Thursday, March 28, 2013

I greet you with a story...

While I'm not new to the art of blogging, I am new to this particular blog. Hello, my name is Renee and I am (or was, before February 13th) the newest member of the team at Old Firehouse Books. (If you're curious, the newest member of the team is Teresa. We are all very excited to have her on board!)

So, I am writing to you because 1) apparently all my co-workers are too busy to keep up with regular blog posts, which I totally understand, and 2) there are far too many exciting things happening at the bookstore on any given day that you should know about!

Today, I would like to tell you a story. It is a story of creation and innovation. A story of teamwork. And at the center of this story is a prize well worth striving for.

This is the story of a mountain.

Author Khaled Hosseini has delighted readers with his novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now, fans of Hosseini anxiously await his newest novel And the Mountains Echoed. But all the standard excitement that comes along with a book release was not enough for Riverhead Books. No, sir!

The publisher sent out a challenge to booksellers to create attractive and creative displays featuring Hosseini and his work. The prize, you ask? The store judged to have the most super-special-awesome display wins a visit from Khaled Hosseini himself. Eee!

Needless to say, we all jumped on this opportunity. Who wouldn't?

Our lovely and fearless Event Coordinator, Kelsey, was the brains behind the whole operation. She proposed the idea of making a paper mache mountain wreathed in high-flying kites and peppered with Hosseini's books. And that is just what we did.

Kelsey, Justin, Beth and myself met at the store on chilly Sunday night to begin construction. Our mission over the next couple of hours was to turn a mismatched pile of boxes into a majestic mountain. With boxes in place, we attempted to wrap them in chicken wire in hopes of creating a more sturdy foundation for our paper mache. It took only a few minutes to realize the chicken wire was more trouble than it was worth and that the old bed sheet we had draped over the mountain would serve our needs just fine.

Beth and I worked on whipping up our paper mache mix while Justin and Kelsey committed one of the greatest sins in the book world (all for a good cause, of course) and began tearing the pages out of donated books. This is when the fun really began. Any of you who have done paper mache in your life know it is a messy job, no matter how careful you try to be. In no time our pile of boxes was covered in dripping pages and the floor was sporting its fair share of the flour and water mixture (so were our clothes).

Two hours later, what was once just boxes and a sheet was a mountain of literary proportions. We called it a night, planning to put the finishing touches on our mountain (which I've unofficially named Echo Mountain; I know, super original) over the next few days.

Tiny kites were cut from colorful paper and Kelsey yellowed the pages with teabags. Hosseini's books adorned the many ledges of the mountain. All these things came together to create one fantastic display, if I do say so myself...and I do. Since that night, many days ago, Echo Mountain has been standing proudly at the front of our store.
And here it is! The great Echo Mountain! Really, you should come down to the store and see it with your own eyes.

Alright, now I must ask for your help. If you visit Khaled Hosseini's Facebook page, you can vote for which display you think is best (and of course, that display will be ours...right?). The winning bookstore will be announced on May 10th, so when that time rolls around, keep an eye on our Facebook page, Twitter, and newly revamped blog to hear if we've won or not.

Alright, I have gone on for far too long. Thank you for listening to my story. I hope you have enjoyed. I will be writing to you weekly, so keep an eye out for my posts!



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