Thursday, June 5, 2008

Passing the Baton

The time has come to bid a fond adieu to our 
2007 Independent Bookseller of the Year, Kris Vreeland, and welcome in our new 2008 Independent Bookseller of the Year, Alex Uhl. However, before Kris gets away, she agreed to share a few last words with us on her tenure as reigning Indie Bookseller.
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1. You've been reigning Bookseller of the Year for the past twelve months. Have you found that people treat you differently? Any problems with paparazzi at the store trying to photograph you?Autograph hounds?

Part 1: As bookselling royalty, I've noticed that wearing a robe and crown every day in the department does make people tend to gaze at me with what I'm sure is awed amazement and respect. I admit that the fact that I don't have a royal robe with an imitation ermine collar and had to substitute my well-worn bath robe might have diminished the effect slightly, but I think everyone was still impressed.

Part 2: As far as the paparazzi goes, well I have tried to respect their need to earn a living by photographing the rich and famous, preferably in embarrassing or private moments. I therefore I consented to let all of them who came into the store take as many pictures as they needed and I am never in embarrassing or private moments so that was never a problem--though probably does explain why I didn't show up on the cover of most magazines as frequently as one might have thought.

Part 3: We have had many autograph hounds in the store, but for some reason they consistently prefer to have the authors sign their books instead of me--go figure.

2. Any advice for the soon to be crowned 2008 Indie Bookseller of the Year?

I would suggest getting a royal robe with an imitation ermine collar and leaving a stack of signed glamour photos on the desk so people can help themselves when they are too shy to approach you directly.

3. On the list of Important Events in Kris Vreeland's Life where would you place being selected as Bookseller of the Year? Second place or third, or fifth, or FIRST?

First, obviously would have to be being born because clearly without that nothing else could have happened. That would naturally be followed by being selected by the Shrinking Violets as Indie Bookseller of the Year as a very close second. After those to events, all else seems to pale by comparison, however, marrying my husband 27 years ago and giving birth to two beautiful daughters (they resemble their mom) have been very significant as well. Being hired at Vroman's and meeting famous authors (especially famous authors who attend ABA luncheons during BEA, even when they are sitting at a different table is particularly high in this category) are every bit as wonderful as they seem. I suppose next would be the acquisition of our dogs and cats (and rabbits and guinea pigs and hamsters and assorted fish and squirrel monkey and boa constrictor and flying suirrel and assorted lizards, baby alligator, chickens, etc--but I digress). Because I never attended pre-school and dropped out of kindergarten starting my education career on a shaky path from the beginning and being a rather painful area I prefer not to discuss, I think I will substitute living in Brazil for a year and meeting Jeremy Irons (though not in Brazil) in this last prioritized category of life changing events.

Perhaps I should mention in parting, however, that this last year of recognition has lifted me from my humble beginnings and shy demeanor to a strong recognition of who I am as a respected and influential citizen of the world. I can only hope the next bookseller elevated to this esteemed position and recognition will have as rewarding an experience.
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And let's give one last, hearty round of applause to Our Most Excellent Kris Vreeland!  Thanks for being the inaugural Independent Bookseller of the Year, Kris!

Coming soon, an interview with Alex Uhle! Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

It's been a great month here on Shrinking Violets!

Robin and Mary, you two worked triple time over. Thanks for the great info and congrats to all the winners out there.

tanita✿davis said...

Hee! I like this chickie. I think I'm going to try wearing a robe and crown, too.

Ditto what Kimberly Lynn said. You guys have rocked this month. Thanks.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Now I'm wondering if sense of humor was one of the winning criteria, because Kris is hilarious!

Mary Hershey said...

Kris is hysterical!!!!! Who knew?? She needs to be doing stand-up. Hey, they've got a stage at V'roman's. This could work.

Thanks for great interview and for all the class and graciousness you brought to your Shrinking Violet crown. You will rein forever with us!

Mary Hershey