Posted by: Nancy
December 29, 2009
One of my favorite holiday season events is almost here. It’s the 15th annual New Year’s Day book sale at Changing Hands Bookstore. Much more than just a book sale, it’s an event that is eagerly anticipated by book lovers and fans of Changing Hands who wouldn’t dream of missing it, regardless of how much they celebrated New Year’s Eve. The store will be open from noon until 9:00 pm on January 1st to accommodate every last one of them.
True, with everything in the store—books, gift items, music, cards—discounted 25%, this is a big sale. However, there are also a lot of delicious free treats provided by area restaurants, including Wildflower Bread Company, Trader Joe’s and Mac’s Broiler Tap. There are intangible qualities too, such as the camaraderie among all those readers who love to browse bookstore shelves for great reads and who love to talk about what they’ve read. Readers tend to be nice, sociable people who love to strike-up conversations about favorite books and authors, while waiting in the check out line. I have to admit that the first time I went I was a bit reluctant to stay because the check-out line was so long. But, really the line isn’t a big deal because it moves quickly thanks to all the lively discussions about books along with plenty of tasty nibbles offered by the considerate and efficient staff. And, singles take note: the book sales lines can lead to romance as was the case for one couple, who met in the check out line, fell in love and were married a year later.
Changing Hands Bookstore has been an important part of Tempe’s literary arts scene since 1974. Beyond the book sale, there is a hefty schedule of first class literary activities for adults and kids every month, including author events and book signings, workshops on writing and publishing, poetry readings and book clubs. There are also monthly sessions devoted to tarot and readings, conversational Spanish and French and sign language.
For old friends of Changing Hands, the annual book sale is an essential holiday tradition not to be missed. For first-timers, it’s a wonderful way to become acquainted with this gem of an independent bookseller. For everyone, it’s a chance to stock up on great books (both new and gently used) and to meet new friends who have at least two things in common: a passion for books and an appreciation of outstanding bookstores like Changing Hands. I’ll be there for sure. Will you?