I’ll always be there for you in e. I’d like to always be there for you in print, too.

I’m home now, after a series of blowout events for Bad Blood in Scottsdale, Tempe, Cave Creek, Prescott, Denver, Portland, Mesa, Tucson and Palmer, Alaska. I heard this question almost everywhere I went, at bookstores, libraries, the ASU writers conference, the Tucson book festival:

How would I rather you read my novels, in print or as e-books?

What I have said repeatedly and most sincerely here on stabenow.com, on my Facebook page, on the Danamaniacs page, and everywhere else I’ve been asked that question, is this:

I don’t care how you are reading, so long as you are reading. My feeling is that the more ways people can read books, the more books they will read.

I'm reading e-books on my iPhone nowadays myself.

However, it is actual bookstores selling actual books that host or co-host most author events, like this one:


This livestream is free, along with many other Poisoned Pen livestreamed events. You can watch as many of them as you want, as many times as you want, no charge.

Support the bookstore that gives you this experience free of charge by buying a book.

The only way to keep bookstores alive is to buy books from them. The only way to keep print books alive is to buy them from the bookstores who stock them and host events for the authors. Bookstores are why I’m still published in print.

I wouldn’t have seen you in Tucson and Portland and Denver and Scottsdale and Palmer and Prescott without a bookstore hosting or co-hosting the event.

I’ll always be there for you in e. I’d like to always be there for you in print, too.

Here’s where I buy books.
(Full disclosure: I also buy them on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble in Anchorage.
I know. I have a problem. One day at a time.)

The Poisoned Pen is my go-to mystery bookstore. They also have a NYT bestseller display up front, TOP curates a nice bookshelf of fantasy and science fiction, and they’ll order anything else you want. Join one of their book clubs. Subscribe to their newsletter. I frequently yank books right off their Staff Picks bookshelf.

When I get a yen for fantasy and science fiction, I go to Patrick Heffernan at Mysterious Galaxy. He posts reviews here. Seldom does he sell me a book I don’t love, or at the very least learn from.

At home, I get my books from the Homer Bookstore. Another great small town bookstore with a terrific staff who actually read the books they are selling, who know their customers and what we like, and who will call me in if you want me to sign a book for you.

Feel free to add your own favorite bookstores in the comments below,

and please do support them by buying books!

And you thought I was visiting all those bookstores just for you.

Chatter Kate Shugak

Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Reading is reading. If nothing else is available- I will read the cereal box. I read baby food labels to my babies when I was feeding them. I probably will read the print on the Depends box someday. I listen to books on CD and my iPod Nano when in the car or on a train. BUT- I love the feel of a book. The texture, the heft, the smell! I want my favorites on my bookshelf to re-read. I want them where I can see them- from “The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet” and “Peter Pan” (original and was my grandmother’s) to Shute/ Stabenow/ Novik/ Hammond/ Sayers/ Michener and beyond. I love independent bookstores and patronize them when possible. I WISH I lived near The Poisoned Pen! And appreciate that I can order from them. Thank you- thank you for providing me books in all forms!!!!!!

  2. I love your books but I would never have found them if I hadn’t gotten a Kindle for Mother’s Day last year because I no longer drive due to illness. Finding your first Kate Shugak book on Amazon thrilled me and from some of your posts on Fb I have discovered writers I had never heard of like C.J. Box and Craig Johnson. My Kindle has exposed me to new authors that I can’t find in the closest library and wouldn’t have even known to look for in the closest bookstore which is about 35 from me. The nearest town to where I live is 13 miles and they don’t even have a bookstore!

  3. I work in a bookstore, so obviously I want people to continue buying physical books, ‘cos that way I continue to have a job! But seriously, I love books. I love reading (obviously), but I also like the feel of a book in my hands. I love the history in a book. I have worked in secondhand bookstores in the past, and the store where I work (Singing Pebble Books in Ottawa) has just started selling used books, and there is such a feeling of history, and connection with the past, when you hold a book that was published in the 1940s, say, or the 1840s. You will never get that connection with an ebook reader, because the technology will be outdated in less than 10 years, probably less than 5, and you will need to get a new, updated version. By the way, Robin, I loved the Mushroom Planet books too, and Nevil Shute (A Town Like Alice is still on my all-time top 10 list) and Sayer and Michener and so many more. Gerald Durrell is another of my all-time favourite authors. Dana, one of the things I love about your books is how you frequently mention what Kate is reading!

  4. Re; The picture,
    “There was a little girl
    with a little curl
    right in the middle of her forehead.
    And when she was good she was very very good
    and when she killed off main characters
    she was horrid. ”
    Hah, love your books anyway you write ’em. Keep them coming.

  5. I live in an area of Ohio where there are no bookstores. So I buy most of my books from Amazon. But when I wanted an autographed copy of “Bad Blood” I was so glad I could order from The Poisoned Pen. And when the book arrived it even had a clear library-type cover on the dust jacket. As a retired librarian I loved that. Such a nice touch. I will be ordering again from The Poisoned Pen. I do like ebooks tho, cause I can then”own” the books without having to find space on way overcrowded bookshelves or store them away in boxes in the basement.

  6. Thank you so much, Sue (laughing out loud)!

    E-books are great, Memory, I read ’em on my iPhone, which is all the books I carry when I travel nowadays. You don’t have to buy every book or even most books from a bookstore. Barbara Peters at the Poisoned Pen has done the math, and she estimates that all her regular customers have to do is buy one book a month at her store to keep her in business. I’d bet her model isn’t far off that of other bookstores, either.

  7. I have a Kindle; I read on my I-Pad, I listen to books (Audible.com) on a classic I-Pod when I walk my 3 miles each day, and I visit my Indie, Sage Bookstore in Shelton, Washington almost every day, if only to have a cup of Raven’s Brew coffee. I order books through them, read advance copies for them, and promote books that I have bought there. I ALSO buy from both Barnes and Noble (Olympia) and occasionally Costco. Basically, I am a bookoholic and have more than once had at least two different formats of your books going at one time (e-book and hardback; e-book and audio). Having e-books has not curtailed my purchase of hardbacks, just has changed which ones I buy in which formats OR provided alternative ways of consuming them! I use the e-book when I travel and for quick and dirty reading. I have found that I seldom want to read non-fiction on the e-reader. I reserve the purchase of hardbacks to my favorite authors (including you) whom I want to share with others, to reference books, and non-fiction. I choose audio books for literary works or historical fiction. I also use audio when I am going to drive any distance of 25 miles or more. When we are on road trips we almost always “have a book going’ in the car. Being a bookoholic at the age of 65-plus means we should be living in a library somewhere, or building our home out of our accumulated boxes of books!! Keep on writing, Dana, you haven’t lost your “pizzazz”!

  8. Since we lost Borders, our go-to bookstore is HalfPrice Books. They have both used and new books, which is handy, but their selection is limited to older releases. Still, better than nothing. We use the library a lot, and I read e-books on my laptop or on my iPhone. When I buy an e-book, I try to buy it directly from the publisher’s website, because that way, the author gets higher royalties.

  9. I have your books in CD and Hardback. I always get them from Poison Pen. I agree that what ever way you read is good. I love bookstores. It is a place you can truly lose yourself. Losing Borders was a big loss. There are quite a few used bookstores here too. I have gotten whole series there. I agree with Kate, if I get an ebook I get them from the authors site. Keep writing Dana and we will keep buying your books.

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