Friday, June 27, 2008

A Bookstore Toast: Quail Ridge Books & Music

It's time for another Bookstore Toast here on Writermorphosis.

And the Bookstore we're celebrating today is a very writer-friendly, lively place that some of you may already know and love. It's Quail Ridge Books and Music right here in Raleigh.

Quail Ridge is a very community oriented shop where many Raleighites find great books and more besides...

Here are some of the reasons why Quail Ridge has earned this toast:

They're friendly. Yesterday I walked into the store and I was greeted with a pleasant “hello” by not one, but rather FOUR friendly and knowledgeable staff members who were busily working at various spots throughout the store. A few moments later I received a smile and a “you look familiar” from Carol in the children’s section (something that rarely happens at Barnes and Nobles, alas). And not long after that I watched a staff member stop her work at the cash register to go find a band-aid for a screaming preschooler who’d sustained a “book related injury” (A.K.A knee scuff) in his mad dash to get to the children’s section ahead of his elementary aged big-sis. Suffice to say that the staff at Quail Ridge are knowledgeable, caring, and friendly.

The teen section of the store is also great, with some quite recently published selections. And it’s not unusual to stop by the children’s section and find tables listing “such and such book” as a Newbery or Horn Book award winner, or to find novels and picture books hand picked as “recommended” by the staff.

Of course, I must admit that my favorite room at Quail Ridge is not the children’s section, the travel section, the music section, or the southern writers’ section (all excellent spots). But no, it’s the bathroom. This writerly little room is decorated wall to wall with autographed, note-bearing photos from the many, many authors who have visited Quail Ridge to speak, share their wisdom with other writers and readers, and sign their books over the years. It’s a testament to my favorite thing about this bookstore. Quail Ridge supports authors, writer’s groups, book clubs, and other literary folks in a way that few other book stores do.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting various “big” names in the writing field at Quail Ridge - Margaret Maron, Jeffrey Deaver, and various other writers who have come to share their wisdom with us newer folks in the field. We've then hopped across the parking lot to Tripps restaurant, to eat together and chat.
Quail Ridge also welcomes SCBWI events (we've had a scmooze there each Spring for at least the past 3 years). And they encourage new writers by allowing the Raleigh Write to Publish group (an adult writing group) to bring in regular speakers (like Maron and Deaver) on the writing craft, so that they can teach and encourage the rest of us.
You’d be impressed to see the way that the staff at Quail Ridge enthusiastically arrange sound and video equipment, book signing tables, and circles of chairs for one group at 3pm, then break it all down and set it up completely differently for another group at 7 the same night.

Then there are the many, many authors -- some local, many internationally known, who Quail Ridge schedules to come read and sign their books for the readers. I'm personally looking forward to shaking Adam Rex's hand in November, getting his signature on my copy of his great book "The True Meaning of Smekday," (one of his many books), and thanking him for stopping by writermorphosis in the recent past.

Check out the Quail Ridge Website for upcoming author events, and opportunities to improve your own writing and book selling skills!

The reading, writing, and Raleigh communities all come together at Quail Ridge Books and Music. And thus we are celebrating Quail Ridge Books today as a bookstore that respects writers and receives our respect in return. Here's a TOAST to Quail Ridge Books and Music!


C.R. Evers said...

I've always been impressed with Quail Ridge too! I like how supportive they are to writing groups and authors alike.

Three Cheers for QR!


Anonymous said...

Janelle - Love the toilet picture for Quail Ridge!

Linda said...

Kudos to Quail Ridge! My hubby and I went there Friday night to see Gene Hackman and Daniel Lenihan talk about their 3rd book together, "Escape From Andersonville". It was great, the bookstore was packed. However, the earlier you bought your book, would reserve you a space in the signing line. I picked mine up at 2:00 that afternoon so I shook hands with Gene Hackman and had my book signed within 20 min. What a great job Quail Ridge did with the organization and efficiency of the signing line, they were even taking pictures for you.
It was great!


Craft Write said...

Not being from the area, I'm not able to get to Quail Ridge as often as possible. I do know that each time I've been, the staff have been extremely nice. I love the bathroom picture as well. They have the most unique one of all bookstores. One could stay in there all day looking at the autographs...

kathleen duey said...

What a lovely feature of a great bookstore. I have never been to Quail Ridge but will try to get there soon. Independent bookstores rock!!!

If you aren't aware of booksense/indiebound, check it out:

The Asociation of Booksellers for Children (ABC) is a great organization, too. Lots of authors and illustrators belong.

LOVE the bathroom gallery.

Bish Denham said...

I wish we had a Quail Ridge in my town. We have a pretty nice book store...but not as friendly as QR sounds!