We're still smiling after our fun Beowulf on the Beach Bash on August 27th, The Bookstore's end-of-the-summer celebration for our Summer Classic Reading Challenge. So many of our customers said, "Can we do this again next summer?" Sounds good to me!
Customers mingled with glasses full of Anna Karenitinis (a delicious sour apple martini) or Beowulf on the Seabreeze (fresh & fruity), talking about their summer reads with our new BFF author Jack Murnighan. He was as entertaining in person as he is on the page, and had the whole audience entranced as he read his favorite line from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Everyone enjoyed his forgiving approach to the classics, joking, "of course it's hard to concentrate on some of this stuff --they were written before cable TV!"
The best news of all, besides all the fun we had with our customers, is that the Challenge was a huge success for The Bookstore. We sold about 100 copies of Beowulf on the Beach, along with
dozens and dozens of classics to go with it. Yes, the whole staff was very psyched about it and we chatted it up a lot at the store, but we have to thank Jack Murnighan for putting out such a fun book in the first place. Authors like that (and covers like that!) make selling easy. Also, thanks to Michael Kindness at one of our favorite book blogs, http://www.booksonthenightstand.com/, for introducing us to this challenge and for noticing our efforts. We'd also like to thank our loyal customer Sandy Stevens, a local reporter and avid reader, for her excitement and help in spreading the word.
As for me, I'm glad I tackled the challenge of reading Moby Dick. If it hadn't been for Murnighan's book, I might not have been able to see through to the humor in what I used to think was a dark, gloomy classic. I also had the chance to go deep sea fishing down in Islamorada (with my book in tow), and shared a fun moment with the Captain talking about his experience with sperm whales in the Gulf Stream. He caught a glimpse of my soggy paperback and said knowingly: " Great book!"
So yes, let's do this again! We only wish Jack Murnighan's next book would be ready in time for next summer's challenge.