Monday, November 28, 2016

Black Friday & Small Business Saturday Haul

Black Friday is supposed to be the big shopping day of the year, happening on the day after Thanksgiving.  Shops offer deep discounts on some items, in an attempt to bolster their bottom lines before the end of the year.  More and more retailers are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, some as early as 3:00pm... with economists coining the term "Grey Thursday".  There is also a recent "holiday" called Small Business Saturday...meant as an antidote to the chain stores and other large retailers who typically rule the Black Friday scene.  It's meant to encourage shoppers to remember their small, local businesses amongst the madness of shopping at big box stores.

From the bookish stores I visited, these are my purchases...

  • Barnes & Noble had advertised for Black Friday that their stores would have limited stock of some autographed books.  I was on a mission to buy Alton Brown's new cookbook Everyday Cook as a Christmas gift for a friend, and I couldn't resist snagging a signed copy of my childhood favorite novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.
  • Barnes & Noble also had a promotion of 30% off all periodicals, so I bought the latest edition of Poetry Magazine, and the Cooks Illustrated compendium of Best Recipes of 2016.
  • I spent a bit of time on Saturday browsing a small, secondhand bookshop and came out with a first edition hardcover of one of my favorite Christmastime novels 2 A.M at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino.  It takes place on Christmas Eve eve and follows a chain smoking, jazz singing little girl, Madeline Altimari, as she lives her life in Philadelphia.  As someone who lived in Philly for many years, I love returning to it and its colorful residents in fiction!
  • A few months ago, I had pre-ordered Zadie Smith's new novel Swing Time from the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington DC.  If you pre-ordered the book within a certain timeframe, you would be sent a Swing Time matching tote bag along with the book.  This was reason enough for me to buy the book, but then I saw that P&P was hosting the author a few days after the book's release, and she would be signing copies.  In my online order, I asked if there was any possibility that they could hold my copy of the book, so that it could be signed, and then send the autographed book along with the tote bag.  I was prepared for a resounding "nope", but they actually agreed!!  Seriously, their customer service is top-notch...I cannot say enough good things about Politics & Prose; I just wish that I lived closer, so that I could visit them in person.  Although I didn't place my order on Black Friday, the fact that the shipment arrived on Black Friday means that it counts, right?  Right!

Overall, this shopping weekend was relatively productive...I still have a few more bookish gifts to buy before Christmas, but I'm off to a good start.  If you did any bookish shopping during the Black Friday weekend, what did you buy?  Are there bookish gifts you're looking to acquire?

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