Sunday, August 03, 2014

Red Room Has Gone Dark (Sigh) / Ye Very Olde "My Favorite Bookstore? C.M. Mayo Celebrates a Batch of Bookstores" was the Author Facebook wannabe for a while there… then it seems they tried to be the self-publisher's Etsy (sort of... I just glanced what they were charging to sell books and I thought, nope). Now it seems they've been bought out by Wattpad. Huh. I never could figure out what Redroom's angle was, precisely. But I wished them well. I did a few blog posts for Red Room when I was touring for my novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire,  and then when I realized how easy it was to use their blogging platform, I would copy-paste from this blog, Madam Mayo, whenever I had a spare three minutes. The one original post I wrote for Red Room, back in 2009, now seems to me an ode to Times of Yore. That link has gone dead, but ha, I dug it out of the Wayback Machine Internet Archive:

C.M. Mayo Celebrates a Batch of Bookstores
November 4, 2009

But why choose? Herewith a few favorite things about many favorite bookstores:
The mammoth selection of Vroman's (Pasadena CA)
The coziness and curated neuroscience section of the Book Works (Del Mar CA)
The elegant just-walk-in-open ambiance of Mrs. Dalloway's (Berkeley CA)
The breezy feeling and uber-cool but on-their-toes staff (and excellent cafe next door) of Kepler's (Menlo Park CA)
The convenient parking and quirky children's section of Books, Inc. (Palo Alto CA)
The travel selection and travel paraphernalia of Book Passages (Corte Madera CA)
and... moving on east...
The sunny gemutlichkeit and southwest section at the Bookworks (Albuquerque NM)
Endless nooks crammed with surprises (including possibly tripping over someone's Bernese Mountain dog) and music book selections at Explore Booksellers (Aspen CO)
The sunless labyrinthical experience, university press selection, and superb economics section of The Seminary Coop (Chicago IL)
The Washingtoniana and (free!) afternoon tea and cookies of Riverby Books (Capitol Hill, Washington DC)
The politics section and T-shirts that quote Groucho Marx ("Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read") at Politics & Prose (Washington DC)
and south...
The thoughtfully theatrical set-up for author readings of Book People (Austin TX)
The owners's very nurturing care for book groups of Blue Willow (Houston TX)
and seriously south...
The Baja California and Chicano book selection at El Tecolote (Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico)
Bodacious author readings (and selection of Moleskines!) at the Librería del Fondo Rosario Castellanos, Centro Cultural Bella Época (Mexico City, Mexico)
The lush garden, the capuccinos, sunbathing cats, and thunderous views of the Tepozteco of La Sombra del Sabino (Tepoztlan, near Cuernavaca, Mexico).