Joyce Hinnefeld


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Southern Independent Booksellers in Mobile

I’m back now from a quick, exhausting, but really fun trip to Mobile, Alabama for the Southern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) conference. The exhausting part came from missing an early flight out of Newark Saturday morning and then being delayed by two hours getting back to Newark on Sunday. So goes air travel.

The photo with this post, taken by Unbridled’s Sales Director Steven Wallace, shows a group of us starting the evening Saturday night at a beautiful old bar/restaurant called Café Royale. Here, from left to right, are Shiela Woods-Navarro, Martha Arnett, and Flossie McNabb from Carpe Librum in Knoxville, TN; Jamie Fiocco of McIntyre's Fine Books in Pittsboro, NC; Nathan Carter of the Scheer Rep Group; yours truly, proudly wielding a copy of In Hovering Flight; Jamie Kornegay of Turnrow Books in Greenwood, MS; Maggie Lowery of Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS; and SIBA Board member Kelly Justice of the Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA. Missing from the photo, unfortunately, are Angela Bobbit of Rock Point Books in Chattanooga, TN, Charles Greiner of Baker and Taylor, and Angela Carr of Two Sisters Bookery in Wilmington, NC.

Southern booksellers are a riot! But I’m not sure I should have followed two Alabama-born boys, Steven Wallace and Nathan Carter, from bar to bar on Saturday night (I’m not as young as I used to be). On the other hand, that midnight drag show was worth it. And I got to see some beautiful old architecture, pretty parks, and nice river views in Mobile.

Sunday I enjoyed nosing around the book displays. I got a signed copy of Brad Gooch’s new biography of Flannery O’Connor, which looks wonderful, for my husband Jim Hauser, who teaches with Brad at William Paterson University. If I’d had suitcase space I’d have come home with even more books. At the lunch-time “Movable Feast” I had fun chatting with booksellers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and I also enjoyed meeting and talking with novelists T. Greenwood and William Conescu (among others), who were there to talk about their novels Two Rivers and Being Written, respectively. The SIBA folks ran all the events I attended so smoothly, and they were all really friendly and helpful.

Thanks to all these folks for making me feel so welcome at SIBA. I know I’m reaching for a cliché here, but there really is something to this whole Southern hospitality thing. Add a love of books, even a chance to talk about the little things done in homage to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying in IHF (Thanks, Nathan!), and you’ve got a perfect writer’s weekend in a lovely Southern city.


Bill Trüb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joyce Hinnefeld said...

Name the time and place, Bill!