Support Local on Indie Bookstore Day

It’s wild to me that tomorrow is April 25, this year’s Indie Bookstore Day. If I’m being honest, I’m a little heartbroken. We had so many exciting things planned with another local book shop, Shelves Bookstore, to celebrate with y’all.

Even though we and other bookstores aren’t open for browsing or other fun, bookish activities, there are plenty of other ways you can support local tomorrow (and every day during this stay at home order in Charlotte.

We’ll give a full list of how you can support some of our other favorite bookstores in the Queen City below, but first, here’s how you can support us:

  1. We are currently offering local drop offs for books! If you’d like to purchase a book or other merch from us and you’re within 15 miles of our location (330 Camp Road in Charlotte) then you can participate. We don’t have our inventory online, so we’re getting creative with this by offering personalized book recommendations. Simply send us a message on social media or email us at hello@thatsnovelbooks.com with some info like your favorite genres to read, other books you’ve read and loved, or any specific titles and authors you’re looking for. We’ll do our best to find books that work for you and then drop them off at your house, sanitized and wrapped, on Fridays.
  2. You can buy one of our first ever Oh, I’m Reading Again t-shirts. Stzlife and Inkfinity Printing are helping small businesses gain some extra revenue right now by printing and handling all aspects of t-shirt production, which is huge. The shirts are $25, and we get $12.50 of every purchase. Click here to order.

We get it – maybe That’s Novel doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, or maybe we’re just not your cup of tea (it’s fine, I get enough validation from my mom for this not to hurt me). There are a ton of other incredible bookstores in the Charlotte area that you should look to support before you order your latest read from that giant Amazon. Here are just a few of our favorites (I apologize to anyone we missed – we love ALL bookstores!).

Shelves Bookstore

Shelves Bookstore is run by Abigail, a fellow book lover who wanted to create a pop-up bookstore here in Charlotte. Before the stay at home order was put in place, you could catch her with her collection of new books at local coffee shops and other spots. Since most of those places are closed…she can’t pop up any longer. But what she does offer is online ordering for books. If you’ve got a book you’re interested in, she can order it for you and leave it sanitized at Enderly Coffee Co. for you to pick up when it’s convenient for you.

And if you’ve got a book club, Shelves is the way to go. She works with several local bookclubs on ordering their reads each month. Learn more about Shelves Bookstore here.

Park Road Books

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the local favorite, Park Road Books. If you’re looking for a specific, new book, Park Road is where it’s at. They, like us, are closed for curbside pickup but you can still place orders with them and have them shipped right to your home. You can do that by emailing them, ordering through their website or calling the store. Their website is right here, if you want to check them out.

Julia’s Cafe and Books

Boy, we cannot wait to be able to spend hours browsing in Julia’s Cafe and Books with a cup of coffee in hand. Until then, this shop does have their inventory online so that you can look through and still make some used purchases! They set it up through Amazon, but you’re still supporting local when you purchase through this link right here.

Main Street Books in Davidson

Because of the stay at home ordinance in the state, Main Street Books in Davidson worked with bookshop.org to offer an online shopping experience that results in at-home delivery. On their shop page, you’ll still find lists of staff recommendations and recommended reading lists, which is perfect if you’re unsure of what to pick up while staying at home. Check it out here.

No matter how you do it, try to give a local bookstore some love this weekend. Even something small, like sharing a social media post or buying a bookmark, makes a big difference.

Five Books for Social Distancing

We’re all stuck at home a lot more than we’re used to, and the world pretty much sucks, for lack of a better way to put it. To me, this is the perfect time to read a ton of books. 

Books allow me to escape. It’s why I count reading as a big part of my self care. No matter what is going on in my life, I can disappear into a story and forget about it, even for just a little while. Even so, this hasn’t been all that easy the last few weeks. I’ve been more distracted while reading, and I know a lot of other folks have said the same thing. 

It makes sense – there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, and it’s scary. But for me, if I can’t read, it’s almost always because I’m just picking up the wrong book in the moment. Right now, I need books that are gripping, fast-paced, and either nice and fluffy or so intense I can’t get my mind off of it. I need something that will make me totally forget about what’s going on, so nothing too close to real life right now. 

My hunch is that it’s the same feeling for many of you, so I put together a little list of 5 books I think are perfect to read while social distancing. Try checking a few of these titles out that I have sitting in my home library. And don’t forget to support a local bookstore if you do decide to purchase any of these!  

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

Description: Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work email. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious emails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now—reading other people’s e-mail. When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. He can’t help being entertained, and captivated, by their stories. But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he even say…?

Why I recommend it: If there were an award for the cutest book I’ve ever read, this might be it. Told partially in Lincoln’s point of view and partially in email correspondence, it’s a really quick read. The characters are sweet and complex, and the story is easy to follow. I actually picked this up myself for a quarantine read, and it was exactly what I needed. Sweet, funny, fluffy and cute. 

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton 

Description: An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.

Until something goes wrong. . . .

Why I recommend it: Even if you’ve seen the movie, this book is worth picking up. It’s a fast-paced tale that will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what dino is going to pop out next and attempt to eat everyone. The writing is witty and the science makes sense, something I wasn’t necessarily expecting but found myself truly enjoying. Because Crichton spent time breaking down the science behind it all, it made the story much more realistic and interesting. Plus, this is a book series, so you’re automatically in it for another two books! 

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman 

Description: Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

Why I recommend it: This story is told from the point of view of Elsa, giving the story a cute innocence – but it also didn’t drive me crazy, like some child-centered stories can. Elsa is a mature 7-year-old, making the story interesting and readable, but not so mature that it’s unbelievable. It’s a sweet story about love, grief, and family. The mystical, magic elements just make it more fun to read and take you back to being a kid.

IT – Stephen King 

Description: Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

Why I recommend it: I find myself gravitating toward longer books right now so I have something to hold my attention for more than a few days. IT is an epic read (my copy is 1,150 pages) and I was hooked for every single one of them. I love King’s writing style and his ability to develop such realistic characters. I think most classify this book purely as horror and discount it as something scary, but the story is more complex than that. In my opinion, the movies (old and new) trivialized the story to make it scarier (as they should) but this book is more powerful and interesting than most believe. 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Description: It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

Why I recommend it: A tesseract, if you’re totally lost, is a wrinkle in time. This book was one of my absolute favorites growing up. It’s mystical and magical and adventurous and even frightening at times. It’s a book I could read over and over again and fall in love with. I think, truly, you could replace this fifth suggestion with your own favorite book as a kid (Harry Potter is another one for me). Returning to a world that makes you feel full of wonder and excitement is the best way to escape any gloomy mood, in my humble opinion.