Team Banzai - San Francisco Branch

>> Thursday, May 25, 2006

Our field agent Emily Jiang in the city by the bay checks in with this report on her quest to find Samurai Shortstop on bookstore shelves . . .

Just thought I'd share with you my adventure looking for Alan's book around the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live.

My cousin is visiting from UCLA, and we had an opportunity to hang out for a few hours yesterday. So what do I do? I take her on a tour of some of the local independent bookstores, and we scour the children's book sections for our favorite books (she loves picture books especially while I'm more a YA book reader/writer). I'm lucky to live in a place where many indie bookstores abound.

First stop was Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, which neighbors Stanford University. Kepler's is a fabulous store and has been in business for over 50 years, though last year they infamously closed down. The local community succesfully protested and rallied to reopen the bookstore with a Save Kepler's campaign that resulted in the launch of a membership program. I'm proud to say I'm a card-carrying member of Kepler's. But I digress.

Kepler's Books also has a great children's section, so we we entered, my cousin and I made a beeline to that corner of the store. I looked for Samurai Shortstop. Nothing. I asked the children's clerk if it was available. She immediately recognized the title, and said it had great reviews. She was about to read the advanced reading copy because the rep selling the book raved about it. Supposedly the the copies were supposed to be at the store, but in reality they were probably "just about to arrive." Alas, I left Kepler's empty-handed.

Another stop was to my local bookstore in downtown Mountain View. It used to be called Printer's Inc, but that indie bookstore closed its doors several years ago to be replaced by another indie chain (sort of an oxymoron) called Books Inc. The children's section is its own separate room that in some parts of the country might be the size of someone's walk-in closet. Over here, where space is a huge commodity, it's more the size of someone's bedroom. Still the selection of children's books tends to be decently current. Except no Samurai Shortstop here either.

Is third time the charm? My cousin was most excited about Linden Tree in Los Altos because the entire bookstore is devoted to children's literature. Founded over 20
years ago, the store originally focused on children's recordings but branched out to include books as well. It also hosts many community events. I walk in and Bingo! Samurai Shortstop, facing front, is included on one of the displays near the front door. I bought the other copy, and the staff knew exactly where it was.

Another children's book store I often frequent is Hicklebees in San Jose. I might check it out tomorrow if I have time after my concert is over, since I'll be singing in the area. Or I might go to B&N or Borders and join Alan's Face Front Club. LOL.

Thanks for the report, Emily - or should I say, "Agent Quake."


niki,  May 27, 2006 at 5:31 PM  

Quail Ridge in Raleigh and Regulator Books in Durham both have it now - Quail Ridge on a table near the entrance of the kids' section and Regulator has it faced out on the YA shelves. Pictures should be coming within the week.

No joy at any B&N that I've visited, either in Raleigh or in Va Beach.

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