Welcome, Winter Institute

Some of you may remember my extreme enthusiasm last year for the ABA’s Winter Institute. Why have I been so quiet on the subject this year (with one exception)? The answer, ironically enough, is because I am EVEN MORE ENTHUSIASTIC about it, since this year it’s here in Salt Lake!

If you’ve been in the store lately, you’ll have noticed some really big changes. Some of them were overdue (our 30 year old counter had served us faithfully, and finally received it’s well-deserved retirement) and some were things that we’d dreamed of but never quite got to (the new section signs in particular, which we hope will make the store easier to navigate for both newcomers and long-time customers). But there’s no time like the present, especially when 500 of your bookselling colleagues are about to descend on your city and store. So we painted, hammered, designed, redesigned, cleaned, alphabetized, arranged, and rearranged our hearts out, to great results. The store feels even homier than ever, and we’re ready to show off for our friends in the industry.

What with all that, there hasn’t been much time to reflect on what I’m excited about specifically. But with things falling into place, I thought I’d share my top exciting things for this year:

  • Par-Tay: There’s a reception tonight here, and one tomorrow at our fellow bookstore Sam Weller’s, which will kick off the fun — pictures to come.
  • Authors: I’m lucky enough to be attending events with several debut authors (Emily St. John Mandel and Eric Barnes from Unbridled Books, Joanna Rakoff and Gordon Hempton from Simon & Schuster) plus all of those who’ll be present at the big reception (Laila Lalami! our very own Shannon Hale! and so many more)
  • Emerging Leaders: What with the scholarship winners, the big party, and our Council meeting, plus some great input from up and coming booksellers, there’s a lot to do and a lot to look forward to.
  • The Conference itself: I’m on my very first panel this year and I am incredibly panicked nervous thrilled about it. Cross your fingers for me and hope for the best!

I’m pretty sure there will be live blogging as well as lots of Twitter activity, so if you can’t make it or are looking for an insider’s view of the industry, start checking tomorrow!

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