We're sure that all you diehard Game of Thrones fans have marked your calendars for April 24th, when the show will return for its 6th season. We want you to save an additional date: April 22nd from 7-9 pm, we will be hosting a medieval feast in honor of our return to the Seven Kingdoms. No, there will not be any jousting. But there will be food, GOT gifts and books to purchase at a discount, and, of course, a costume contest.
We will be serving items from the Game of Thrones cookbook and giving away prizes to the best costumes and also to the winner of our GOT trivia quiz. And more! So save the date and start shopping for capes and daggers!
And, obviously, you need to read the books. Start now, while you still have time to read them all before the party!
The best thing about fall, if you ask us, is the book list. The fall list is the one most prized by authors (since it means their books will sell as Christmas gifts) so there are always big names on it. In case you want to start planning your Christmas list, or if you're a big fan of one of the authors, here are the names and publication dates of the Big Fall Books. (You can pre-order them now and get a 20% discount.)
Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon -- September 22nd
Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly -- September 22nd
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Attwood -- September 29th
See Me by Nicholas Sparks - October 13th
Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham -- October 20th
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith -- October 20th
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman -- October 27th
Slade House by David Mitchell -- October 27th
The Crossing by John Connelly -- November 3rd
Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King -- November 3rd
Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich -- November 17th
Guilty by David Baldacci -- November 17th
Cross Justice by James Patterson -- November 23rd
Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz -- December 6th
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling -- October 6th
Dork Diaries #10 by Rachel Renee Russell – Oct. 20
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney – Nov. 3rd
We hope everyone enjoyed their summer, which seemed to go by faster than ever. Right now we having an End of the Summer Sale so we can make some room for the new fall books. Selected children's and adults books are 50% off through the weekend. We have titles by Sue Grafton, Brad Thor, Lee Smith and many more. We have children's picture books and step books and even a few board books. Come grab some great books at bargain prices!
We know you are looking forward to the new fall books as much as we are. Stay tuned for titles and publication dates!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
If you haven't visited us in our current incarnation, please do. In our neverending attempt to stay in business, we moved out of our Boone Mall store in June of 2014. We didn't move far, though. We rented a much less expensive space directly in front of the old store, and we built an "open air" book store in the middle of the mall.
We would have loved to have stayed in the old store, but business was not strong enough for us to pay the rent. However, we have been happily surprised by our unconventional store. We have packed a lot of titles into our space and we keep it well stocked, since we have money left over after paying rent and taxes. Also, we have found that we spend more time talking to customers and we feel we are therefore able to serve our customers better.
Winter is always hard for us, but we will have an easier time keeping the store stocked during the winter, and your selection will be good. We still have the same great staff and we keep up with everything that is going on in the book world, so we will always have new authors and books to recommend!
It's the time of year to curl up by the fire with a good book. Come by and let us help you find one!
To borrow from Mark Twain, the report of our death is greatly exaggerated! Or maybe we just had a near-death experience. At any rate, we had our big going-out-of-business sale and we we down to two display tables and a few boxes of books headed to the Friends of the Library, when somehow we came up with the idea to move into the middle of the mall and run a little book store kiosk. So we pushed out display tables out into the hall...
Obviously we won't have the same selection, but it will bring our rent down thousands of dollars, and hopefully we will be able to survive. In fact, we're hoping to thrive, so we can rent an even bigger space. (And maybe one day we'll be able to afford walls again.) So tell your friends, we're still at the mall. And we can still order anything you want and give you a discount for ordering.
Our four largest sections will be bestsellers, fiction, sci-fi and children. We plan to keep the latter filled with all the best children's series, and also this year's Battle fo the Books books. In addition, we will have board books and picture books. We will also have a young adult section, history, religion, and maybe a tiny section for used books. If we do well his summer, we will expand in October to have room for Christmas books.
We are waiting for our display shelves to be built, so please "bear" with us until we look better. But we have a LOT of books coming in on Monday, and we're eager to have you come browse. Help us prove that Boone CAN support a book store!
As you have probably heard, we will be closing our doors at the end of June. We are so grateful to the loyal customers who kept us going while all the other local book stores closed. Thanks to you, we have been able to have the incredible experience of owning Black Bear Books for almost five years. We have been able to employ many delightful college students who have enriched our lives and the lives of our customers. We have been able to provide the town with a great independent book store for five years longer than they would have had it, which we have considered a a great priviledge. So we thank you, for all you have given us and the town.
Almost every customer asks us why we are closing. There are several factors that created a perfect storm. They are these:
(1) A horrible economy, which still shows no sign of improving.
(2) The nature of a resort area, which means a looooooong winter of trying to keep the store open while there are very few customers. That's hard enough in a good economy. Every winter we have put our own money into the store to keep it going until the summer people and tourists returned. We finally ran out of our own money, and this winter was brutal.
(3) An embezzlement that cost us tens of thoursands of dollars. Initially, we could not understand how the store had made enough money for someone to steal so much. Then we got the phone call from the IRS and learned that, while he had been telling us that the taxes were paid, our former manager had not paid NC state taxes in over a year. We were left with a tax debt that was over $35,000 and our payment plan amounted to us having to pay double taxes every month. That was the nail in our coffin. (Our family now inherits the tax debt, while the criminal was given probation and is paying us back a very small fraction of what he stole, at the rate of $100 a month.)
So, that's the story of the end of Black Bear Books. However, we are striving to be the best we can be for our final month. We can't stock much, but we are stocking some great summer reading and we have recommendations for you.
HOT SUMMER HARDBACKS
We are always hesitant to say "Great Beach Reading" because no everyone has the same taste in beach reading. So we'll say "Big Fun Books." Into that category goes:
There are so many great paperbacks this summer, your summer won't last long enough for you to read them. Here are the ones we are stocking:
PAPERBACKS FOR MEN (And Women Who Like Macho Non-fiction)
FOR WOMEN AND BOOK CLUBS
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Our last day will be June 29th. You will be able to order anything you want up until closing on June 24th.
Once again, thank you for four-and-a-half great years.
2013 was a great year for books. Of course, if you're a book lover, every year is a great year for books. But despite all its woes, the publishing industry is still cranking out books for the people who love them, and our job is to help you find the ones that shouldn't be missed. We'll start with our youngest readers.
CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS
The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers.Poor Duncan just wants to color. Unfortunately, he can't, because all of his colors have quit in protest. The book is full of all the letters they have written explaining their reasoning. Black is tired of being used for nothing but outlining. Blue feels overworked because he always has to do the sky and bodies of water. Purple, it turns out, is a neat freak and is angry because Duncan never stays in the lines. And Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. This is an adorable book that will have your kids talking to their crayons. And rethinking large bodies of water.
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton. If you had a train for a pet, how would you take care of it? This was the perfect Christmas gift for train-crazy little boys. We try to keep a lot of train books in stock because we get so many requests for them. This was our favorite of 2013, although Locomotive was a close second.
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. It was actually published in late 2012, but it won the Caldecott Medal for 2013. A sequel to Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, this book is also a visual treat with smart, dry humor.
You've waited all year, and now it's just around the corner. STICK SEASON!!! That wonderful time of year, between Leaf Season and Ski Season, when we have the High Country all to ourselves! The Wendy's intersection? Piece of cake! Parking at the mall? No problem! Spontaneous meal at Tucker's Cafe? Come on in!
And since we know you'll be out and about, we are planning some fun events for you.
First, there's our first annual Stick Season Sale! You're going to have to watch our Facebook page for the date, because the Stick Season Sale will be announced the day before the event. In honor of Stick Season, everything in the store will be 20% off between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. So "like" us on Facebook and watch for the announcement!
On November 16th, we are honored to have Michael Hardy, author and Civil War historian, at the store from 2-5 pm to sign his new book, Watauga County, North Carolina, in the Civil War. A signed copy of this book will make a fantastic Christmas present for the Civil War buffs on your list. And you can meet the Hardy family, who will be there to answer any of your Civil War questions.
It's time to PACK A SHOEBOX, JACK! Just like Uncle Si, Black Bear Books will be helping with Samaratin's Purse's Operation Christmas Child this year. Bring your box to Black Bear (or get one from us) and we will help you pack it with books, toys and candy for needy children worldwide. If you don't have time, we'll also deliver your box to Samaratin's Purse, making it super easy for you to participate in this wondeful hometown/worldwide charity.
BLACK BEAR EVENT OF THE MONTH:
NOVEMBER 22nd, 7-9 pm. While you're waiting for the midnight showing of Catching Fire, come party with us! You might remember our very successful Hunger Games night from a couple of years ago. This night will be to that what the Quarter Quell is to a normal Hunger Games: Bigger and Better!!! Once again we have great prizes (including 2 free tickets to the midnight showing of Catching Fire), games, costume contest and food!
Last but not least, there's Black Friday. Once you've finished fistfighting over a flat screen or this year's Tickle Me Elmo, come over to the mall for some peace on earth. We deck the halls on Black Friday, and we'll help your kids make Christmas ornaments while you check some book lovers off your Christmas list.
More about our Christmas plans later. The last thing we want to do is distract you from the glory that is Stick Season! Happy Stick Season, everyone!
It's Labor Day weekend and we hope you all had a great summer. (Thank you for spending all those rainy days at our store!) The fall decor is coming out of the closet this week, as we get ready for what looks to be a great fall booklist. More about that in a minute.
If you haven't been to the store lately, come say "hi" to our new assistant manager, Mary, and our new bookseller, Jordan. You might know her from Food Lion or Six Pence, and you might recognize him from Panera Bread. They are both excellent additions to our already excellent staff.
On September 11th and 10:30 am, we will be at the Watauga Public library to sell books for the author signing for American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar. This is the "Watauga Reads" book for this year. The book is also for sale at the store, if you want to get your copy early.
We are very excited about hosting Sharyn McCrumb on September 30th at 7 pm. She will be discussing and signing her new book, King's Mountain. Come early if you want a chair. Sharyn always draws a big crowd.
We will let you know about other signings as they are booked.
We've been getting a lot of inquiries about the publication dates of the big fall books, so here is a list for your convenience:
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood - September 3rd. The final entry in Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy.
Si-Cology by Si Robertson - September 3rd.
The Old Farmers Almanac - September 3rd. (Stop worrying about your August Fog Bean Jar and go to the source!)
Salinger by David Shields - September 3rd.
The Mayan Secrets by Clive Cusler - September 3rd.
Never Go Back by Lee Child - September 3rd. A Jack Reacher novel.
*Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn comes out in paperback - September 4th
W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton - September 10th.
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem - September 10th.
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon - September 17th.
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks - September 17th
The Quest by Nelson DeMille - September 17th
Dr. Sleep by Stephen King - September 24th. Sequel to The Shining.
Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reily - September 24th (*You're going to want to pre-order this book if you want to get a copy on September 24th. People have been asking about it since the beginning of summer!)
Gone by James Patterson - September 30th
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell - October 1st
One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson - October 1st
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert - October 1st
Eat to Live Cookbook by Joel Fuhrman - October 8th
Storm Front by John Sandford - October 8th
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding - October 15th
Sycamore Row by John Grisham - October 22nd.
Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer - October 22nd
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - October 22nd.
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts - October 29th
*Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (book five in the Game of Thrones series) comes out in paperback on October 29th!
The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin - November 5th
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan - November 5th
Mirage by Clive Cussler - November 5th
Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann - November 5th
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg - November 5th
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evonovich - November 19th
CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULT
Survivor's #3 - Darkness Falls by Erin Hunter - September 3rd
Haddix: Risked (The Missing) by Margaret Peterson Haddix - September 3rd
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman - September 17th
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan - October 8th - Fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series.
Allegient by Veronical Roth - October 22nd. (Third book in the Divergent series.)
After Dead by Charlaine Harris - October 29th - A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Warriors: The Ultimate Guide - by Erin Hunter - November 5th
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney - November 5th
The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice - Book 12) by John Flanagan - November 5th
(Please let us know if we've missed anything.)
We love this time of year. The "summer people" are still here and the ASU students are back and the holidays are right around the corner. It's a vibrant time of year and we hope you'll come celebrate it with us and a new book!