Friday, April 22, 2011

Love My Indie with Author Amanda Brice

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and writers tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

 Author Amanda Brice

Who doesn’t love an independent bookstore? As a rabid reader, I will happily buy books anywhere, but there’s just something special about an indie.

I was so sorry that hear that Joli doesn’t have an independent bookstore near her, but unfortunately that seems to be the story of our times. With even the big box stores stocking up with more and more non-book gift items and toys (and losing book shelf space as a result), the small local stores are finding it hard to compete.

My mom worked for years at a beloved independent bookstore in Northern New Jersey. It was such a fixture of the community, and she did a weekly children’s story and craft time, but unfortunately The Book Loft closed its doors for good this February.

I live in Alexandria, VA, and my favorite local bookstore is Hooray for Books ( It’s a fabulous children’s bookstore, that also has a thriving Young Adult section. The staff is helpful and courteous, and always has great suggestions for just the right book. Plus their program for the toddler/preschool set is great! We love taking our 16-month-old daughter to the story time. Once she’s 2, we’re going to start taking her to the French story time there.

I attended law school at Arizona State University, and while I was there, I discovered a delightful mystery bookstore called The Poisoned Pen ( in Scottsdale. It was great, because whereas most bookstores have a mystery section consisting of several bookshelves, at The Poisoned Pen it’s the entire store. As a result, they’re able to stock more obscure titles. I discovered many great cozy series that I probably never would have found otherwise, just because the shelf space was completely devoted to mysteries.

But probably my favorite bookstore of all time is Shakespeare & Co. ( on the Left Bank in Paris. Originally founded in 1919, this welcoming English-language shop was a gathering place in the ‘1920s for writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. In fact, American ex-pat and owner Sylvia Beach originally published James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922, when it was banned in the US and the UK. The original Shakespeare & Co. closed in 1941 during the German occupation of Paris in WWII, but a new Shakespeare & Co was opened in 1951, where it remains today.

I just love this store, and make a habit to stop in if I travel to Paris. In fact, a store modeled on Shakespeare & Co. plays a big role in one of my unpublished YA manuscripts (Party Like It’s 1899).
Thanks Amanda for sharing your favorite bookstores. I visited the website for Hooray for Books and it looks like it would be a fun place. I think catering specifically to children and teens is a great idea allowing them to love books at an early age and encouraging them to grow into readers. And Shakespeare & Co. - how amazing is this store! Filled with history, I'm sure that it was an experience just walking through its doors.

Amanda Brice is the author of Codename: Dancer, a YA mystery released this week. She is the Vice President of Washington Romance Writers, and a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award. In her day job, Amanda is an intellectual property attorney for a large federal government agency. She is also a popular conference presenter, speaking on basic copyright and trademark law for writers. You can learn more about Amanda and her books at

If you're interested in participating in this feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore! 

1 comment:

  1. Joli, thanks so much for having me here today!


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