One More Page Books

2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Arlington, VA 22213 * 703-300-9746 * Mon-Sat: 10 am - 8 pm; Sun: noon - 5 pm

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Richard Thompson is one of our Bookstore Angel

We are so fortunate that I could write a whole series of posts about our bookstore "angels" -  customers and authors who go above and beyond by telling everyone they know about us, bringing new customers to the store and who buy all their friends' gifts at our store.

We have wonderful angel authors who ask us to host their launch parties, promote us through social media, sign special books requests and who join us in fan girl/boy worship.

Today, I want to talk about Richard Thompson who was a bookstore angel from before we even opened our doors. Due to delays in permit approvals (grrrr...), we held our first three events next door because the store space was not allowed to be open. A kind acquaintance shared Richard's email with me and he agreed to come sign! I was star-struck because I knew and loved his cartoons in the Washington Post and Cul de Sac.  The signing line moved very slowly and being new to the bookselling business, I didn’t know whether that was normal, so I went up to take a look -- Richard was drawing everyone their favorite character. That's when I realized that having a bookstore was one of the coolest things ever - you have an excuse to reach out to people you admire and whose work you love and you get to meet them!

Richard has been an amazing supporter of the store, offering to sign books for customers and tracking down copies of the increasingly elusive Richard's Poor Almanac.  We can always tell when Richard has blogged or communicated about us being his local book store because we are inundated with emails and calls from around the world. His fans are many and devoted and will wait as long as it takes to get a signed copy of one of his books.  We have been the recipient of many emails of joy and gratitude when customers get their long desired book or when they want to tell Richard how much they love his work. It's humbling to be part of that.

This past Saturday, we were privileged (excited, honored, thrilled) to host an event to celebrate the release of The Art of Richard Thompson at the Arlington Central Library. Richard has a way of bringing people together and this event was no exception. Editors Nick Galifianakis, David Apatoff, Chris Sparks and Mike Rhode as well as Michael Cavna of The Washington Post were on hand to discuss Richard's work and the new book. The event started off with the warm and moving The Art of Richard Thompson documentary, created by one of Richard's neighbors, Andy Hemmendinger, president of GVI, along with Bob Burnett, GVI’s vice president and creative director. Read this great article by Mike Cavna about how Andy came to know Richard and hear from the editors of the book.

Panel discussions, Q&A, documentary - it was all wonderful and we could have used hours more, but the two best parts to me were:

  • Extended standing ovation for Richard from people who know and love him whether they have met him personally or feel like old friends through his work. It started off as a quiet roar, but just grew and grew and no one wanted it to end.
  • It felt like a reunion - old friends catching up, an abundance of cartoonists who contributed work to Team Cul de Sac, college friends, teachers, and neighbors. There was so much catching up going on that the library pretty much had to push us out the door (not pretty much -- they did have to push us out the doors) and the party continued on at Richard's house.  
It takes a special person to create such a wonderful circle of friends and fans. We're humbled and thrilled to be a little part of that circle.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Eileen, that was a wonderful recounting of your fine store's "thing" (in the nicest sense) with Thompson. I wish I could have been there -- I do recall Cul-de-Sac in the Post, and am delighted he's still going strong.

Cheers, GordonJones