Monday, November 25, 2013


First there was Black Friday and then Cyber Monday. In 2010, American Express started publicizing #Small Business Saturday.

Independent bookstores need your business. They exist in most towns. Some are musty-smelling used-bookstores; others are combinations of bookstores and neighborhood cafés; still more are morphs of old-fashioned magazine stands. From my experience, many of these stores are hurting and need more paying customers, not just browsers or those trading in old books.

Books make wonderful holiday presents for everyone. Some of the most personal gifts I’ve received over the years have been books that were carefully selected. I like to give books because I can shop for a wide variety of people at one stop, and books are easy to wrap.

Here are three great independent bookstores in the Albuquerque area. All frequently sponsor book signings by local authors. There are many more wonderful independent bookstores in the Albuquerque area.

Under Charlie’s Covers (120 US 555 [next to Walgreens], Bernalillo, NM) is a used bookstore with a fresh atmosphere, maybe it’s because of the energetic owner Lara. She stocks books that appeal to children and teens, as well as adults.

Treasure House Books & Gifts (2012 S Plaza Street NW, Albuquerque, NM) focuses on books related to New Mexico and is in the heart of old town Albuquerque. It’s a great place to take friends visiting New Mexico and the owner John can advise you on the history of the state and its writers as you shop.

Menaul Book Exchange (9409 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM) is a neighborhood, used bookstore that is lovingly tended by its owner Dorothy. She keeps a rack of new books by local authors near the front door.

I bet there are great independent bookstores in your community too. So why not do your holiday shopping at them?

Unfortunately, Ignore the Pain, my new thriller won’t have reached stores yet on November 30, but the first two books in this medical mystery/thriller series (ComingFlu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight) are available. Ignore the Pain is available on Amazon as of November 26.
In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past is chasing her through the Witches’ Market and churches of La Paz. Unfortunately, she can’t decide which of her new colleagues to trust as she learns more about coca production and the god Tío of the silver mines of Potosí than she ever wanted to know.

The cover stripes of red, yellow, and green mimic the stripes on the Bolivian  flag.