I’m a book browser, a title checker, a back-cover blurb skimmer. I’m also a sucker for staff recommendations–but only the handwritten ones with (occasionally) too many exclamation points that punctuate the shelves at independent bookstores.
That being said, I’m in a new world with “Lost Notes,” my third novel. I’ve shied away from research for years, and now this nascent draft is sending me into the past with questions. I’m curious about canaries, the Gilded Age, New York City’s culture in the 19th century, and a whole lot more. I’m so curious I’m not even sure what my questions are yet, but I have a feeling I’ll know when I stumble on a piece of history that’ll turn into a piece of story.
To that end, this week I used a service from Powell’s Books that I had never needed before. Instead of wandering through the aisles, searching for possibly useful tomes among towering shelves of history books, I used technology! After browsing for titles related to my interest, I picked out five to purchase online through the in-store pickup program. When I arrived today and made my way to the counter, staff members had found all my books from various Powell’s locations, then sent them to the store of my choice. No postage! No hassle! And now it’s time to start reading, pondering and figuring out which trail in the mist of imagination to follow next.