The Blue Marble Bookstore in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, is about fifteen minutes south of Cinci, OH. It’s the kind of place, tiny though it may seem at first, where you just might get lost. Lost in books — the very best kind of disorientation. From picture books to novels for young (and not so young) readers, from signed first editions to signed paperbacks, it’s the kind of bookstore that is becoming more and more rare in this day and age of everything-at-the-click-of-a-button.
First of all, it’s in a house, a lovely little old house on a bustling but quiet street in a friendly northern Kentucky neighborhood. The downstairs room is lined with shelves full of books. A door to the backyard leads into a Secret Garden. A staircase hidden behind the counter leads upstairs to the Great Green Room (yes, with everything from Goodnight Moon including the mouse). Upstairs is also where the kitchen is found. Because when you come to an event at the Blue Marble — a booksigning for a local or national author; a discussion of new books among librarians, teachers, children’s lit professors from local universities; a mock Newbery/Caldecott event — you will be fed. The whole staff, so knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world of children’s books, chips in and makes a dish, and everyone sits down together to good food and good talk about books and writers.
I wish the Blue Marble was just around the corner from me (instead of 3 hours away), because I would pop in all the time if I could. I would buy all my books from the Blue Marble. Because when you go to the Blue Marble to purchase a book, you’re not just getting that one book. You’re getting information about other books you might want for yourself or for your young reader or for your classroom or for your book club. You’re supporting the kind of community bookstore that is sadly slipping away. Because, yes, it’s easier to go on line and click a button, and often times it’s cheaper too. But you simply don’t get the kind of personal attention and knowledge and expertise that comes with stopping into a store like the Blue Marble, talking to teachers, librarians, writers — people who work part-time selling children’s books because children’s books isn’t just a job, it’s their passion.
Many, many thanks to Tina, Peter, Dave, and Tish for your hospitality, for your time and dedication and support! I appreciate all that you do!
Here are some pix from the Blue Marble signing and feast and from my school visit earlier in the day at St. Pius X….