Thursday, August 29, 2013

For the love of Beer! And other things.

I'm so bad. I completely spaced posting a blog last week! Forgive my friends. 'Twill not happen again.

So I walked into the store this afternoon, dropped my stuff in the storeroom and returned to the trade counter to find myself faced with a shelf full of books. How is this different from any other day you might ask? Well, hidden in this particular shelf of books were books about beer...lots of books about beer. Susie informed me all these beer books had been on back order and finally came in today. We had hoped to have them for our Beer Crafts event weeks ago, but, no dice.

So now we have tons of books on brewing in the store. If you have been wanting to brew but didn't know where to start, have had thoughts of brewing but have been waiting for the right time, or if you just really like beer, come see us! We have all the books you could possibly want about beer and beer related things! Seriously, come buy some books.

Keeping in the beer vein (mmm, beer vein), let's talk about Tour de Fat. The glorious day of biking, beer, bizarre costumes and bemusement is almost upon us! In honor of the event, and since all of us here at the bookstore are fond of bikes and beer (except for Rebecca, she likes a good cider, but close enough), we decided to put together a swell display for our front window promoting the event.


I put the display together myself...mostly. I did have some help getting all the finishing touches.

I gathered up books about bikes and books about beer. I printed out the Ten Commandments, the parade route and the event date (it's Saturday the 31st of August). And of course I printed pretty pictures of people peddling bikes, bottles of beer, and the New Belgium logo.

But something was missing.

I mentioned to Justin how I thought putting bottle caps from New Belgium on the shelf would be the perfect thing to bring the display together. Of course, to do that, we were going to need some beer. We each called on friends, co-workers, and family to help us (it was a Monday, after all, not the best night to get too shmammered). We gathered at my house and had a lovely time drinking and chatting. And we got plenty of bottle caps and beer labels.

The next day I came to work ready to put the final touches on the display. Justin had also brought in a collection of random bike accessories to contribute. When everything was said and done, we had a pretty kick-butt display. Check it.

I know you can't see it super well, so you should just come by the store and check it out while you're buying you brewing book, or bike repair book, or whatever other book you want! You can never go wrong with books (unless it's 50 Shades of Grey).  

Also, a big thanks to New Belgium for hooking us up with some awesome Tour de Fat books. Cheers!

Until next time my friends, happy biking, happy brewing, and happy reading! 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Literacy, generosity, and Shailene Woodley's hair.

Well my friends, I have regained a fair bit of sanity since I last wrote to you. But I am feeling quite exhausted and have a kink in my neck for some reason. Why am I so exhausted you may ask? It's because I was running around for something like 45 minutes putting together an awesome display for the totally ballin' Aldo Zelnick books. Check it out!

Here's Hotdogger, hot off the press! This marks the eighth installment in the series. If you were to randomly stop by the studio, you'd likely hear one of us saying, "Man, we have a lot of books."

And here's the rest of the series. It's a good looking bunch of books, am I right?

And to bring it all together I filled the other side of the table with books related to things that show up in the series. I must admit, I feel pretty proud of this display.

So that took up a good chunk of my time and energy, and now I'm gonna try and throw words together and make a blog!

I'm kind of cheating. The two things I want to talk about tonight have been talked about by a lot of other people so I'll say my bit and then just link you to all the other stuff.

I was on my daily tumble down my Facebook wall when I came across a link my mother shared. The link read "Literacy Challenge" and the message my mother attached to the link read, "FoCo Read Aloud needs your help."

I had never heard of Fort Collins Read Aloud before seeing this link. I took a minute to learn more about them and was immediately on board with their mission. FCRA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that is working to have 100% literacy in Larimer County.

The current project they are involved with, the Literacy Challenge, is something they hope will move them even further along the path to their goal. Here's the basic idea behind the project:

This project, the Literacy Challenge, has been developed to offset funding ($7,000 total cost) for an AmeriCorps member who will be assisting FCRA for an 11-month period. This individual will be assisting us with our daily activities in order to get closer to our vision of 100% literacy in Larimer County. An all-volunteer organization, FCRA will respond to the literacy needs in our community much more effectively with the help of an AmeriCorps member who can provide uninterrupted, daily time and talent!"

Whether a person goes on to make reading their job or just a hobby, good reading skills are important. Here are some ways you can help:

- Donate to our project or provide matching funds
- Donate an in-kind giftback
- Promote our project to your community and social networks (<--- chose="" i="" obviously="" one.="" p="" this="">
Click here for an article and video with more information about the organization and project goals.

So for those of you who don't know, John Green's fabulous book The Fault in Our Stars is being turned into a movie. I'm still not sure how I feel about this and if I will go see it when it comes out, but there is something much bigger than my own personal dilemma surrounding the TFIOS movie right now.

Actress Shailene Woodley, who will be playing Hazel Grace Lancaster, must cut her long luscious locks in order to get into character. After the deed is done, she will be donating her hair to the organization Children With Hair Loss, a place that makes wigs for kids that have lost their hair due to cancer or other causes. And they give them to the kids for free! (Admittedly, I think Shailene has already cut her hair but I'm not going back and changing my tenses now.)

Shailene's generosity sparked a movement among the Nerdfighter community (and I'm sure among others who may not identify as Nerdfighters). People from all over and of all ages cut their hair to show solidarity and to support the cause. Ah, the power of literature...and movies...and the internet.

Check out the Hair for Hazel tag on Tumblr by clicking here. It's very inspiring to see so many people take the time to do something that can make a huge difference and mean so much to another person.

Click here to go to Shailene Woodley's tumblr page and read about her feelings on this movement that has started.

If you want to be a part of this growing group of givers, click here to be taken to the Children With Hair Loss website.

All the links!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

These people are funnier than you.

Sooo, I was gonna be lazy tonight and not do a blog...buuuut Justin told me I had to, so here I am.

Before I begin, I want to give a big thank you to Rebecca for posting on Sunday. We're all glad to have her back from Italy. Yay!

I would also like to thank Rebecca for helping me with a topic for tonight. Here goes...

The last month of my life has been hectic, to say the least. I've moved, helped others move, had a relationship end, went out of town for a week, and worked...soooo much work. Needless to say I've been rather stressed and overwhelmed a lot recently. The one thing I really want to do to help myself feel better is just sit down and read. I haven’t had a good reading session in weeks. Weeks people! It's crazy I'm still walking!

I will be spending this coming weekend at a friend’s house and I plan to have the whole weekend be full of reading a writing and lounging about eating bonbons...maybe. So, in honor of me getting my sanity and my reading time back, here a few books I am looking forward to reading (you know, as soon as I finally finish The Dog Stars) that I feel certain will cheer me up.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I have heard nothing but good things about this book. I've watched almost every 30 Rock episode (the final season is still on my 'To watch' list), I love Mean Girls (yeah, I said it) and if interviews are anything to go off, Tina Fey just seems like a super awesome person. It's been forever and a day since I first saw Bossypants on the shelf. But I finally got my hands on a copy and plan to read it ASAP...and maybe watch some 30 Rock while I'm at it.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by Daivd Sedaris

I read Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls not long ago and loved both. Each kept me laughing throughout and I greatly respect and appreciate Sedaris' wit and cleverness, as well as how he bluntly and unapologetically discusses many things that the rest of us would be too embarrassed to talk about. I am looking forward to reading about more of his shenanigans.

Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman

For those of you who are unaware, Neil Gaiman gave a fantastic commencement speech for the University of the Arts class of 2012. Then, they made a book out of it. Genius! This speech really spoke to me and inspired me. I'm sure a lot of people feel this way. It will be great to have this little book on hand for when I'm not feeling creative or feeling down about life. Hey, maybe I should go buy it right now!

Coming up with three books I've been wanting to read that are on the more humorous side was a lot harder than I though. I wonder what that says about me...

Oh well, I'm looking forward to each and every one of these. It will be good to have book in hand again.

So, if you're feeling down and like life just isn't that great, 1) make good art and 2) read a good book, happy or sad. It's okay to escape for a while. But be sure to come back. You're nice to have around.

Cheers my Firehouse friends, and until next time, happy reading!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Travel Bug

Hello Bookworms!

I am the returning staff member that has been travelling through Europe for the summer, returning to sell books and share my adventures. It has been a beautiful summer, inspiring, motivating, heartwarming and relaxing. Therefore I plan to share a little bit of what I have learned along the way and my favorite travel books and companies for surviving months on the road.

If you need the motivation to travel:,_Pray,_Love_%E2%80%93_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007.jpg/220px-Eat,_Pray,_Love_%E2%80%93_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007.jpg

   Gilbert is one of my favorite authors and the way in which she writes not only transports you but inspires you to find your own slice of happiness pie! Since I lived in Italy for a good chunk of the summer her first section really hits a new chord with me. Many of you have probably read this, but if you haven't, DO! We have copies on the shelf right now, give us a call!

If you're on a tight budget: may think that travel is expensive, and out of reach. Which yes it's expensive, but maybe not as bad as you think. The Let's Go books offer affordable ways to travel around the world if say you're a student, young adult, or money concious adult, adult. They are my personal favorites for their lists of inexpensive hostels, city maps, eatery listings, cool night life, and where to get great souvenirs without breaking the bank. They also give information on attaining visas, country requirements for entry, phone number and quick phrases. For both of my trips to Europe this was one of the first items I bought! Order your copy on our website.  
If you have no idea where to go: The Discover series of books from Lonely Planet are a great way to start. Basically pick a country, get book, start planning. The books are FULL of images, maps, ideas, and inspiration for your next trip. If you know you want to go to Italy, grab a copy and just start flipping through pictures. That way you can easily narrow down what you want to see in person, by using a picture. It's a pretty fun concept. These are also good for school projects, vicarious joy and coffee table books. 
If you're short on time, or just visiting a city: tried out this guide for my trip, since I wasn't going to be in London or the United Kingdom very long and found it very useful. Full maps, tips, segments, restaurants and direction. Even though I know London well enough from my last trip it was nice to have something to go to when I got lost, wanted to know how much something cost etc. For a flash trip to somewhere this is a great go to and it won't take up too much luggage space. 
If you want to know everything: 
Lonely Planet and Rick Steve's are well known for providing in depth and fascinating accounts of where and what to see. Especially for a more refined traveller and not the backpacking 22-year-old (ahem). Lonely Planet also offers a line of On a Shoe String books for those in between, hostel dorms of 17 people and a $300 hotel.

Those are my quick tips on navigating the travel book section of our store. Please feel free to stop in, ask questions and have us order anything you may desire. 

Rebecca Robinson

P.S. you may be thinking, it's too late in summer to travel, but my tip would be to travel in fall or spring. Less crowds, less expensive, less heat, and more fun. Most the time the weather is also really nice, but double check the area you want to go to.