• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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All You Do Is Treat Me Bad

Dear Gap, the advertising slate is pretty full, so please act now!

Dear Betsy,

Did you know…your book, The Forest for the Trees, is out of stock in Australia. Bookstores have to order it from USA. And it has been like that for a few months…it’s not normal, you are losing readers and customers!!

As an author, if you know (from your spy ring around the world) there are public demands for your book, do you have the power to influence your publisher’s decision regarding the distribution of your book?

I know…we only represent a potential of 22 million readers/customers in Australia…it’s not a reason for neglecting us…so, do you mind forwarding my email to your publisher? If it’s not enough we’ll organize a petition. Thanks Betsy.

Dear Nicole Kidman:

This is an outrage. I had heard rumor of a spotty stock situation in NZ and Mumbai, but this is OUTRAGEOUS. What’s worse, come to New Fucking Haven, CT and you won’t find books in the YALE bookstore, the Barnes & Noble near the movies, or at Atticus. My own home town. Every bookstore I’ve ever gone to in the last number of years has not had the book in stock. More galling, every time I stalk the writing shelves (and it can only be described as stalking or skulking), right there in the smack middle of the L’s is Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, like a poke in the eye. And I really like her book. How then does my darling stay in print if you can never find it, you ask. I believe it’s the internet and piracy. Mostly piracy. But miracle of miracles, I get a check twice a year and it is the sweetest money ever earned. I usually do something fun and kooky with it, like pay my babysitter for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of babysitters, how is Sunday Rose?

Thanks again for the shout out, sister.

Love, Betsy

Where do you get most of your books?

21 Responses

  1. I buy most of my books, both new and used from an Independent Bookstore called Gulliver’s Books just three miles down the road. It’s been going strong for 25+ years.

  2. dang amazing info man.

  3. I’m a chain store girl. I know, you may now commence throwing rocks at me (my 15 year old self would probably kick me in the face with her Doc Martened boots if she met me now).

    But the bright lights of Dymocks (Aussie chainstore… I’ll check for your book next time, Betsy!) just have this insane ability to calm me down and cheer me up no matter what my mood is. It’s like my spiritual home. Plus they have that nifty loyalty card and I always get free books because I spend an obscene amount of money there.

    If I can’t find what I want at D’s I order online from Amazon, or Borders Online.

  4. I live in the Scottish Highlands, where our only bookstore is a chain (Waterstones). I bought ‘The Forest for the Trees’ through Amazon UK. It’s my only option, as Waterstones is not helpful when I ask them if they can order books for me (“You might be able to order it from our website”, they say with a smirk at my American accent, “But we don’t usually stock US books.”)

    I’m a huge fan of independent bookstores and shop in them when I have the chance – we’ve got wonderful ones an hour or so away. But the stock isn’t huge, so Amazon fills in the blanks.

    (Shameless gush: loved your book, I learned a lot, thank you for writing it.)

  5. Um, the biggest B&N around here didn’t have FFTT in stock. It was in stock at a smaller store down the highway a bit.

  6. Overseas – Amazon. Locally in Australia, Readings, Dymocks and the library – local and university.

  7. The best thing about Bird by Bird is that every copy comes with a journal made from recycled Tevas, in which to record your heartfelt search for Truth.

  8. I bought my FFTT years ago in Borders Books on Park Ave and 59th St. in NYC, when it first came out and I didn’t know anything about book writing and you were doing an author talk there. I couldn’t take the time off from work to see you (temp job at Holland & Holland, which I adored but refused their full-time offer on the principle that they made guns and took people on safari to shoot leopards) but I liked the book cover so much that I bought it instead of lunch that day.

    These days I never shop at Borders, on the priciple that they hate books so the hell with them.

    I hope you’re keeping the same cover on the new FFTT.

  9. Your book was always in stock in the writing reference section at my B&N in Hoboken–unfortunately this store has gone out of business due to outrageous rents in this city.

  10. I found your book on the shelf at Harvard Bookstore! Within the last couple of months, too. [Insert snide comment about Harvard-yale rivalry here.] I like the insides of bookstores. And libraries. There was a great indie store very close to the house I grew up in (it’s gone now) and I have great memories of sitting on the floor browsing the children’s and YA sections. I still order from Amazon or pop in Borders every now and then, but I try to do most of my shopping at the small indie and used stores in the Cambridge/Boston area so that they’ll stick around as long as possible.

  11. On the occasions that I can’t get my pals at ye olde huge ass publishing house where I was formerly an employee to send me free copies, I either order on-line of go to Elliott Bay here in Seattle. Which, by the way, has an AMAZING new location that should not be missed by any of you that happen to come out this way. FFTT and Food and Loathing came to me via Amazon.

  12. 808.02

  13. It’s lovingly displayed at McNally Jackson …

  14. I weep for Nicole. She still doesn’t know how to use Amazon.com

  15. I accidentally ordered two copies of FFTT on Amazon so I gave one to my friend Sandra.

  16. Dear Betsy,
    I treasured your book from the moment I read it and wrote lots of thoughts in the margins.
    Just so you know, yesterday, I saw your book in the 82nd street Barnes and Noble.


  17. Your books came with you to Denver when you made presentations at the Lighthouse Lit Fest a few years ago. I bought one at the Tattered Cover and you signed it and told me I was a fabulous writer. (Okay, that’s a lie.) It’s a great book, and it was a great day of learning, so thanks again!

  18. Harvard Bookstore all the way.

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