Archive for June 2006

Just Countin’ the Books

June 29, 2006

Jon Lee, store manager at River City Books, asked me to pass along a note — just in case:

On Friday, June 30, River City Books will be doing its annual inventory. The process will begin early in the morning and should be completed before the store is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. So this note may be moot. But it’s possible the process may slightly delay the store’s opening that day. Sorry for any inconvenience.


In Case You Didn’t Know …

June 28, 2006

knight1_index.gifSometimes when I tell folks that River City Books is owned by Carleton College they are surprised. Sure, they see the college influence in the illuminated photographs on the wall and in the clothing section. But, still, it’s not widely known. Well, it should be!

River City Books is in fact provided by Carleton College as a service and benefit to the Northfield community. The college believes strongly in a vibrant downtown Northfield and the store is one important way in which Carleton shows that support.

River City has been a fixture downtown for more than four years and will continue to remain your friendly neighborhood bookstore into the foreseeable future.

If you’re like me and you love spending time at River City, thank Carleton College for making the store possible.

The Lure of the Tables

June 27, 2006

table2.jpgI was gabbing with a customer the other day and we were both in agreement. There is something strangely mysterious and powerfully appealing about the display tables at River City Books.

Let me explain: Customers walk in the door and, unless they have a specific book in mind, they are inevitably drawn to one of several tables of books located in the main area of the sales floor. These tables, adroitly arranged by store manager Jon Lee, are like powerful magnets. People linger and so often — especially if they walked in not knowing what they were in the mood to read — they find answers among the stacks of books on these tables.

Oh, sure, they usually take a gander at the national bestseller display and they peruse the local bestseller area as well. They may walk along the neatly aligned stacks or check out the line of fresh reads sitting at the counter. Yeah, customers look all around. But the tables have rare powers to draw the attention. It’s a phenomenon as yet unexplained by scientists.

As the friendly young woman I was chatting with said to me, “I am not sure what it is but there’s something about the tables. I always find at least one thing I have to buy.”

Friendly Reminder: Attend, ‘Unless’ You Can’t

June 24, 2006

unless.jpgIf you’re like me you have to write things down or else you’re liable to remember 12 days too late that you forgot to attend something you thought would be fun. The July meeting time of the River City Books fiction book club is especially hard to remember because, well, it’s taking place in June!

The club usually meets on the first Tuesday of each month but because of the July Fourth holiday the club decided to meet a week early. This means the group will convene at 7 p.m., June 27. In other words, this Tuesday. Like many, I am flabbergasted as to how fast this month has flown by.

Early returns from group members are that this month’s selection, Unless by Carol Shields, is a terrific read and likely to generate a lot of stimulating conversation. By the way, the August pick has already been made.

Remember: Members of the club are eligible for store discounts on selected books. For more information about the River City Books fiction book club, contact Sue de Malignon at 507-646-7754 or

Hot Read: Suskind Book Getting Buzz

June 23, 2006

one-percent.jpgOne of the more insightful and important books I read two years ago was Ron Suskind’s The Price of Loyalty, which at the time garnered a great deal of attention among readers and the press. This summer Suskind, an award-winning journalist, just may once again have the hottest political book on the shelf.

Just released, you’ve likely already heard quite a bit about The One Percent Doctrine. The book’s receiving a lot of buzz because Suskind relies on unique access to former and current government officials and reveals for the first time how the U.S. government — from President Bush on down — is frantically improvising to fight a new kind of war.

You’re not likely surprised when I tell you that River City Books has this book for sale — $27 in hardcover.

Here’s more information from the book’s dust jacket:


This Just In: Shoppers Saving Bundles

June 21, 2006

summer-sale.jpgYou’ve been reading about River City Book’s Summer Solstice Sale and now I have posted a picture (right) to prove that it’s true: The sale is in full swing. At RCB, they don't put the blue sale signs up unless they mean business.

Shoppers are saving substantial sums — on regular trade books, bargain books, clothing, magazines, you name it and I have seen a customer buy and receive a discount on it.

On Tuesday night I was there as an industrious young lad brought an ambitious read to the register. Unaware of the sale — he was from out of town, not hip to this blog as of yet — he was so pleased with the discounted price that he returned to the shelves and picked out another, this time going with a favorite mystery writer.

Seriously, at these prices why wouldn’t you buy more than one item?

For example, another customer picked up four remainders, three of them hardcovers. Her total bill: $21.26. She looked at the receipt and was flabbergasted.

Friends, the wonderment continues — till 9 p.m. each night — through Thursday at RCB.

Extended Hours for Summer Solstice Sale

June 20, 2006

In case you needed another reason to stop by River City Books this week, I’ll give you one: They’re open even later.

sun_shine_small.gifIn honor of the longest day of the year, for which the Summer Solstice Sale is named, RCB is open till 9 p.m. tonight (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday. So that’s 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. rather than 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., as is usually the case on weeknights.

On Monday night I took a jaunt through the neighborhood. Anyone else see that gorgeous red sky around 8:30 p.m.? Wow. No doubt, evenings are a treat in Northfield these days. Hope to see you one of the next few nights.