Friday, December 11, 2015

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore - Scottsdale, AZ

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore - Scottsdale, AZ
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My visit to this store was a big deal.  My experience here was one of the best I've had at any indie because of who I had the good fortune to meet.  It was just the luck of my day.  I've met a few authors of modest renown over the course of my journey but none of the stature of Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander Series.  I know her fans are legion and her following is immense.  She was in the store signing books and actually came out from a back room to meet me and talk to me.  Meeting her though was merely the cherry on top of a fantastic independent bookstore and the great people I met who work there.

With successful author Diana Gabaldon.

As the name of this store might suggest, the strength of its inventory is mysteries and thrillers.  But even if those genres aren't your thing, you'll still find lots of other genres on the shelves.  This one-level bookstore offers all new books and many signed 1st editions.  The store is extremely active with author events and book signings, all held right on-site.  They're able to accommodate over 100 people at these events thanks to many table displays on wheels that can be easily moved.  These events, along with a healthy mail-order business, are a huge part of the store's success.  The customer base is largely tourists and snowbirds making the winter months their busiest.  This is quite the opposite of many midwest indies who tell me the winter months are the slowest.  One of my favorite things here are the many photographs of authors and book cover posters found throughout the store, all people who have appeared here.  You'll find them on the ceiling and mounted up high (my pictures won't do them justice for how great it looks).  The store offers some sidelines including greeting cards, mugs, t-shirts, and journals to name a few.  If you're a Diana Gabaldon fan, you MUST make a pilgrimage to this store.  Pick up one of her Outlander Series books or one of the Outlander stuffed bears based on the main characters, Jamie and Claire.

I didn't meet the owner, Barbara P., on this visit, but I had a great time meeting John G. and Jeff K., two of the staffers.  These guys were simply the best to talk to and told me lots about the store and the area.  And of course, I could've talked with them all day about books, what they like to read, and what they recommend.

This place has been around for almost 27 years.  They've survived all the challenges and are still standing.  Thank goodness they have because this is a 5-star bookstore and you'll fall in love with it when you visit.  And maybe you'll even get to meet a famous author.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Secret Game, Scott Ellsworth.  True story of how an all black basketball team played an all white basketball team during the Jim Crow era of the 1940s in North Carolina.  Also gives a good account of the history of basketball and race relations during that time.  I loved this book.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Night Train, Clyde Edgerton.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Bottoms, Joe R. Lansdale.  

Lots of exterior window displays.  

Looking straight through the store from the front entrance.  Notice the book cover posters on the ceiling.  They can be found throughout the store.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  

Author events are huge at this store and here's a good way to keep track of them.  

A few of the greeting cards you'll find.  

After you're done looking at the book posters on the ceiling, check out the floor.  

A large display of staff picks...

...and a great chair to sit down and try one out.  

Lots of signed first editions available.  

Great display of NY Times bestsellers.  

If you're a Diana Gabaldon fan or an Outlander fan, this store is a must visit.  

I loved that this place had lots of places to sit down and try out a book.  

Have a seat here with your friends and talk about your next book club pick.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front.  You can see some of the author pictures near the top.  They're throughout the store.  

I always like seeing bookstore t-shirts available.  

A great suggestion for your holiday gift giving.  

With John on the left, one of the fine employees at Poisoned Pen.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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