Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Institute '09

Sales Manager Clay Banes and I (being your humble narrator & Operations Director) just got back from five fabulous days in beautiful Salt Lake City. If that sounds like something you can only win on a game show, actually it sometimes did feel like we had gotten that lucky. Except that part of our five-day and four-night vacation package did include spending lots of hours telling about 500 booksellers about new SPD titles, and pitching them on SPD in general, which although pleasant enough is perhaps not the same as parasailing on the Big Island.

Still, we were extremely happy so many booksellers had heard of us and were grateful SPD existed. Our Grand Prize Getaway also included sitting in on some really astonishingly business-like panels on bookselling (for artsy liberal hippie-types these booksellers can really crunch those numerals I'll tell ya), and of course going to business dinners, business lunches, business breakfasts and business dancing-in-the-architecture-section (that was at Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore). We got to eat cookies and drink wines and build mini cold cut sandwiches in two of the most outstanding independent bookstores in all of Utah, being the aforesaid Sam Weller's and the delightful & hobbit-like rooms of The King's English Bookshop. Both very formidable bookstores with--let it be said for the doubters--very substantial and impressive poetry sections.

Truly, SPD did sort of win a golden superfabulous opportunity to attend the Institute, and we send special thanks to those who made it possible to go: the NEA and the ABA (extra special thanks to Mark Nichols of the latter org)!

PS: If you like German food and are near downtown Salt Lake City, you must must must eat lunch at Siegfried's Delicatessen. The bratwurst, yes, amazing, but oh my god the RED CABBAGE I am NOT kidding it is RIDICULOUS...

--Brent Cunningham

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