In my lifetime, I think I’ve attended Black Friday once – maybe twice. And one of those times was due to waking up at 4 AM and not being able to go back to sleep.
Otherwise, on the morning after Thanksgiving, I’m happy to sleep as long as my toddlers will let me.
However, I am a fervent supporter of Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday where shoppers are encouraged to frequent small, independent businesses. I also think that books are probably one of the best gifts that a person can give and receive! So here are a couple suggested reads and some Midwest indie bookstores where you can find them! (And remember – a lot of bookstores are willing to ship books. Another thing I’ve learned when working with indie bookstores is if you can find the “local” bookstore for your favorite author, oftentimes they’ll have signed copies available or can arrange for a signature.)
“Ivory and Gold” was written by my dear friend and mentor Jerry Johnson. For anyone not in the northeast Iowa area, the best place to find this book is Amazon. But if you live near Decorah, Iowa, Dragonfly Books is an absolutely charming indie bookstore with an amazing selection of reads and friendly staff.
Benjamin Percy recently released “Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction” and this is a book that’s on my “to be read” pile. I got my copy from Content Bookstore in Northfield, Minnesota. Another amazing indie bookstore that has spankin’ new books mingling with used offerings on the shelves and an amazing staff to assist readers.
Fair Trade Books in Red Wing, Minnesota, is another gem that’s tucked south of the Twin Cities metro area. At the time I visited, they had a policy where they would gift a new store visitor with a specially picked book from their used books collection. “What the Night Knows” was my gift book and it was one that absolutely blew my mind.
The importance of Once Upon a Crime to Minnesota mystery writers cannot be understated. OUAC is the premiere place for local mystery writers to have their book launch parties. It’s partly due to the carefully curated collection of books and partly because of the store’s enthusiasm and support for mystery writers. Jess Lourey’s “Salem’s Cipher” is another one on my TBR list and several of her books can be found at OUAC.
Looking for your local independent bookstore? Head forth to IndieBound.org! If you’re a Black Friday shopper, I wish you the greatest success. And if you’re like me and avoiding the rush of crowds, I hope that your day is a blessed one with hot coffee and good books to read.