Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl.

On April 30th, Brooklyn became the place for bibliophiles and literature buffs to be. It was a way for us to appreciate and show some love to the independent bookstores in our city.

Mackenzie and I signed up for the newsletter and we were prepped to go.
We printed out the map distributed by Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl.

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Our Map. You could Meet the Bookstores here.

We started at the Unnameable Bookstore.
Our first task was to take a photo of the Wall of Stuff.
In this tiny used bookstore, wall to wall, ceiling to ceiling of books – we found this wall. The wall is all the things employees of the bookstore has found inside used books.

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The Wall of Stuff @ Unnameable Bookstore

From there, we headed to Stories Bookshop and Storytelling Lab.
This bookstore was a brand spankin’ new bookstore nestled in between two stores with a blank awning. The Doughnut Plant was situated on the corner: a perfect place to grab a good ol’ cuppa and a heavenly doughnut. It was the very first day of opening and I was so glad to have been there on a special day in their independent bookstore life!
Our task for this bookstore was to find our favorite childhood book and post a photo of it with a quote.

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Nikki || Favorite Childhood Book & Quote || “…he was a beautiful butterfly!” 

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Mackenzie || Favorite Childhood Book & Quote || “As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

After diving back into our childhood and letting the nostalgia eats us alive, we walked to Greenlight Bookstore. On our way, we went through the most beautiful, greenest street of Brooklyn I’ve ever seen. The street ended with a mural dedicated to Biggie (aka: Notorious BIG) and some exuberantly painted cafes.
Our task was to take a selfie in the author photo booth.

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Selfie in the Author Photo Booth!

Now, this next bookstore I was most excited about because I heard there is a resident pug that chills here. As an animal lover and an owner of a pug, I couldn’t control my excitement. I entered the bookstore and started squealing because Remy the Pug was there and kissing me like never before! Oh, and that was our task: a picture with (or of) Remy!
Remy the Pug resides at Grumpy Bert, a really cool bookstore of comics and odds & ends. The owners were incredibly kind, too.

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Remy the Pug!

Our fifth bookstore was Book Court, a bookstore I’ve been longing to visit. They had a whole section for young ones, and just books upon books in wide open spaces for you to chill. Our task here was to take a selfie with our favorite book. I scoffed at that simply because there is no possible way I can choose just ONE book. Instead, I went around the store, collecting my faves, piling ’em on top of one another. I’m surprised I didn’t topple over. Mackenzie did the same with a much lighter stack.

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Nikki || Well, I couldn’t just pick one, could I? || Bottom to top: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García-Márquez ; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ; The (entire) Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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Mackenzie || Some of her favorite books || A Ken Follet Novel ; A Prayer for Owen Meany ; Pride & Prejudice ; Sherlock Holes ; Devil in the White City ; To Kill A Mockingbird.

Our next bookstore was number six on the list. To be qualified for any prizes, we only needed five. But we were on a roll! We headed to Freebird Books, a tiny bookstore in the middle of nowhere. Our task was to take a picture with a book from the Bad Title Shelf. Well…

Our seventh and last bookstore of a very long walking day was WORD Bookstore in Williamsburg. It’s a tiny bookstore where Gotham does a lot of their free events in the basement. It was also really close to our coworker’s vintage pop-up shop. So, while we were out supporting independent bookstores, we wanted to show a bit of support to independent shops, as well. Our last task of the evening was to choose a book and say who you think would do the audiobook.

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Mackenzie chose Bill Murray.

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Nikki chose Anna Kendrick.

Our bibliographic day came to a close with some Dunkin Donuts and a pit-stop at Mackenzie’s. Followed by a long bus ride home for me.

But all in all, it was totally worth it. It was a fantastic day filled with books and great company.

I hope this isn’t a one-time deal. I would love for a Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl next year… and the following… and the following… because it was just that fun. Any bookstores I didn’t make it to this year, I want to hit next year.

This bookstore crawl even gave me an idea to continue it into the summer with Mackenzie. Something to do. New places to see. And more books to sniff (yes, I am a book-sniffer).

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Blogosphere.

Blogging has been a trend since the late-1990’s. Back then, it was an online diary. If no one knew your URL, you didn’t have to worry about your younger sibling stealing your diary and reading it at the dinner table.

AOL Hometown was a type of blog. Mine consisted of making dolls like these: tumblr_mkjzp4ibkb1qamzxso1_500
Then, Google introduced Blogger. blogger_login
Yep… that was the login page. Totally Y2K, don’t ya think?

In 2004, Xanga was it.
xanga

Just look at the ad! Britney Spears’ In The Zone was the #2 CD on Xanga.
Britney Spears on a Top 50 chart… CDs — I mean, when’s the last time you bought a CD?! (Besides Adele’s 25)… replacing S with and tYpiNgG liKe tHiSs (← that took me forever to do).

So, if blogging has been around for the last two decades and then some, why has it taken off like crazy nowadays? There are a lot of guesses I could take such as:

  • the advancement of technology and how easy it is to access the internet from anywhere
  • we are the nosiest generation (i.e. 1990’s babies) out there; before, people kept quiet about their lives for the most part. Today, we have social media to rant on (Twitter and Facebook) and we are able to take pictures of our meals to show everyone how good (or bad) you eat. On top of that, we are just so invested in other people’s lives. Watching or reading other people’s lives will do one of two things for us
    • 1: Make us feel really glad & thankful OR
    • 2: Make us feel sad & miserable

However, these are multiple up-sides to this.

We all have hobbies that we are incredibly good at, and we want to share our talent(s) with others—giving them inspiration, motivation, and perhaps even teaching them. Lifestyle blogs have popped up in huge amounts: cooking, health, fitness, sewing & crocheting—you think of it, there’s a blog for it.

Some bloggers, like myself, make a blog to keep a portfolio of our work. Photographers, writers, graphic designers. It’s just easier to give a link to a potential employer or a graduate school than spending tons of money on printed photos or a lengthy manuscript. Most photos come in computer-ready form, too.

But what about you?
If one of your resolutions for this poppin’ year of 2016 was to blog, I gotchu. Gotham has multiple blog courses to help you get started and stay connected to the blogging world.

  • Blog Basics: designed for new bloggers or those without much expierience, this course will help you with the entire process—concept, setup, content, and traffic in four short weeks (or one long day). We have a few instructors with so much experience and down-to-Earth personalities that’ll keep you involved in the class—
    • Mo Krochmalthe executive editor and founder of Social Media News NY & a founding producer for The New York Times website.
    • Tom Brennan, comedian, writer, blogger, etc. who has worked for Marvel Comics, Disney, Dynamic Forces and CBS News.
  • Blog Writing: you have a blog, but the content is dull. Or you don’t have a blog and need to figure out how to write to attract. Have we got a kickass course for you! Blog Writing will help you to write material that strangers will want to read, will subscribe to, will tell their friends about. As well as helping you maintain it by giving you a good idea of when & how often to post material. It’s all about conversation with your readers. If this doesn’t sell you, this will: Jen Armstrong, the instructor, has the perfect amount humor and personality that’ll keep you so, so engaged. She’s just great.
  • Blog Launch: the class aspect worked, but you need more. You want a personal teacher to sit with you and go through every nook and cranny of a chosen platform. Or you’re brand, spankin’ new and not in New York—so, our classes couldn’t benefit you. Blog Launch will. Why? Because it’s in NYC or long-distance via Skype (or Google Hangouts, etc.). This one-on-one learning is beneficial to all types of learners and by the end of the three-hour session, you’ll have the beautiful blog you’ve envisioned.

Whatever you need, Gotham’s got your back.

Blog on, peeps.
Nikki Quinn