Category Archives: Birmingham

Thank You Books – Birmingham, AL

Thank You Books is one of Birmingham’s newest bookstores and an all around indie hot spot. This shop is a lot of fun and has so much energy for having just popped up in December 2019. I think this just shows how much care and consideration the owners are putting into their bookstore and the books they select. They’re selling new books and the care and consideration carries over into the way they deal with the shop’s visitors as well (both online and offline).

The seem to be most active on Instagram and I’ve enjoyed lurking during some of their “live” events online. Just good book people sharing the books they enjoy and doing what they can to foster a healthy book culture here in Birmingham.

I sure do miss visiting bookstores… but these photos will have to do, until the self-isolation period is over. Once it is, be sure to give them a visit, here’s some details (and I really do recommend following them on the social channels):

Thank You Books
5502 Crestwood Blvd, Unit B
Birmingham, AL 35212
205-202-3021
https://www.thankyoubookshop.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/thankyou_bham
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thankyou_bham/

And here are the photos taken back, in 2019, soon after the opened. It seems like years ago. Notice how the stars on the front sign are carried on throughout the store across the floor? So fun!

Science Fiction as Philosophy – Avondale Library

Avondale Library

The Avondale Library is hosting a very interesting online video discussion group this week. Friday, April 3rd at 3pm, they will host and discuss Science Fiction as Philosophy, via the web and a Zoom video conference.

The video series discusses, “…how popular science fiction shows have tackled profound issues such as autonomy, sentience, pacifism, colonialism, racism, grief, morality, and much more.”

Which sounds pretty dang cool and everything that good speculative fiction works with. It has all the makings of a fun and informative online conversation. This new Sci-Phi Fridays series by the Avondale Library branch is based on The Great Courses materials.

The Great Courses has lots of videos and classes diving deep into topics like publishing, writing, genres, etc. It’s worth scanning their catalog to see if there is anything you’d enjoy. The post a lot of content on their YouTube channel. Most of it is medical and viral-related these days and some 5-minute teasers. But they have longer 30-minute videos (like this science vs. science fiction one on Doctor Who and Time Travel Paradoxes) as well as sharing the first video in a series they sell.

Doctor Who Avondale Sci Phi

You can get more information in the BPL Online post and do know that registration is required. It’s free, but I’m sure they have to be able to send out all of the zoom invites, etc. to facilitate the online video feeds and discussions.

With all that is going on in the world, I hope you are well and reading this post some place safe and able to stay isolated.

Price Matching at Barnes and Noble

Yesterday, I had a great Barnes and Noble experience, in Birmingham, as they are now letting customers get the BN.com price, in the store, and I want to share.

I needed a copy of Mark Larabee’s Pacific Crest Trail book (which is a beautiful book, by the way). I called my indie shop down the street and they didn’t have a copy.

I went to BN.com and saw that the book was $36 (which matched other online retailers) compared to the $50 in-store price. That’s a great discount. I was also able to see that a local Barnes and Noble store had it in stock.

Then I remembered a little birdie telling me that B&N is running a price matching program for B&N Members. I am not sure why they aren’t trumpeting this.

I walked in a local Barnes and Noble and asked the manager about it. She confirmed that it is real and then shared some of her thoughts about it. I would say she was neither plussed nor upset about the practice, just that…

“…customers have been confused by the different prices in store and online and have been asking for this for a long, long time”.

I thought that a pretty fair assessment.

All I had to do was go up, give them my B&N Membership number and the cashier showed me the special “compare to current BN.com price” button, on the register. It took all of 2 seconds and I checked out with the lower online price + tax. The cashier said that if you always ask for the comparison (again after your member # has been entered) the system will give you the lowest price possible. So if your member discount drops the in-store price lower than the online price, you’ll still come out ahead.

This is exactly the kind of customer-focused thinking Barnes and Noble needs to be doing.

  1. I was able to research prices and availability online
  2. I could have even reserved a copy online
  3. I was able to go to a local store, pay local taxes, and get the lowest price Barnes and Noble was offering, online or off.
  4. I had my book immediately (which even beats free 2 day delivery)

Hopefully, more customers will use this price-matching program. It leverages the best pieces B&N has access to, and will keep them  relevant and front-of-mind for local readers. These kinds of services can help them win in a way that all their past experiments, with in-store restaurants and bars, just can’t do.

Three Upcoming Birmingham Book Events

The gift giving season is just about here and I’m ready for all of the book signings and author events to kick into high gear. If you’re in the Birmingham, AL vicinity here are three upcoming book related events that may interest you.

Tuesday, November 7th, starting at 6 pm

Authors Hank Early (Heaven’s Crooked Finger) & Carrie Smith (Unholy City) will be signing their books at the Little Professor Book Center in Homewood.

Saturday, November 11th, 11:00 am – 03:00 pm

Join authors and readers for day of programs, signings, books and lunch as Southern Magic, the Birmingham chapter of Romance Writers of America, hosts Lynn Raye Harris and special keynote speaker #1 New York Times bestseller Abbi Glines. Tickets are $40 and there are plenty of books, goodie bags and door prizes.

Thursday, November 16th, starting at 5:00 pm

The Alabama Booksmith is hosting author David DiBenedetto for a signing of his new book S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco, which compiles a bunch of A-Z stories, anecdotes and definitions from the folks and Garden & Gun magazine.