The Philly Liars Club hit Aaron’s Books last Friday, and as usual, we were blown away by another unique literary oasis, this one tucked away in the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
We’re heading into month four of the Truth Tour, so you might be able to pick up a trend about these book stores we’re visiting.
Doylestown Book Shop, Clinton Book Shop, Between Books and now Aaron’s Books, each provide such dramatically different and enriching venues for so many reasons, that while a love of books is indeed at their core, the personal, guided tour each store brings to our book buying experience is as unique as a fingerprint. A singular, one-of-a-kind imprint born of the booksellers themselves and the communities they serve.
Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11 stopped by and gave us a chance to talk about those reasons. Merry Jones started off reminding us all why we were there:
“Aaron’s Books is a cozy spot. In fact this whole town seems cozy. It’s very nice to be here to raise awareness for all local, independent bookstores. We love these places and we want to remind people that supporting the Indies is a choice to support something bigger than just a local business. We’ve all grown up with a local bookstore, and we want the same choice to be there for future generations of readers.” – Merry Jones, author of the Zoe Hayes Series.
Gregory Frost, author of SHADOWBRIDGE and LORD TOPHET agreed. “We want to keep the small bookstores going. Places like Aaron’s Books provide a diverse selection of books that you just won’t find at one of the big box book barns.”
Lovin’ Lititz Every 2nd had the streets around Aaron’s packed and the store was jammed well past the scheduled end of our gig. Owner Sam Droke-Dickinson even donated a bunch of Liar’s Club authors’ books so we could keep the freebies flowing.
It was a nice surprise to meet western artist, Ken Laager, who got into a nostalgic discussion about the old days of crime art with Jon McGoran, Gregory Frost and Keith Strunk. Ken told us how great it is working with HARD CASE CRIME, and how the opportunity to paint the edgy material HARD CASE is known for really get’s him jazzed. He’s got his latest original cover, THE CUTIE, for sale. If you’re interested in learning more, contact me. Click this link to see the 14” x 21” oil on illustration board original of Ken Laager’s THE CUTIE.
Sam and Todd must have a lot of pull because, like I said before, a crew from Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11 spent some time with us, talking about the book business, storytelling and independent bookstores. The two guys who shot the video took turns doing the interviews for practice. They were both shooters and said if we really had pull a hot honey would have been been doing the interviewing. Nice kids.
Todd Dickinson watches son Aaron pull another winner, and editor Donald Eckert looks on suspiciously while Greg Frost offers unsolicited gems of wisdom about writing fantasy, sci-fi, and all manner of malarkey.
We learned a lot about Aaron’s Books during the Truth or Lie game:
Truth or Lie? The bookstore’s bathroom was once an embalming area.
Are you kidding me? Yep, it’s no lie.
It was accidental family night at the Liars Club party with Marie Lamba’s husband, Baldev, daughter, Cari, and brother Steve showed up to represent as well as Merry’s daughter, Bailey, husband, Robin, and Greg’s wife Barbara.
After hearing one of Merry’s Truth or Lie questions earlier, I developed a better sense of just how twisted her writer’s mind is:
Truth or Lie? A person who cuts off his wife’s head can be found not guilty of murder if he says he thought he was slicing a melon.
Who thinks up stuff like that? Merry figures out how to wrap a few lies around it to make a heart stopping mystery thriller. The crazy thing is, it’s true! Ken Kaylor knew it, and walked away with a free book.
FREEZER BURN author, Jon McGoran, does his best Vito Corleone, much to the chagrin of Baldev Lamba. Merry appears unfazed, and children’s librarian, Elizabeth Corbett, manages to tune him out like the pro she is. Elizabeth is sporting a bangin’ librarian tattoo on her left bicep, but I thought it was too soon to ask her to pose for me. Next time.
Keith Strunk, actor, author, corporate video producer, and all around prevaricator tries to calm the shock and joy of the winner of his historical exploration, PRALLSVILLE MILLS AND STOCKTON (Arcadia).
Truth or Lie? In the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE books, Laura and her sister would play games with pig’s feet on butchering day.
Yeah, that’s an appropriate toy for kids; a few bloody hunks of raw pork. But again, truth is stranger than fiction…um, that’s right, we’re talking about fiction here. Something tells me when Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the books, she was telling the truth about that little detail. That’s the trouble with writers; you never know when they’re on the level.
We found out a few other cool things about Aaron’s Books in our Truth or Lie Game:
Truth or Lie? The layout of Aaron’s Books changes every six months because of the upbringing of one of the owners.
Truth or Lie? If you order a new book over the phone, you save 15% off that title.
Truth – Price is no reason to shop the big box book stores. Independent booksellers can provide you with the same competitive prices you see at the big guys.
Truth or Lie? A very important child, aged 6 1/2, is instrumental in choosing what the people in this bookstore buy and see.
Truth – Aaron, the 6 1/2 year old son of owners Sam and Todd, has strong opinions about books and he knows what he likes. Stop by Aaron’s Books to see what he’s recommending this week.
Here’s the piece on Lovin’ Livitz Every 2nd and the Philly Liars Club from Blue Ridge Cable 11. Dateline September 13: For some reason, Blue Ridge took this video down from YouTube. I’m trying to hunt it down. dl
Thanks to Sam, Todd, and Aaron for their hospitality, for the Wilbur Chocolate Buds, and the pizza — twice. We can’t wait to come back.
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