husband and I used to go to the Palo Alto one all the time and were very sad when it closed (at least 10 years ago?). They always had the latest computer tech books along with everything else.

Mary Witzl said...

Hi, Wendy!

There is something so sad about a favorite book shop closing. It's not the same buying them on line... especially for those of us who've never figured out how to do this, sigh...

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga said...

Hey, Mary! I wish there was a way that all these things could co-exist happily and efficiently: online, chain stores, and independents because I think they serve all different needs.