My brother Scott has the tendency to make me laugh. Not little giggles. Big, curl your head down toward your toes, hold your stomach, hope you don't pee your pants laughter.
He's younger than me, and we are a bit different. I loved school. He hated it. I've read a few books this month; he's read a few in the last decade. So, this one time (not at band camp) my brother told me a story about something that really troubled him.
He went to the mall with a friend, and the only place to park was outside of a Border's. It was a Saturday night. He entered through the automatic doors and passed by the cafe. According to him, this is what he saw:
"Tam, there were people in there..." he looks both ways as if the FBI is about to pounce, "and they were...reading."
So naturally, I waited for the punchline. What had offended him so?
"And...?" I asked him.
"What do you mean, 'And'? They were just sitting there. Lots of people. Just sitting there...READING! On a Saturday night!"
I said, "This past Saturday? I was there."
We always laugh about the fact that my brother went more than 20 years without knowing what actually goes on inside of a bookstore. And of course he laughs at his geeky older sister who likes to spend her free time there.
My career path might have something to do with that.
Now that I've shared my story, I want to encourage all of you to cause my brother curious frustration by going to your local independent bookstores Friday to buy a book.
It's quite simple. May 1st has been declared Buy Indie Day. I'm not really sure who made the declaration, but I'll go along with it. Jason Pinter, who writes a series of thrillers centered around the exploits of reporter Henry Parker, blogged about Buy Indie Day, and ironically, Jason will be in Pittsburgh this week as well.
I should mention my Indie of choice is Mystery Lover's Bookshop in Oakmont. The store's 14th annual Festival of Mystery is on for Monday, May 4th. More than 40 authors will attend (personal favorites are Jason, Nancy Martin, and Wendy Corsi Staub). It's a great event. If you're interested, tickets are available in advance at the store on Allegheny River Boulevard or at the door. Early birds get a free bag of books, and there's usually a line. The event's from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Social Hall, 12 Washington Avenue in Oakmont. Don't miss it!
And don't forget to Buy Indie this Friday. To find a independent bookstore near you, click here.