It is always fun to catch up with old friends, put faces with names for those we have only met via email or phone, and make new friends too. Over the past years we have found that the fall regional shows are the best place to do all that.
This year at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Show, Pam had the opportunity to address the membership directly during their annual meeting. The booksellers enjoyed hearing about the families Binc is able to help. She provided real numbers and statistics of how donations are used helping their colleagues in need.
At this show Binc held a 50/50 Raffle for the first time ever, to raise awareness and a little money. The raffle was well received, and while it wasn’t a huge fundraising event, we did sell almost $200 worth of tickets. The raffle winner, Mary Bernard from Joe’s Place very generously donated her half back to Binc, allowing the full amount to help her fellow booksellers.
We had visits at our table on the trade show floor from people wanting to thank Binc for the Higher Education Scholarship Program. Two parents and two employers of this year’s winners stopped by to say thanks and to report that all the students are doing well and very grateful for the scholarships. Anne DeVault from Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery, the winner of Binc’s scholarship to the SIBA show stopped by our table to say thanks as well. She was taking home plenty of great ideas and book suggestions to her store.
The Authors & The Books
With meal-time speakers, booth signings, panel discussions, mass book signings, and author round tables – the authors at the SIBA show are too numerous to mention them all. Here are a few of Pam and Kit’s favorites:
Rick Bragg was hold your sides hilarious, as he told the audience about his new book My Southern Journey. He is able to give even the most mundane daily activity a humorous twist. Rick is the slightly crazy relative that you would like to have around your holiday table.
B.A. Shapiro was already a favorite of ours with The Art Forger and her newest book The Muralist. We loved hearing her describe the very visual way she approaches her writing process. Hint: you may want to buy stock in a company that makes color coded file cards!
Homer Hickam had everyone’s attention as soon as he set a stuffed alligator on the podium. We can’t wait to read his book Carrying Albert Home. His eccentric mother, Buddy Ebsen and a real-live gator sound like a recipe for a great, fun adventure.
Karin Slaughter was a crowd fave with her very humorous and entertaining presentation. You wouldn’t know by her talk that her novels, the newest of which is Pretty Girls, are more on the frightening side.
Lionel Vatinet, a Master Baker and author was in attendance during the trade show handing out samples of a yummy white chocolate brioche. His cookbook A Passion for Bread has something to tempt every palate, and is a gorgeous book to look at even if you don’t bake.
The first night a dinner was held in an amazing refurbished barn at Fearrington Village. Both Pam and Kit wish they had more time to explore the quaint buildings and shops which are surrounded by picturesque pastures of Dutch Belted cattle. Located in the village is McIntryres Books, a lovely shop, filled with nooks and crannies to curl up and explore the great selection of books they carry.
In the lobby outside the trade show there was a very unique exhibit called Trio. To create this exhibit a songwriter and a visual artist were given the same book. They then created a work based on the book, and all three were presented together. A great and creative way to bring the arts together.
An evening show called The Shoe Burnin’ kept the booksellers tapping their feet and singing along. This group of writers and musicians alternate songs and stories during their fast paced show.
On the trade show floor, the clear audience favorite was Herschel, the Miriam-Webster rep’s darling pooch. The noise and the crowds didn’t seem to faze him at all – as long as plenty of folks offered to stop and give him a pet.
Reba & Dave Williams, through their Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts were the ambassadors for SIBA’s 40th Anniversary. Their presence and generous support helped make this fall show a special event.
Wanda Jewell, is an amazing force of nature. In her 25th year of heading SIBA, she seems to never tire from giving her booksellers a fabulous and event packed show each year. In Raleigh, she even enlisted her family to help out, everyone made sure to tell them how great their sister is!
Nicki Leone’s title could be Ms. Organization. She keeps all the moving parts running smoothly and makes the process seems so effortless – even though we all know it isn’t.
Binc thanks the entire SIBA team for making sure that their members know about the Foundation and for offering Binc such a warm welcome each year. Southern hospitality is alive and well and we experienced it at #SIBA15 in Raleigh!