Sometimes things are just as good as you expect. When I learned I would be visiting Iowa City for work my first thought was "I get to go to Prairie Lights!". Ever since S. told me about Paul Ingram's videos on You Tube I have been hooked. I could not wait to visit the store that I have seen in the videos and hopefully meet Paul so he could suggest a few titles for me to take home. I decided I was not even going to set a budget for the trip.
So last Tuesday, after a meeting, I headed for downtown Iowa City and the store full of high expectations. When I walked into the store I started to look around for Paul and did not see him. I thought "oh, maybe he isn't working today - that's ok - it is still a great store so I'll just look around" and started checking out the fiction wall I have seen Paul wander on You Tube.
While I was standing there, Paul came up alongside me and said "may I suggest something?". I turned and said "I am a Paul Ingram groupie". You can imagine where it went from there! He was pleasantly surprised to find out that someone from Chicago had seen him on the internet and had come to the store.
The first order of business was to take care of a special request. It is not featured in the photo - sorry, no spoilers here!
Then I told Paul how I knew S. and he was so happy! Now I had a connection and we were off to the races. I physically had to get out of his way once he got rolling. He is so enthusiastic and it's contagious. And he really does walk along the wall exactly how it appears on You Tube. He talks like this:
YOU have to READ this BOOK right away! You WILL NOT be able to put it down! It is FABULOUS! Oh, do you like MYSTERIES? (Do I? And how!) Oh, then you have to GET THIS ONE (the first in a series) and then THIS ONE (the second in the series) because you WILL WANT to read it immediately.
So the stack in my hands grew. And then I thought I should maybe pick something up for P.
OH, yes! Does he like FUNNY? This is THE SLACKER book and it is so FUNNY. SLACKERS really need their due. And then get him these two - he WON'T find them anywhere else (2 from Tin House).
Whew. Ok. The exchange only lasted about 15 minutes but it was all I hoped for and more. How can you not respond to someone so passionate about what they do? The woman at the cash register asked me if I had been upstairs. No! I did not even make it to the 2nd floor - except to catch my breath with an iced coffee and look at what I had bought. Next time. As the woman said I can always come back.
So I have some new books and P. has some new books & a t-shirt. All in all a good trip to Iowa City. Stop by Prairie Lights if you ever get a chance - you will not be disappointed.