Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty


Before E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day's Bared to You, there was Anne Rice’s New York Times best seller The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

In the traditional folktale of "Sleeping Beauty," the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. In the first book of the trilogy, Anne Rice (author of Beauty's Kingdom), writing as A.N. Roquelaure, retells the Beauty story and probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him . . . as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience. Readers of Fifty Shades of Grey will indulge in Rice’s deft storytelling and imaginative eroticism, a sure-to-be classic for years to come.

Praise for The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty:

"Articulate, baroque, and fashionably pornographic." —Playboy

"Something very special . . . at once so light and yet so haunting." —The Advocate


Friday, January 30, 2015

Lady Chatterley's Lover



Lyric and sensual, D.H. Lawrence's last novel is one of the major works of fiction of the twentieth century. Filled with scenes of intimate beauty, explores the emotions of a lonely woman trapped in a sterile marriage and her growing love for the robust gamekeeper of her husband's estate. The most controversial of Lawrence's books, Lady Chatterly's Lover joyously affirms the author's vision of individual regeneration through sexual love. The book's power, complexity, and psychological intricacy make this a completely original work—a triumph of passion, an erotic celebration of life.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Story of O



Before Fifty Shades of Grey there was Story of O, the notorious novel of dark obsession that introduced the world to erotic fiction.


How far will a woman go to express her love? In this exquisite and taboo novel of passion and desire, the answer emerges through a daring exploration of the deepest bonds of sensual domination. “O” is a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer, determined to understand and prove her consuming devotion to her lover, RenĂ©, through complete submission to his every whim, his every desire.

It is a journey of forbidden, dangerous choices that sweeps her through the secret gardens of the sexual underground. From the inner sanctum of a private club where willing women are schooled in the art of subjugation to the excruciating embraces of RenĂ©’s friend Sir Stephen, O tests the outermost limits of pleasure. For as O discovers, true freedom lies in her pure and complete willingness to do anything for love.

Custom Orders At From My Shelf Books



No matter how many books we have, we can never have them all. I've tried and there just isn't room. The good thing is that From My Shelf Books can order you pretty much anything. Our main whole seller has a warehouse in Pennsylvania and if it is in stock, we can have it the next business day. We place a book order every day Monday through Friday.

You may have heard that we are moving, and that is true. We'll be moving to 7 East Avenue, into the Brooks Plaza, that's where the Verizon store was and right between Under the Sea Pets and Huffman's Office Products. We'll have parking for plaza customers and finally be handicap accessible.

People have been asking if they should hold off on special orders, because of the move, and the answer is that there is no need. Custom orders is actually one of the easiest things for us to keep track of. We take your name and contact information, place the order, and when the order comes in place it on our custom order shelf and then contact you that it's here.

We also use several smaller whole sellers for our gifts and games and we can custom order several of those as well, though it's not as quick a turnaround as the books, but we always have something fun & funky in stock, and with over 50,000 books in stock, chances are we have something you want to read in stock...





The Longest Ride


In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.

Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Membership Benefits



When I was growing up in Wellsboro, there wasn't a bookstore. You could get Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew at the Paxon's 5 & 10. The Acme had a shelf with a few mass market paperbacks, there was a used bookstore for a short time, but that was is. The nearest bookstore was at the Arnot Mall, and it was always the first store I went to and sometimes the only one. I remember I had a membership, and it gave me 10% off. It was a lot in those days before the internet where everyone strives to undercut everyone else.

When my wife and I started From My Shelf Books,l we wanted to build the type of store we wished were here when growing up. We wouldn't just have new books, or used books, or books, but games, gifts, and an awesome membership. The membership program we developed wouldn't just give a 20% discount on new paperback, but 25% on new hardcovers, 20% off games, and allow members to trade in their books for store credit.

There's some books I just won't give up, but some books I only am going to read once. For example, once you read it, a mystery just isn't a mystery anymore, but you might want to keep that history book for your collection, and there are some books I read every few years. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, I get something new every time I read it.

So, for those people who like to hold on to their books, we developed the punch card. For every ten dollars a member purchases, they get a punch. When the card is filled (ten punches), the card is worth $10 credit on their nexr in-store purchase that can be used on books, games, or custom orders.

Once a year, we hold our DOUBLE-PUNCH SALE! If you’re a member, you normally get a punch on your card for every $10 you spend. A full punch becomes a $10 gift certificate! The last weekend of January, for every $10 you spend, you get TWO punches!

Bring the family—it’s a family membership—and rack up the full punch cards!

Plus, this sale gives EVERYONE 25% off all merchandise in the bookstore. Not a member? You can still save, but this last weekend in January, members get 30% off, plus DOUBLE PUNCHES!

Get new books or used, gift or craft items, games, plush, and more for 25 to 30% off! From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Main St. Wellsboro.

What Women Really Want in Bed



Are you puzzled by women and their sexual desires? Do you wonder, for example, whether your girlfriend or wife really likes giving—and getting—oral sex? What are her secret fantasies? What is it that she really needs to have an orgasm?

Wonder no more. In What Women Really Want in Bed, over 200 women of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life reveal frank, no-holds-barred truths about what turns them on, why they’ll choose a good book over torching the sheets with their lovers, and what they wish men knew about sex.

Discover exactly what your wife, girlfriend, or one-night stand wants you to know about foreplay, sexual positions, orgasm, and getting them into the mood—and into the bedroom.

Does size matter when it comes to her orgasm?

What does it take to get her to express her wild side in the bedroom?

How can you find the best rhythm and pressure to make her climax again and again?

What are best hand and mouth techniques to take her over the edge

An insider’s guide to women’s sexual psyche, this book debunks sex and seduction myths, explicitly tells you what she needs between the sheets, and gives you the hand, mouth, and position techniques she’s been craving.


About the Authors

Cynthia W. Gentry is an award-winning writer, screenwriter and journalist. She is the co-author of several books on sex, including What Women Really Want in Bed, Secret Seductions: 62 Naughty Nights, Lusty Liaisons and Sexy Surprises, and Mind-Blowing Orgasms Every Day. Her short fiction, essays, and film reviews have appeared in anthologies, literary journals and on the Web. She resides in Palo Alto, CA.

Dana Fredsti is a producer, writer, and director for theater, film, and television. She has written numerous published articles and essays.

Naughty Nights Coupons: 22 Steamy Ideas for Sexy Bedroom Fun



"22 steamy ideas for Sexy Bedroom Fun"
22 frisky ways to experience a naughty night together. Spice things up with a different bedroom adventure on each coupon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Outlander



#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES

Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.

OUTLANDER

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Snowy Day


Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal!

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

The Unbelievable Cryptozoology Coloring Book


Ranging all over the globe to recapture cryptic creatures that have been sighted but not documented, this coloring book features Madagascar's giant vampire bat, the Himalayan Yeti, North America's Bigfoot, and 27 others.

Moving in March



You may have heard, we are moving in March. We found a new location just a short distance from our present location on Main Street. We'll be moving to the Brook's Plaza on East Avenue between Huffman's Office Products and Under the Sea Pets.

If you are familiar with down town Wellsboro, parking can sometimes be a problem, but we'll have our own parking lot, and be handicap accessible which will be a lot easier for our customers who have baby strollers, wheelchairs, or walkers. We've requested additional railings at our Main Street location, but were adamantly refused.

We've been looking for a new location for awhile. Maybe you've put off renewing your membership. Now, there's no need to worry. Also, this last weekend in January we are once again having our annual double punch sale.

From My Shelf Books & Gifts always has great prices and discounts, but once a year, we hold our DOUBLE-PUNCH SALE! If you’re a member, you normally get a punch on your card for every $10 you spend. A full punch becomes a $10 gift certificate! The last weekend of January, for every $10 you spend, you get TWO punches!

Bring the family—it’s a family membership—and rack up the full punch cards!

Plus, this sale gives EVERYONE 25% off all merchandise in the bookstore. Not a member? You can still save, but this last weekend in January, members get 30% off, plus DOUBLE PUNCHES!
Get new books or used, gift or craft items, games, plush, and more for 25 to 30% off! From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Main St. Wellsboro.


The Great Zoo of China


The all-new thriller from #1 internationally bestselling author Matthew Reilly
It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane "CJ" Cameron, a writer for "National Geographic" and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong. Of course it can't...
GET READY FOR ACTION ON A GIGANTIC SCALE.

Intricate Valentines: 45 Lovely Designs to Color



Festive Fun for Everyone!

Chuck Abraham has 30 years experience in design and illustration, working as a Designer, Art Director, and Creative Director for various agencies and corporations throughout the West and Southeast. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Valentine's Day Mix-Up



Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends are planning to have a berry special Valentine's Day. But when the mail arrives on Valentine's Day, Strawberry doesn't get a single card. Did all her friends forget about her? This friendship-themed storybook comes with sparkly valentine cards.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thomas' Valentine Party



Thomas knows about friendship, and he knows how to spread Valentine's Day joy in this activity book that features full-color pages and over 50 stickers. Little boys ages 3-7 who like Thomas & Friends, will love decorating the included cards.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Glitter Bombs and Tachyons*

The first law of thermodynamics states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. It’s true because glitter is forever. From My Shelf Books & Gifts moved to 25 Main St. almost three years ago. The business that was here before us had seasonal items, and glitter, oh so much glitter.

Glitter is like the herpes of the decorative world. You can never really get rid of it. Sometimes, it will go into hiding, but you’ll run the vacuum, and—BAM— glitter! There’s bound to be an outbreak of glitter even if you inoculate and even if you are positive you've never been exposed.

Recently, across social media, there’s been an explosion of glitter. The new trend is to send glitter to people you don’t like, because it’s simple, easy, and forever. The movement was started by a young Australian who wanted to make a couple extra bucks.

His website is www.shipyourenemiesglitter.com For about nine Australian dollars, he’ll send the people of your choosing a big box or envelope of glitter, with a note buried among the glitter. So, they will know just why they are receiving their glittery surprise.

This gave birth to an idea. Our co-tenants, the owners of Pop’s Culture, expressed interest to our landlord in renting the entire retail space(I do have emails showing this as well). This evolved to what is basically a nasty divorce with people who used to be friends and business partners.

Our landlord served us an eviction notice in October of 2012, but we won our court battle against this, because the lease was never violated. Losing did not make the landlord happy. He’s a man who is used to his money buying him what he wants.

He displayed his displeasure with several incidents. Among them trying to evict our store cat, Hobo; sending us nasty emails; approaching other building owners encouraging them not to rent to us; and ultimately, not renewing our lease.

There’s a definite pattern of harassment flowing from the landlord. One incident caught me by surprise, but my lawyer and I figured it was the result of his anger, in the wake of the latest billing from his lawyer. Our landlord sent us this “anonymous” letter.

It really wasn't anonymous. It just wasn’t signed. It contained information that only I, the landlord, and both lawyers were privy too. It also contained the same pattern of sentence fragments, misspelling, and crude writing to which I have become accustomed when dealing with my landlord.
He didn’t put his name on it, because he’s a coward, but it’s all over the letter.

I’m going to include this letter so the general public knows just what type of man this landlord is, and just a little of what we have been dealing with. I will issue a warning first. It’s rude, crude, and there is derogatory speech that will likely offend.

I’ve worked in factories, so a little vulgarity doesn’t faze me, but the references to my wife’s bi-polar condition and why he needs to put outdated homosexual references does make me wonder just why this man is so homophobic and hateful.

The landlord references some crude Christmas card he implies I sent him. As you can imagine, I rather dislike the man, and wouldn't waste postage on him. In fact, I used to be able to able to pay my recent at Century 21 and get a receipt. You can see why I'd want one. He changed that, because he told them to no longer give me a receipt. Yet another way the man harassed me.

Obviously, a man this vengeful has more than one unsatisfied renter, and the more people who found out about my problems with this landlord, the more stories I heard, and continue to hear.

I even found out who sent him the funny Christmas card, though I won’t be revealing that little tidbit of information. Let’s just say it was a little crass and one of those cards that is only funny for a certain sense of humor, but it wasn’t so horrific that the response from a normal human being would be such a nasty, angry letter.

So, back to the beginning—glitter is forever. People don’t like receiving anonymous letters, cards, or glitter, and some people are willing to pay people to do it for them. My landlord did his best to intimidate me, and suck up my resources by dragging me through court and trashing my name. I need to pay my lawyer back and make enough money for moving expenses.

I could do this by selling glitter! Rather, I could send glitter for people who would rather send it anonymously. Selling is what I do. I sell books and gifts from the bookstore, and if you’d like to support a small, rural bookstore, I’d sure appreciate it. I really just see this as another service, and if there’s a demand, I’ll be happy to provide it. Here’s my link for glitter choices that you can find on EBay.

I also sell several other fun gifts on EBay, and new and used books on half.com, as well as new books on the bookstore’s website.

If you would just like to donate, there’s a fundraiser that has been a huge help. You can find it here. The fundraiser is to pay our legal bills from fighting our landlord’s eviction notice.

Though we won, we had to take it to the Pennsylvania State Superior Court. There, all three judges decided in our favor and found not only was the lease not violated, but that the landlord’s case was “petty.” The judgment of the PA Superior Court rendered the Tioga County Court of Common Pleas decision null and void.

Yup, it should never have been taken to court, our landlord's lawyer was asked "Should this case even be here?" We did offer mediation to our co-tenants and landlord, but in order for mediation to be successful, both parties have to be willing to sit down, and as this letter from our landlord shows, he’s only interested in feeding his greed and fueling our co-tenants ambitions.



*Tachyon is a theoretical particle that travels faster than speed of light



Glitter--it really is forever



Here's one copy of the "nice" letter the landlord sent me. I'm not an expert, but I think this is his cry for help. His allegations of harassment are of course unfounded.

Here's another photo of the same letter. Nancy boy? Does anyone actually use this term?

Here's a screenshot of the landlord using "Nancy Boy" Surely, there aren't two people using this term still?

OLIVIA and the Perfect Valentine



Olivia has lots of love--and even more imagination--to share in this Valentine's Day story.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and Olivia is determined to make the very best possible valentines for all of her friends and family. Each valentine is made with extra special care and is personalized just for its recipient. What could be sweeter?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Geronimo's Valentine



Okay, I'll admit it: I'm a bit of a cheesy mouse from time to time. What can I say? I'm a romantic! That's why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. This year I had a date with a very special rodent-- Petunia Pretty Paws! But then I got a call from my private investigator friend Hercule Poirat. He had a mystery to solve, and he desperately needed my help. The most beloved, romantic, and famous painting in New Mouse City had been stolen! Now I had to help Hercule AND impress Petunia at the same time. Holey swiss cheese, what was a gentlemouse to do?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool



Join Pete in New York Times bestselling author James Dean's Pete the Cat picture book series, as Pete has a Valentine's Day adventure--complete with poster, punch-out valentine cards, and stickers

Pete the Cat thinks Valentine's Day isn't cool . . . until he realizes how many special cats there are in his life Pete works hard to make valentines for everyone, and it turns out to be the grooviest Valentine's Day ever. But what happens when he realizes he's forgotten to make a card for a very important cat? Join Pete the Cat as he discovers just how special Valentine's Day can be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac



A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth

Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. We follow all of the Roebuck family members, witnessing through each of them the painful, isolating effects of Eli's maniacal hunt, and find that each Roebuck is battling a monster of his or her own, sometimes literally. The magical world Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes. At times charming, as when young Eli meets the eccentric, extraordinary Mr. Krantz, and downright horrifying at others, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac is boldly imaginative throughout, and proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face.

Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime



Meet the World's Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones!
It's a mushy gushy mystery! With over 50 million books in print, Barbara Park's New York Times bestselling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, is a classroom favorite and has been keeping kids laughing—and reading—for over 20 years! In the 14th Junie B. Jones book, February 14—Valentime's Day, as June B. calls it—is just around the corner. Junie B. can't wait to see all the valentimes she'll get. But she never expected a big, mushy card from a secret admirer! Who is this secret mystery guy, anyway? Junie B. is determined to find out.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Drum roll, please.... WE. ARE. MOVING!!!

Yes, we're moving. We are NOT closing! We are not going to leave our Wellsboro community. This is our hometown. This is our faithful customer base. We didn't want to fail our customers who have been so supportive. We will move the bookstore because we are NOT giving up. We will not be driven from our hometown, or from the community that we love, who have supported us with their words and their feet and their presence and their purchases. There aren't a lot of places available, but we think this new place will work well for us and for our customers.

The new lease doesn't officially start until March 1, 2015. The place we'll be leasing for the bookstore is in the Brooks Plaza. It is on East Avenue, basically just behind the Wellsboro Diner. If you turn onto East Avenue from Main Street, and are heading east towards Weis and eventually out of town to Mansfield, then just on your left, of course, will be the Diner. Then, a big old building which has housed "Etc. Antiques" for 41 years! Next is "The Brooks Plaza". Thirty years ago, this was a gas station. Dave Brooks bought it, fixed it up pretty well, and turned it into a little... strip mall, for lack of a better term. It currently houses an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, an office building, a fish store (small pet store), and Huffman's Office Products. Verizon used to take up a big middle section, but they consolidated with their store in Mansfield, and moved out 7-8 months ago.



Brooks Plaza will work pretty well for all of us. Dave Brooks is a straight-shooter, helpful landlord, and good business man. The store has big windows (the cats will love it!!), good square footage, great off-street parking, lower utility bills, handicap accessibility (finally!), and LESS ambient noise.

People have already been asking how they can help. Kevin and I will be doing several posts about this -- blog posts, facebook posts, email newsletters -- but here's a short list, with a few thoughts we'll expand on later. We can't express our gratitude enough. We will try to "pay you back" by staying in Wellsboro, and continuing to do a great job. We will keep offering you the service, events, and selection you enjoy.

This is how everyone can help:
*buy books from us, especially in the next 1-3 months: we have new, used, audio, AND ebooks!
*buy a membership
*buy someone else a membership
*keep custom ordering from us
*buy gift certificates
*sign up for the email newsletter, or follow us on facebook
*tell people that we're moving, not closing, and that we have big plans for expansion in 2015 and 2016
*keep shopping with us!
*order with us instead of ordering with the Evil Empire
*watch our short web series on youtube: "From My Shelf vs. the Evil Empire"
*come to help us pack up our books, from the shelves upstairs, when we post/share dates for accomplishing that
*load boxes into cars & trucks
*drive a car or truck
*loan us any "handtrucks" or things with wheels that make it easier to move both lots of boxes and/or big furniture
*build a few new shelves in the new locations (custom-fit, but fairly easy, just pine boards, like we already have on the walls at 25 Main)
*donate to the teen book club -- either sponsor a book for a kid, or buy refreshments for a monthly meeting
*tell us jokes and keep us laughing
*be patient with the fact that we won't be able to schedule any trade-ins for a couple of months



We'll have some specific dates letting people know when we most need volunteers to help pack or move things. Thank you, in advance, for your help. If you want to help but can't lift much, we can still use your help -- packing boxes, or doing some volunteer work at the store while others are lifting ... you can call custom orders, or just answer the phone. This will be a community effort, because we ARE a community. We are our community's bookstore.


"And God help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying past..." --32 Flavors, folk-rock song, Ani DiFranco

We will be phoenixes, dear ones!




--by Kasey Cox, manager
From My Shelf Books & Gifts
www.wellsborobookstore.com



Stealing Buddha's Dinner



As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- seeming than her Buddhist grandmother's traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled "delicacies" of mainstream America capture her imagination.

In Stealing Buddha's Dinner, the glossy branded allure of Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House Cookies becomes an ingenious metaphor for Nguyen's struggle to become a "real" American, a distinction that brings with it the dream of the perfect school lunch, burgers and Jell- O for dinner, and a visit from the Kool-Aid man. Vivid and viscerally powerful, this remarkable memoir about growing up in the 1980s introduces an original new literary voice and an entirely new spin on the classic assimilation story.

Zombies Have Issues


As we know from Greg Stones's first breakout hit book, zombies hate stuff. It's less understood that the undead also struggle with the stuff of everyday life usually navigated by the breathing. Zombies have issues with yoga, bad hair days, chopsticks, the morning commute, touch-screen technology, and more. They kind of enjoy skunks, gardening, and acupuncture, but they have major issues with banana peels, Renaissance fairs, bear traps, and bunnies. In the face of such adversity, all zombies really want is a cure. With humor, wit, and braaaains, Greg Stones's colorful painted panels offer a sympathetically funny, new perspective into the trials and tribulations of the undead in a world made for the living.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Little Bears to Knit & Crochet



Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as Unraveled by Maggie Sefton

Small in size but big in character, the teddy bear gets the craft treatment with these 40 unique patterns to knit & crochet. Using material from two books in the Twenty to Make series - Crocheted Bears & Knitted Bears - this guide provides two basic bear patterns and 40 different outfits.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The "Cliff Notes" on "What's the point in the 'encourage local business' agencies in our area?" and Part 2 of the post

I spent the better part of a month trying to write about my frustrations and wishes for keeping From My Shelf in Wellsboro. Granted, I was trying to do that while simultaneously managing the bookstore through the holiday season, so I'd write about a paragraph a day, get interrupted, go several days without writing, try to re-capture my train of thought, and continue trying to write something that would make sense.

After a friend here at the bookstore read it, she said, "So, what do you hope to accomplish, sending this as a letter to Chamber board members, or directors of TCDC?"

To answer that question, I'll summarize what I took more than six typed pages to say. I'll boil it down to the essence of what I hope to convey.

Many towns and cities really want to have a great bookstore. Tourists visiting From My Shelf comment -- ALL THE TIME -- on how lucky Wellsboro is to have an indie bookstore like ours, with such a huge, diverse selection; with new and used books; with a knowledgeable staff who are especially good with kids; with a range of prices; well-organized and open 7 days a week. Our local customers, too, tell us how much they appreciate us. And the love flows right back: we love our customers, whether they are once-a-year visitors or neighbors who live up the street.

As I mentioned, Corning's Gaffer District started 'courting' us as early as 2008, when From My Shelf was just a little store in the basement at 87 Main Street. They saw the potential of a bookstore that mixed new and used books, that hosted authors, that offered great community events. All over the country, downtown districts and neighborhood shopping areas are trying to get a bookstore to move in.

Wellsboro HAS a great bookstore. Why not do everything possible to preserve what you've got?

I'm still pretty flabbergasted that someone didn't step up and step in to try to help. I think, at the very least, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the TCDC board, the Tioga County Visitors' Bureau, or an owner of another 'cornerstone' store on Main Street could have come forward to ask our landlord if he would be willing to negotiate, go to mediation, or reconsider the situation in light of the greater community. I'm not aware that ANYONE did that.

When we asked members of the Chamber, the Borough Council, and other elected officials if they would be willing to step up and lend support to the bookstore, we got several vaguely neutral emails, basically saying, "we wish you luck with your situation", and a whole lot of nothing.

This is NOT to say that we don't recognize and appreciate the support of our COMMUNITY. People as individuals -- our customers, our friends, our 'fans' on facebook near and far -- have been INCREDIBLY supportive. Your support and encouragement has been awesome, humbling, and cheering. This is the reason we keep going!

I feel that From My Shelf asked for little to no help from official "grow business in Wellsboro" organizations as we grew not just our own business, but business in downtown Wellsboro overall. We have hosted dozens of events that included twenty or thirty OTHER businesses in Wellsboro, taking people throughout town. From My Shelf has worked in cooperation with tons of businesses, nonprofits, schools, and individuals over the last eight plus years. It seems like a "Little Red Hen" story to me, in reverse.... everyone got to eat the bread we baked, but when we finally asked for help reaping the wheat or baking more bread, all these officials, who supposedly have the town's best interests at heart, said, "No, not I. I can't help. I can't get involved."

What "the powers that be" in Wellsboro seem not to recognize is how fragile the health of our historical district is. We claim to be a tourist area, with much of our economy driven by tourist traffic. People come to downtown Wellsboro to shop, dine, and walk. They want to come visit the candy store, the ice cream place, the bookstore, the coffee shops, the little cafes and restaurants, the boutiques, and our unique department store. Tourists do not usually visit banks, insurance offices, or real estate offices. If they do, it's a quick stop. There's no reason these services can't be on side streets, just off the Main Street.

Because our landlord is short-sighted, because he seems bent on personal revenge or individual gain as he sees it, From My Shelf will have to move when our lease expires at the end of March 2015. At that point, we will have paid rent, every month, on time, to LYDA Properties, LLC, for all eight and a half years that From My Shelf has been in existence. Even though the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that From My Shelf had done nothing wrong, had not broken its lease in any way, our landlord continues to insist that we have done wrong, continues to accuse us of being bad tenants and bad people, to boot. He insists, in very public forums, that we continue to harass him and to harass our co-tenants, even though there were NEVER any charges of harassment filed, let alone charged.

We will move the bookstore because we are NOT giving up. We will not be driven from our hometown, or from the community that we love, who has supported us with their words and their feet and their presence and their purchases. But it will be extremely difficult on us -- personally, financially, physically, and emotionally.

Looking at this situation, I would like to remind the "Encourage Local Businesses" agencies AND the individuals who make up their boards, of the following: we are ALL in the same boat. There is no "Not I" possible here. If one of us goes down, everyone feels it. Especially if any of the "cornerstone" stores disappears. It IS a fragile balance here. We need to support each other, and we often do, but we need to do a better job. We cannot simply stand back and say, "I can't get involved." Once you have a business in Wellsboro, or in Tioga County, you ARE involved. If you have kids who go to school here, you ARE already involved. If you work in a business that draws money from tourism, you are involved.

We weren't asking people to take sides. We were asking people to write our landlord and let him know how important the bookstore is, how much good it does here. Since From My Shelf does so much for the community, since people want to keep coming here, it would really help if we didn't have to move. We wanted people to tell our landlord this, and keep the focus positive. We asked certain "key" people if they would be willing to talk with him, invite him to negotiate further with us. This is not taking sides. As I have said, we fully recognize that we ALL could have handled this better, and that a lot of little shit got out of control. It would have helped so much if a neutral party -- one who is interested in the health of Wellsboro and of Tioga County, who was NOT taking the side of landlord, game store, or bookstore -- would have helped us all figure out a way forward.

So, officials, what say you? Business owners, Chamber members, can we prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future?

Knit Scarves!: 16 Cool Patterns to Keep You Warm


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as Hooked on Murder by Betty Hectman.

Beginners love knitting scarves because they're easy; experienced knitters love them because the projects are fast.
Continuing Storey's popular die-cut Knit series, "Knit Scarves " features 16 unique scarf patterns that range from the toasty warm to the way cool to the tres chic. Candi Jensen--a craft and needlework designer with 25 years of experience--discusses everything from choosing the proper needles to avoiding such gaffs as mixing acrylic yarn with mohair yarn (acrylic needs a dryer to keep its shape, while mohair should never see the inside of a dryer).
The friendly, step-by-step instructions and color-coded charts make "Knit Scarves " perfect for knitters of all skill levels.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Knitting by Nature: 19 Patterns for Scarves, Wraps, and More


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as And Then You Die by Monica Feris.

In this follow-up to her wildly popular books "Ocean Breezes" and "Nature's Wrapture, "Sheryl Thies has outdone herself with a stunning new collection of nature-inspired designs. Revel in knitting ideas gathered from a wide array of flowers, grasses, and vines.Choose from exquisite designs, including scarves, shawls, wraps, and shrugs. Capture the beauty of plant forms with lace, cables, bobbles, and other knitting stitches. Enjoy modern designs that require minimal or no finishing

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crocheting For Dummies


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as Let It Sew by Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

An updated classic covering the latest techniques and trends in crocheting

Are you hooked on the art of crochet? Looking for a fun new hobby that you can take with you virtually anywhere? Crocheting For Dummies, 2nd Edition gives you easy-to-understand instructions on how to choose the right tools, create basic stitches, and finish off your work to make beautiful pieces of art. From learning to create consistency with gauge swatch to decoding crochet patterns, symbols, and diagrams, this easy-to-follow guide is all you need to start creating beautiful designs in no time!

This revised edition contains completely new content, including fresh new patterns, stitches, and techniques reflecting crocheting styles from around the world. Plus, it's packed with new and refreshed photos and line art throughout, along with step-by-step instructions that will easily guide you from your first stitch to your first sweater.

A new section covering common crocheting mistakes and how to correct them

Crocheting with eco-awareness: using organic yarns, as well as free trade and sustainably sourced fibers

The best resources for purchasing supplies, as well as choosing and buying patterns

Whether you're a first-time crocheter or looking to expand your skills, Crocheting For Dummies, 2nd Edition gives you the skills, techniques, and confidence to crochet like a pro.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's the point of all these "encourage local business" agencies in Wellsboro?

An open letter to members of TCDC, HARB, the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, the Deane Center Board, the Tioga County Commissioners, elected representatives of the area, AND anyone who is concerned with the health & welfare of small business in our area --

Written by Kasey Cox, ridgerunner born & raised, who went away and chose, gladly, to return ...


When area planning agencies, such as V.I.B.E. for Blossburg and the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, have looked at the businesses and services that they'd like to have to improve their downtown districts, most of them have included a bookstore. Since 2008 – less than two years into From My Shelf's existence – we have been courted by representatives from Corning's Gaffer District. Many visitors to the area have become regular customers at From My Shelf, commenting that “it isn't a trip to Wellsboro without going to the bookstore”, and “my grandkids beg to come to From My Shelf when they're here.” Visitors from all over the country wistfully tell us that they would love to have a store like From My Shelf in their area. Some well-meaning, but slightly-snobby, first-time tourists have looked at our selection in amazement, asking us, “How do you know about all these authors? Who here reads all these books?”

Just like living near the PA Grand Canyon but going years without taking a hike, there may be some local people who don't realize the treasure they have in From My Shelf Books & Gifts. We currently have over 50,000 volumes in stock, across a huge range of prices and topics. We have an affordable membership program that allows people to “co-op” with us – discounts on new items, a “punch” card, and the opportunity to trade books in for store credit. Each month, we sponsor several regular activities, groups which have included writers' groups for adults as well as one for kids; at least one author event; a book club for adults, and a book club for teens. We've invented book-related scavenger hunts, leading participants through the town, visiting many local businesses, bringing foot traffic and PR.

Six years ago, we created BookFest, a community literacy celebration that, even in its first year, hosted over 40 local & regional authors for an open house meet-and-greet situation. In addition to giving the public the chance to purchase a specially-inscribed book by an author they met in person, BookFest also holds a used book sale, whose proceeds have gone to buying more inventory for the Wellsboro school libraries. Together with the authors and the school district staff, we have raised nearly $5,000 to date. With that money, the librarians have purchased books with From My Shelf, where we gave them a 30-50% discount on the books they were buying, stretching that money even further.

Although we believe passionately in supporting local, regional, first-time, and/or small-press authors, we have also brought traditionally-published, award-winning authors to Tioga County as well, including Lee Welles, Carolyn Turgeon, Susan Williams Beckhorn, Jeanine Cummins, Marta Perry, and, most recently, Jay Paterno. Once they have come to From My Shelf, authors love returning! They love Wellsboro, and they love shopping at our bookstore. They often bring their friends and families, who not only love From My Shelf, but love shopping Wellsboro's downtown district.

For the last two years, From My Shelf made certain that Wellsboro was one of only 250 towns and cities in the nation that was chosen by Candlewick Press to host a “Where's Waldo?” event throughout the month of July. These events receive national press, and Candlewick Press provides all kinds of PR for their star yearly event.

We understand that social media can be a double-edged sword – in a world where people seemed glued to their Smart Phones and wi-fi is expected to be everywhere, people can be just as quick to leave a grouchy, nasty review as to compliment on a great experience. Nevertheless, we have carefully built the facebook page for the bookstore to include a large, positive, enthusiastic audience of followers. Not only do we tell our facebook fans about events at the bookstore and notes of literary interest, we also share tons of information about Tioga County businesses and attractions. To date, our store facebook page has 7,119 fans; even the facebook page specifically for the bookstore cats has more than 1,400 'likes'. While there's certainly some overlap between the store page and the cat page, as well as some overlap between Kevin's personal page, my personal page, and the store pages, overall, we are reaching more people via social media than the pages for the Tioga County Visitors' Bureau, the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, the Wellsboro Gazette, KC101 radio, or any other business in Wellsboro. We have an enormous reach, and we use it daily to promote this area.

Kevin and I grew up here; our families grew up here. Kevin has had two businesses here in Wellsboro – his gym, Touch of Wellness, and our bookstore, From My Shelf. He has been a member of the Wellsboro Chamber for a total of more than 12 years!

Between the two of us, we know practically everyone in the area, because we either worked with them, played a school sport with them, went to church with them, were in scouts with them, or we're related to them. Around here, it's not 'six degrees of separation', it's more like two. The point is, we want to serve and help our community. We opened this bookstore and have kept it going, despite all the odds stacked against small businesses and especially bookstores over the last decade, because we care deeply about this area and about community literacy.

We opened From My Shelf Books & Gifts in the summer of 2006, in the little basement space at 87 Main Street. We began with about 3,000 books, mostly used, but dreamed from the beginning of building a great bookstore. This dream was not just for us, but for Wellsboro, Tioga County, and our larger region. Kevin and I scrimped; we planned and learned and worked our tails off. Over the next five years, our inventory grew to almost 20,000 books across nearly every genre and price range. Although no store can truly have “something for everyone”, a bookstore can come close: if there's a topic you're interested in, there's probably at least one book about it. We relished the challenge of finding at least one book to match every person, but we were definitely outgrowing our space.

We had hoped to go into one of the retail spaces suggested for the new Deane Center. I was in the very last Hamilton-Gibson show to be performed in the old Davis Furniture space; when we wrapped “Our Town” and “The Laramie Project”, instead of just breaking down the sets, we cleared the entire space, readying it to become the Warehouse Theater. At the bookstore across the street, we watched as construction began on the new Deane Center, and took photos of its progress. My grandfather worked on the organizational board, and was one of many larger donors. We emailed several people on the Deane Center board at that time, asking if we could meet to talk about possible opportunities for the bookstore. We got one or two brief emails that basically amounted to “wait and see” letters. When news finally came, it was upsetting to hear how it was decided that the Fifth Season would occupy all the retail space: we felt the bookstore was a good match for at least part of the retail space in a new center for the arts. It's nothing against the Fifth Season or its owners; as business people, we see how giving all the space to one business is NOT good business for the Deane Center.

However, our landlord, David Zavetsky, let us know that 25 Main Street was coming open, since the Fifth Season would be going to the Deane Center, so it seemed a great silver lining. The old “Bliss Hardware” building is gorgeous, and a prime location for retail in Wellsboro. We happily signed a three-year lease. As you probably know, we asked our friend, Julian Stam, if he would like to move in to this bigger building with us, and share space and expenses. While we were leasing 87 Main Street, we had begun a relationship with Julian Stam, and his game products. Early in our time at 87 Main, Julian had learned that one of his main game wholesalers would no longer sell to businesses who operate only online. He needed to have space in a brick-and-mortar store, and hold gaming events, in order to continue to buy and sell their products. So, Julian sub-leased a small section of our store at 87 Main Street, and we began to co-sponsor some game nights with him.

After a while, we felt that the game events needed to be consistent. People would stop in the bookstore or call, asking when the events were being held, so it seemed having them on the same night every week would be best to grow the events. We suggested a regular Friday night game night. Julian agreed, but did not want to commit to being there every Friday night: he explained that he was running a business out of his home, selling mostly online, so he could have the freedom to spend time with his family. We respected that, but said we would continue to run the regular Friday night events. We asked that he come to as many as he absolutely could, and he honored that. However, it is important to note that while Julian went on vacations with his family and was able to participate in other community activities, we worked every Friday night to build a regular event schedule. We hoped this would ultimately benefit all of us – both businesses and the members of our community.

You probably know the end of this story, or at least have heard how much of this turned out. The Stams became “Pop's Culture Shoppe” and moved with “From My Shelf Books & Gifts” to this new location on the corner of Main Street and East Avenue. It is incredibly unfortunate that our move to 25 Main Street brought so much strife. Despite what you may have heard, no one is blameless in this situation.

We all had bad luck from the beginning. Just as we were signing the leases during the holidays of 2011, a young man drove down East Avenue, in the wee hours of the morning, drunk, uninsured. His car “glanced off” the building going just under 100 miles an hour. This crash threw people out of their beds in the upstairs apartments, knocked glassware off the shelves in the Steak House, and nearly took the building down. His car ended up on the stairs of the Methodist Church.

The repairs from this crash took much longer than anticipated. Among other “normal” delays, our landlord had to deal with insurance fraud from the first contractors he hired. The Stams and we tried to move in at our agreed-upon lease date of March 1st, working around construction. It was next-to-impossible to decide on how the floor plan would be divided among us. First, the floor plan we were originally given had incorrect dimensions. Then, with huge, temporary plywood walls blocking much of the space while it was under construction, it was hard to envision the finished space we would share. As you probably know, we began to have a lot of disagreements about how we would share the space. Tensions grew; tempers flared. We all did and said some stupid and regrettable things.

In August 2012, we offered to go to mediation with the Stams. We approached Terry Ginn, and asked him if he would be willing to mediate. We informed our landlord of our intentions. He indicated was at his wit's end, feeling torn between two constantly disagreeing tenants. He felt that mediation or arbitration was imperative, and threatened both parties with eviction. We asked the Stams if they would go to mediation with Mr. Ginn, or another mediator of their choosing. It is our understanding that Julian Stam met with Terry, and Terry felt it was a good talk. Julian's wife and co-manager, Anja Stam, did not attend that meeting, and, ultimately, we were told that the Stams were not interested in mediation of any kind with us.

The bookstore was then served an eviction notice in October 2012. In June 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled unanimously (three judges hear the case) to dismiss LYDA's eviction of the bookstore as “petty”, explaining that none of the reasons LYDA gave for eviction met a definition of a “material breach” of the lease. Thus, we were allowed to stay till the end of our three-year lease.

The bookstore's lease with LYDA ends on March 31, 2015. Living for the better part of two years with the threat of near-immediate eviction hanging over our heads, we have looked at many places to move the bookstore in Tioga County. We have considered many, many options, and talked to lots of different landlords and realtors. All through this, we have continued to sponsor our free events. From My Shelf has donated to just about every cause, fundraiser, and nonprofit venture around, from big things like the playwriting contest that allowed Hamilton-Gibson to continue the short play festival for two more seasons, to individual requests for an item for raffles to help offset costs of cancer treatment. We have never turned away a request for a donation.

Over the past two years, as we have struggled with slander, gossip, and harassment from our landlord, even after he was reprimanded by PA Superior Court judges, we have kept our mouths shut, declining to comment to the newspaper, being discreet in what we shared with our customers about what was being said to us and about us. Only here, as we approach the end of our lease, and are running out of good options for a new place to move the bookstore in Wellsboro, have we approached the “officials” of Wellsboro for help. All we have gotten in response are polite, vague, political letters like “I hope it works out for you.”

TCDC's mission, as stated on your website, is “passionately striving to improve the quality of life
of our communities, our residents, our business[es] … and our environment in our quest to make
Tioga County . . . a place to call home.” This describes not just the mission of From My Shelf, but our actions as well. We are passionately and intensely involved, every day, in improving the quality of life in our community. We do this through free activities that foster cooperation between many of our businesses, and that encourage community literacy. We do this by offering a huge variety of books – our inventory has an incredible range of prices and genres to choose from. We do this with all the things I've mentioned above.

Surely, From My Shelf Books & Gifts is a worthy investment for TCDC to focus on. We employ three people full-time, in addition to Kevin and myself as owners. Over the years, we have provided temporary work to many young people in the area, who worked for us for a summer or a year, between college semesters, or between college graduation and grad school. We've sponsored several high school students, to fulfill their requirements for job shadowing, community service, or internships. We buy all of our shipping supplies from Tyoga Container Company, instead of buying with some big corporation like Uline. We shop with Huffman's Office Products and Tioga Office Products. We buy everything we can locally. We pay local school taxes, since we own a house in the 'Boro.

Do you know how many visitors tell us how much they wish they had our bookstore in their hometown? If you realized how many people tell us how lucky Wellsboro is to have a bookstore like From My Shelf, you might pay more attention to the fact that you are coming close to losing us.

TCDC needs better planning for downtown Wellsboro, perhaps in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce, or HARB. If Wellsboro is to continue to be a tourist town, one whose economy is largely driven by tourism, then Wellsboro needs to pay more attention to making the downtown district one that is enjoyable for tourists who want to stroll through town and shop. The more insurance companies, banks, and real estate offices who take the prime locations on Main Street, the fewer tourists – and locals – will enjoy their time on the beautiful, historic streets of downtown. Tourists do NOT come to town to shop for insurance. Locals can drive to banks on side streets, and use the parking provided by their banks, or the drive-through. People like to come to town, to walk to their favorite coffee shop, to meet friends for pizza, to wander through the bookstore, to buy clothes at Dunham's, to stop in for a treat at the candy store.

As locals and as business owners who depend on the walk-in tourist traffic, we are frustrated and frankly, disgusted, by the laissez-faire attitude of the official planning organizations in the area. One recent example of how the current situation does not work happened when we threw our hat in the ring to rent commercial space that had just come open in the Bird Building, on the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. United Country Realty, having just become Howard Hanna Realty, had decided to buy a building instead of leasing, and to move off Main Street, leaving a beautiful space open for lease, on Main Street, in a prime location, right across from the Deane Center. When we asked about renting the space, we were told that the owner was already deep in negotiation to bring a small, satellite office of a national bank to the building. So, Fulton Bank will be leasing this beautiful Main Street building. Just what Wellsboro doesn't need – another bank in the downtown area.

While we understand that landlords can and should be allowed to lease to whomever they want, and have the right to charge whatever is best for their business needs, we need some kind of organization that works with landlords and with local businesses to build and enrich downtown Wellsboro to encourage tourism, to support local people in their efforts to start and maintain small businesses downtown that provide jobs, and to maintain businesses where local people want to shop, too.

What organization is this? Is this the Chamber of Commerce? One would think that the Chamber of Commerce would specifically support, encourage, and help maintain “commerce” in the area. We've been told that the Chamber has no means to help businesses with mediation, nor can they influence landlords or building owners. While this is understandable, it also shows an area where we may need to improve or expand what the Chamber can do. The Chamber sends out tourism packets all the time, but people will be less likely to visit or stay long if all they find on Main Street are “commerce” services. Even locals only visit their insurance office a few times a year.

We'd like to ask how area agencies are helping local businesses – not just the “big boys”, like banks or insurance companies. Our locally-owned, indie businesses are a big part of Wellsboro's special charm. People come from all over to visit and enjoy our little shops. They know they can go to franchises and malls anywhere. We offer special, one-of-kind shopping, dining, and hospitality experiences. This is a huge reason people come to Wellsboro and keep returning. Locals who shop downtown do so for the personal experience. It's the old “Cheers” sitcom experience – a place where everyone knows your name. They know what style shoes your daughter wears, what kind of latte you prefer, and what genre you like to read.

I'd like to see more support for small businesses, from the Chamber, from TCDC, from the “officials” of Wellsboro and Tioga County. I'd like to see them in my store more, and I'd like to hear them speak up in meaningful ways for keeping our small businesses on Main Street. I'd like Matt Baker to show up to a new store opening – or re-opening in a new location – instead of showing up for the re-opening of corporate McDonald's. McDonald's doesn't need the support of our local officials; it is doing just fine. There's no risk of McDonald's going out of business. For the planning and business “support” organizations for our area, I'd like to see more evidence of people putting their money and their mouths where their mission statement says.

If you've read through this entire letter, I offer you my sincere gratitude for taking the time to listen. If you only skimmed or had your secretary read it, hopefully you'll see this last paragraph. From My Shelf as a business has asked little to nothing from the official folks or organizations meant to help business in Wellsboro and in Tioga County. We don't need to ask for help from our customers, friends, and fans: they've showed their support in a myriad of ways, and in loud, enthusiastic voices. If you aren't yet part of that group, we welcome you to find out what we're doing and why we have the support that we do. Even if you don't become a customer, certainly you can see how important From My Shelf is for our area, and the benefit of keeping us here. We have become a cornerstone of Main Street, Wellsboro, and we hate the fact that this will probably have to change. Consider what you can do to minimize the negative impact of a move, or worse, of losing From My Shelf altogether. And, please, put some serious thought into the kinds of actions and services that official organization might offer in the future to prevent losing great small businesses in our little towns.

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America S Only Family Internment Camp During World War II


The dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families--many US citizens--were incarcerated.
From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called "quiet passage." During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other more important Americans--diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries--behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.
Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, author Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families' subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.
Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, "The Train to Crystal City" reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR's tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.

Tuskers, These Pigs are NOT Right



Barry had created a little piece of paradise in his southern Arizona backyard-until the javelinas came.
His battle to rid his property of the wild pigs soon escalated into war. Too late, he realized these weren't ordinary animals. They were something new, something meaner and smarter. These pigs weren't just at war with him; they were at war with the human race.
"And the humans were losing."


The book Tuskers on our dedicated bacon shrine.


In Tuskers, You don't eat bacon; bacon eats you!

The Body Silent: The Different World of the Disabled



Winner of the Columbia University Lionel Trilling Award. Robert Murphy was in the prime of his career as an anthropologist when he felt the first symptom of a malady that would ultimately take him on an odyssey stranger than any field trip to the Amazon: a tumor of the spinal cord that progressed slowly and irreversibly into quadriplegia. In this gripping account, Murphy explores society's fears, myths, and misunderstandings about disability, and the damage they inflict. He reports how paralysis like all disabilities assaults people's identity, social standing, and ties with others, while at the same time making the love of life burn even more fiercely."

Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-To-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as Knitlit (Too): Stories from Sheep to Shawl . . . and More Writing about Knitting

The perfect gift for dog-lovers who knit From a spotted Dalmatian to a wrinkly Bulldog, the step-by-step patterns in "Knit Your Own Dog" let you knit the dog you've always wanted.

The knitted dog is indeed the ideal companion: There's no feeding, barking, shedding, or vet's bills, and he'll live forever "Knit Your Own""Dog" is the irresistible guide to knitting the perfect pup. With patterns for 25 different pedigree pooches, "Knit Your""Own Dog" lets you choose the dog you want, whether it's a pretty Poodle or a loyal Labrador. Or knit them all for a pack of canine fun

The patterns are easy-to-follow for both new and veteran knitters. It should take only a few evenings to create a covetable companion for life. And yet each pattern is extremely detailed and includes all of the distinguishing features of each breed, from the startling blue eyes of the Siberian Husky and the long, woolly curls of the Old English Sheepdog to the lolling tongue of the German Shepherd.

Accompanying the patterns are a brief description of each breed, as well as expert tips on choosing yarns, stuffing and sewing the dogs, and adding personality to your creation. Beautiful color photographs of the finished dogs, as well as detail shots, both inspire and instruct. "Knit Your Own Dog" is the perfect book for knitters and devoted dog lovers.

Breeds include: Afghan Hound, Basset Hound, Border Collie, Cocker Spaniel, Corgi, Dachshund, Dalmatian, English Bulldog, English Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Jack Russell, Labrador, Miniature Schnauzer, Old English Sheepdog, Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Pug, Red Setter, Rough Collie, Scottish Terrier, Siberian Husky, West Highland Terrier, Whippet, Wire-haired Fox Terrier.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Knit Your Own Zombie: Over 1,000 Combinations to Rip 'n' Reassemble for Horrifying Results


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as Knit, Purl Die by Anne Canadeo

Join the legions of The Crafting Dead

From your traditional living-dead moaners to the hard-partying Zombie Rock Star and deliciously evil Zombie Chef, each one of these creatures is easy to knit and hard to kill.

Best of all, every piece of every zombie is held together with Velcro strips and snap fasteners, so there are endless variations of Undead legions to discover. We've included some mashup pages to get you started (including a deadly Zen Yoga Zombie and a Mother of the Bride who would stop any groom dead in his tracks), but once you've got the hang of it, you'll find that making your own mashups is even more fun than knitting the originals.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Once a Massage Therapist...

Kevin Coolidge

I'm a certified massage therapist, but don't practice professionally any more. The bookstore is open every day, and just takes up most of my time. It takes a long time to do house calls, plus it takes more space to do a table massage than most people think. Doing table massage in less than a 10x10 can be challenging, especially if the massage therapist is large.

I went to massage school in Boulder Colorado and practiced professionally for about ten years, but then I opened From My Shelf Books. I did some massage from home, but massage is unpredictable. Sometimes I would have a lot of clients and sometimes very few. The downturn in the economy didn't help. You pay the electric bill before you get a massage. So, we turned the spare bedroom I was using as a massage space into a home office.

I miss doing massage sometimes, and once you are a massage therapist; you really are always a massage therapist. My wife is always willing to receive massage, but sometimes it's hard to want to do it after a long day at the store. I still do massage her neck and back and do some massage work on friends. My friend Jen recently was having problems with her infraspinatus and pectoralis minor(you really never do stop being a massage therapist.

I did a few pressure points and some PNF stretches(proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) and was able to facilitate some healing and function. It's not 100%, but it's doing better. It's good to know I haven't lost my touch, and reminds me why I started doing massage in the first place.

It's been awhile since I've done paid massage, but I do have a massage chair that I haven't been using for what it is meant for. It's a shame that it's just collecting dust, and I wondered how I could get massage back into my schedule.

Those of you in Tioga County know that winter is slow. We have several employees here at From My Shelf Books, but once the rush of Christmas is over, we have to cut hours back. I'm thinking how to change that. I'm considering doing seated chair massage in the bookstore for donation. Your donation will then go towards our teen book club and other community activities we provide(and feeding our store kitties Huck & Finn of course)

A lot of massage therapists use chair massage to increase their regular practice, but I'm not looking to do that right now. I enjoy the bookstore and being a bookseller, but as a friend reminded me. I'm a pretty good massage therapist. She said awesome, but I'm a little out of practice, and that's why I'm going to do it for donation.

If you are interested, stop by the bookstore and check it out. Bring a friend, browse, have Kasey and our staff help you pick out the right book for you, and feel better...








Rigger: A Memoir from High School to High Steel


This world doesn't exist anymore. It was a time when jobs were plentiful and workers were scarce. The Vietnam War divided the country. The sexual revolution was embraced with open arms. The selective service collected reluctant soldiers. Women sought equality. Music was changing into protest songs to help stop a war. It was a time when, with only a high school diploma, you could follow your father into a high-paying but very dangerous industry. This is a story of a young man's quest, raised on traditional morals and values, finding his way through this tumultuous era. It is also a story of survival in the very dangerous occupation of "hanging iron." Mr. Neff, the son of a steelworker, joined the ranks of Bethlehem Steel employees in 1972, and became a rigger in 1975. The rigger crews in the Steel Company did the jobs that were deemed too high, too hard, or too dangerous for other departments to handle. They also had an earned reputation for being the bad boys of Bethlehem Steel. Rigger is both riotously funny and chilling. It is a look into a world that few have known and that will never exist again. "This is literally heavy metal literature-a pounding story of the suspense, the danger, and the sublime sense of accomplishment that was the everyday fare of the adventurous, rule-breaking riggers. With this vivid account, Larry Neff and Blue Heron Book Works have made a more important memorial of American industrial history than any museum could hope to achieve." Mary Lawlor, author of Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War. "Neff's book is a gift to his union "brothers and sisters," and to all of us who've stared at those long-quiet stacks and wondered what it must have been like to work, day to day, in the midst of them." Joyce Hinnefeld, author of Stranger Here Below ..".people wouldn't believe some of the stories we could tell." Charlie "Snapper" Walp, Rigger/Welder

Dr Who Fifth Doctor Sourcebook



This Sourcebook explores the Fifth Doctor's adventures on Earth and beyond. With detailed information on all the allies, enemies, aliens and gadgets that he encounters, as well as examining each of his adventures, the book contains a wealth of material for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space RPG, and is also a fact-packed resource for fans of the show!
Betrayed by the Master and left to die on Logopolis, the Doctor faced his most difficult regeneration yet - but it'd be nothing compared to the heartbreak, betrayal and loss that was to come. Fly Concorde through time, re-enact the English civil war, play in a ripping game of cricket and race yachts around the Solar System for the greatest prize of all. Witness the return of some of the universe's greatest foes, restored and deadlier than ever, and thwart their machinations once more ... but at a cost.
Brave heart, my friends...

The Cats of Mrs. Calamari



Mrs. Calamari's new landlord tells her that no cats will be allowed starting Sunday, thus beginning a week of trickery and amusing deception, ending in a happy surprise.

The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe


May, 1945. Hitler is dead, the Third Reich is little more than smoking rubble, and no GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis.
"The Last Battle" tells the nearly unbelievable story of the unlikeliest battle of the war, when a small group of American tankers, led by Captain Lee, joined forces with German soldiers to fight off fanatical SS troops seeking to capture Castle Itter and execute the stronghold's VIP prisoners. It is a tale of unlikely allies, startling bravery, jittery suspense, and desperate combat between implacable enemies.

Kids Knitting


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo

In fifteen easy projects, from bouncy bean bags to a rolled-edge sweater, author and knitting expert Melanie Falick teaches kids of all ages how to knit. Through step-by-step instructions and candy-colored illustrations, beginners learn the fundamentals: knitting tools, finger-knitting, and basic stitches such as knit, purl, mattress, overcast, embroidery, and stockinette.

"Kids Knitting" emphasizes fun in every step of the learning process. Sunny paintings by Kristin Nicholas illustrate the individual steps of each technique. Bright boxes of blues, greens, and reds explain everything from button-sewing to tassel-tying. Charming photographs by Chris Hartlove feature finished projects modeled by the creators themselves--all kids who knit.

Best of all, kids get to keep and use whatever they make: bookmarks, backpacks, bracelets, even their own set of customized knitting needles, topped with acorn caps or polka dot balls.



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends



Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as The Coffin Quilt: The Feud Between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi.

Crocheters everywhere fell in love with the quirky toys in "Amigurumi World" and "Amigurumi Two " Now Ana Paula Rimoli presents the third book in her best-selling series. Sparkling with playful ideas inspired by her children, this wildly imaginative collection will tickle kids of all ages.Choose from more than 25 irresistible toys that stitch up quicklyCatch Ana's creative zaniness--put a grin on a silly hot dog, stitch a princess frog with a water-lily throne, make mom and baby koalas, create a tugboat, and more. Find step-by-step instructions, great photos, and lots of funny friends.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Knits of Tomorrow: Toys and Accessories for your Retro-Future Needs


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse: A Cats in Trouble Mystery by Leann Sweeney


Celebrate your inner geek with 20 fun and easy projects.

The future was once a beckoning landscape where technology would make all things possible. Space travel! Robot maids! Personal jetpacks! Mind-controlling ray guns! With Knits of Tomorrow you can celebrate this ideal world-that-never-was with original and creative projects that will appeal to any techno-geek-or those who knit for them.

Knits of Tomorrow features a wide range of projects, all with a technological bent. They are mostly quick and simple-toys, accessories, and home decor items such as rocket-ship desk caddies, circuit-board scarves, and a robot pillow. There are practical projects as well-tablet covers, laptop bags, and iPod cozies.

The playful and fun projects are primarily aimed at an audience with a nostalgic taste for sci-fi, video games, and electronic gizmos past and present.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Sew the Perfect Gift: 24 Handmade Projects from Top Designers


Do you like to knit, crochet, quilt, or sew? From My Shelf Books is having a sale on all our books involving these activities. Sale starts today January 2nd and runs through January 18th 2015. You can save even save on books with these words in the title—such as A Wedding Quilt for Ella by Jerry S. Eicher.

Quilters and sewists alike will enjoy this book Sew the Perfect Gift. It's fabulous--and amazingly varied--collection of stitched and quilted projects. Brimming with design talent, the book features work by Kim Brackett, Linda Lum DeBono, Kim Diehl, Cynthia Tomaszewski, and many more.Stitch striking table runners, pillows, and quilts, plus stylish bags, practical totes, funky bracelets, a pincushion, upcycled projects including a cup cozy and scarf, and many other unique accessoriesSew, quilt, applique, and embroider gifts for the holidays and other special occasionsChoose from eye-catching designs that range from traditional to modern.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Water Bowls and Feline Phobes*


I bought and electric water bowl. Those are words I never thought I'd write. Why? I have pets, but they come inside during freezing temperatures. We do, however, have a inside/outside cat that comes inside during winter. She dislikes being inside, but she hates the cold even more.

We brought her inside at night, and decided to let her stay inside during the day, but she has some issues with the litter box. So, during the day she goes out. She has a nice, warm house on the porch, but the water in her water bowl would freeze.

We do long hours at the bookstore, and we didn't want her to go thirsty. So, we bought an electric water bowl at Rockwell's just outside Wellsboro.
The bowl works great. The weather has turned too cold for even the outside cat to go outside, but her water hasn't frozen.Now if it just warms up to cold.

This has reminded me of my first cat, Hobo. He's been gone just about a year now. He started out as a Hobo, but after being an outside kitten I fed all summer, he became an inside cat.

Hobo was my cat before I met my wife, and then he became our cat, and then he became the store mascot of From My Shelf Books. Hobo started coming in several days a week when we opened the store in the basement at 87 Main St. He never seemed to mind getting into his pet carrier and coming to work. Though, he didn't enjoy being the car for long. Luckily, we only live a mile from the store.

Hobo came to be associated with the bookstore. He had his own children's book, Hobo Finds a Home. Children and animal lovers alike loved coming in to see Hobo. We even got a local artisan to carve a statue of Hobo sitting on a pile of books. A regular A frame sign would blow over in a gust of wind, but not the Hobo statue.

Everyone loved Hobo. OK, not everyone. Some people don't like cats, but cats and books just seem to go together, and from my experience, most people who enjoy books also tend to like cats. Our landlord isn't one of them.

Our current landlord, owner of LYDA LLC, served us an eviction notice in October of 2012. We never broke the lease and we were never late with rent, but our co-tenants, Pop's Culture Shoppe, wanted to rent the entire space that we shared, and resorted to some pretty low schemes to convince the landlord to evict us. Ultimately, they failed because the lease wasn't violated, and the bullying didn't work.

One of the bullying tactics was attempting to evict our cat Hobo. Hobo, of course moved with us to the new location at 25 Main St. With the better location, Hobo quickly met new friends and fans. Our landlord was the same landlord that we had at 87 Main St. He knew Hobo was part of the bookstore, and two other businesses at 25 Main Street had animals.

The Enchanted Hollow has a lovely black and white cat named Luna, and Mountain Home Magazine is owned by Beagle Media for a reason. They almsot always have beagles, and at that time had a senior beagle who was having some issues with his bladder. Neither of these businesses received any eviction notice for these animals.

It's true that are lease is up here at 25 Main St. March 31, 2015. It's not really a surprise that our landlord isn't renewing the lease after so many nasty attempts to dislodge us from dragging us to court simply to make us expend money and energy to fight him, to attempting to evict an icon of Tioga County.

We are still paying off our lawyer. We are running a a fundraiser campaign to help with that. If you'd like to donate, you can find the fundraiser here If you can't donate, but you can share it around. We would all appreciate it here at the bookstore. Every little bit helps.

We are also running a petition to show the landlord he's making a mistake. As we've said, we have never broken the lease and never been late with the rent. As my older and wiser neighbor has said, "Friends are friends, but business is business." What he means by this is that the landlord and myself don't have to be drinking buddies.

From My Shelf Books is a community oriented bookstore and great for Wellsboro. Having a viable business makes the landlord's building worth more. He owns several buildings in downtown Wellsboro and I would think that someone who owns real estate would want to think long term.

If you'd like to sign the petition and let the landlord know what a mistake he's making. You can find it here. The landlord is of course not under any legal obligation to rent to us, or even rent the space.

The public is also not obligated to patronize a business that takes over the location of the bookstore or the Wired Rooster. He could of course just not renew our lease and have a nice empty space on Main Street.

I certainly would not suggest that anyone would rent from this man. We are not the only business he's trying to ruin. He also owns the building that contains the Wired Rooster, a great little coffee shop. He hasn't served them an eviction notice. I guess the game store doesn't need the space. He has, however, raised the rent so much that it's just not possible to sell enough coffee and be able to pay the rent.

It's just plain greed if you ask me, or maybe it's just not looking at the future. Why anyone would want to rent from a landlord that tries to destroy a successful business is beyond me. The owner of the Wired Rooster isn't accusing the landlord of trying to ruin him. He also said that he hasn't done anything to help either.

He probably doesn't want to do anything to earn this man's wrath. There are other things he's done that I'm not going to write about, at least not yet. He's already threatened to drag me back into court, and after the money I've already spent, that's not something I'm looking forward to.

I am, however, not someone who is easily intimidated. If I can save someone trouble by not dealing with this man, then I am not going to hesitate. There's an old Irish saying that states "Beware of people who dislike cats." That should tell you everything you need to know about the landlord.

The Wired Rooster is still open as of this post. The future is unknown. Though, I hear that they are trying to find a new location. It's unlikely the landlord will come to his senses anytime soon, but do not worry. From My Shelf Books is not going anywhere. Sure, we might have to move from 25 Main Street, but we aren't moving from Wellsboro. We'll be selling books even if we have to walk up and down Main Street with a peddlers pack...

*The actual name for one who hates cats is a ailurophobe