I enjoyed a lot of things about California. It's hard not to enjoy this:
But even more fun for me, was visiting wonderful independent bookstores and meeting the fun folk who run them. Booksellers are the greatest. Here are a few of the fantastic shops I visited and some of the folk I met and had the pleasure of hanging out with. In La Verne, I visited the wonderful Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop, though I didn't actually meet Mrs. Nelson (I am told she lives somewhere not far away). This shop had the most amazing selection of toys interspersed with books (including some of my own displayed so beautifully!) I could spend all day browsing and reading and hanging out with Christa (whose picture, sadly, did not turn out -- sorry Christa!)
And then it was off to Pasadena to Vroman's! I loved Pasadena. The downtown was vibrant. The food was tasty. And, they had a shop dedicated to cupcakes. (Please note, the cupcakes were much yummier than my sad photograph. My sad photograph does not have sweet creamy frosting and tastes a lot like HP toner. If you do not believe me, you can print it out and taste for yourself.)
Vroman's was awesome. Vroman's has been around since 1894 and it's easy to see why. This store has it all! Great books, a dandy and delish coffee shop, and a killer kids' section manned (and womanned) by people who love books as shown in this completely candid photo of Mr. Steve, Robin and Chris.
My only sadness in Pasadena was not getting to meet Lisa Yee who lives nearby and who, sadly, was attacked by a horrid flu bug that probably looked like this:
Luckily, I shall meet Lisa this week at the St. Charles Literature Festival! Hopefully, she will no longer have a flu bug. (I'll bring a net, just in case.)
After Pasadena, I headed west. I just kept driving until I found a large puddle of salt water. Who knew? I landed in Newport Beach and visited with Kim and the gang at The First Page.
Though my pictures don't do it justice (next time, I'm adding more frosting to the insides of my camera!), I have never seen a shop with more books displayed face out. What a marvelous place to browse and buy and browse some more. I'd go back in a heartbeat!
Finally, it was off to San Diego to visit Legoland (more about that later) and one last fantastic bookstore called Yellow Book Road. The name alone is enough to bring me back over and over again. Once you get to this great store, you'll love it. It's bright, beautiful, and brimming with booky goodness! And, maybe, you'll get to meet the young master of the store, Alex. He's shown here with the Co-owner Mary.
Thanks to all the wonderful booksellers who invited me to visit their stores and who have shown my books so much love! Thanks to the schools who let me come and hang out with kids even for a short while. And special thanks to all the wonderful folks who came out to meet me and shop!
I can't wait to come back very soon!!!!