Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday

*Sigh* This week sucked for me. I didn't get anything done. Sometimes when I get home from work all I want to do is kick back. Unfortunately, that happened every single day this week. So my posting was . . . nonexistent.

It's not that my job is particularly difficult or anything (I'm a legal secretary). But it does get very stressful. I either have too much to do or too little. The last girl who had my job was in the bad habit of wasting time on the Internet when she was supposed to be working, so they gave me a computer that faces out so that I can't do any sneak-surfing. Which makes sense, except that there are times when I seriously have nothing to do because I've finished everything and my boss is either in court or in with a client (which is most of the time) and can't give me any new assignments at the moment. I can vacuum a bit and do dishes in the break room, but that doesn't exactly take up much time.

But I promise this week will be much better! I just got Susan Hill's The Woman in Black from the library, which I'll be reading for Slaves of Golconda. I have also finished the first book of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. AND I have excellent news.

I have been invited to write book reviews for The Front Table!

The Front Table is an online magazine run by Seminary Co-op Bookstores, a cooperative bookstore with three locations in the Chicago area. Its flagship store is located in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary and contains the largest selection of academic volumes in the United States. There is also 57th Street Books, a general interest bookstore in the Hyde Park neighborhood, and the Newberry Library Bookstore in North Chicago, which sells books, cards, and gifts.

It's a pretty easy gig: basically, I write one review at a time, to be out at least a week before the book's release date, 600 to 1,000 words, plus a good block quote. The only restriction is that I can't post my reviews anywhere else (except here), especially not Amazon. Which is perfectly understandable - Amazon is Seminary Co-op's biggest competitor. When I did my internship for Open Letter Press, I remember Chad Post telling us about how Amazon, because it's so freakin' huge, can actually afford to sell bestsellers at dirt-cheap prices and take the loss. Good for consumers, bad for independent competition.

I still do plan on posting reviews on Amazon (minus, of course, the reviews I do for The Front Table). I've gotten good things out of it. It's how I got into contact with Autumn Hill Books - I posted a review to one of their books and they found my blog through my profile page and contacted me. I also had an author request that I post my review of her book to Amazon so that it could reach a bigger audience. So I don't think Amazon is evil or anything. (Wal-Mart, however, is a different story.) But I also don't think one business should dominate an entire industry.

A Barnes & Noble opened in my hometown a couple years ago and a local independent bookstore that had been around for twenty years subsequently went out of business. In retrospect, I feel badly, like, bookworm that I am, I didn't do enough to help support it. BUT if you are ever in West Chester, Pennsylvania, check this place out:

The Chester County Bookstore

Hands-down, THE greatest independent bookstore EVER! BIGGER and BETTER than any Borders and Barnes & Noble (38,000 square feet!). Their magazine selection alone is epic.

So, my reviewing career is looking up! Remember, support your local businesses!


debnance said...

Very good news for you! Congratulations!

Leslie said...

NO WAY. I did NOT KNOW THAT BOOKSTORE EXISTED. I was just up in Chester County, just east of West Chester. I could have easily visited this store. Well, I know for next time. Thank you for the heads up! Maybe for Christmas :)

Congrats on your new job! That's so exciting! I'm super jealous ;)

E. L. Fay said...

Debnance: Thanks!

Leslie; *gasp* Your hosts didn't tell you about it? FOR SHAME! Maybe they didn't know it existed either! *faints*

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