Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eileen McGervey at One More Page Books talks about books, wine, chocolate, being part of one the Most Well Read Cities, and so much more

One More Page books not only offers every book you could ever possible want, but wine, chocolate and so much more. It's my pleasure to host them on my blog! Thank you so much, Eileen McGervey,   for letting me badger you with questions.

OK, you had me at being a bookstore, but you also offer wine, chocolate and gourmet foods and tastings, too! When did that start and what a perfect pairing!

I  figured if I was going to open a store, it should carry my three favorite things -- books, wine AND chocolate.  They go hand-in-hand. We've offered all of these since the store opened in January 2011 and it's been great fun. People are always stopping in to grab a bottle of wine for dinner or some chocolate to satisfy a sweet tooth. We host monthly tastings so that our customers can get together and sample new flavors. We're always looking for unique gourmet foods and wine.

I love the hilarious bios of all of you who work at One More Page Books, which makes me know that when you are working at a job you love, in a place that nurtures you (and others), it's never work. I'm on a mission to try to get someone to open a bookstore in Hoboken, where I live (we have only one used bookstore), and have offered to work there a few hours a day free in return. How tough do you think it is to open a bookstore these days and what are the secrets to keeping it alive and thriving?
It's very true -- it doesn't feel like work. There are challenges, of course, but all of us on staff love books and love being in the store.  I feel so fortunate to have opened One More Page in a community that 1) is so well-read and 2) supports local businesses. Customers are always constantly telling us how happy they are to find an indie bookstore in the area. We keep up with what's going on in the book world and we stock books that fit our customer base (especially fiction, histories and foreign-based mysteries). This holiday season, we'll even offer e-readers because we want to encourage people to read -- in any form. Partnering with schools, hosting author visits -- which bring in people who may never have found us otherwise -- as well as book club discussions and fundraisers have been key to our success.

Can you tell us about Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a wonderful campaign that started in 2010 to encourage people to shop at their local independent stores during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. There are so many reasons to shop locally! For starters, it keeps more dollars and jobs in the community, nurtures entrepreneurship, and even helps the environment. This year, Small Business Saturday will be held on Saturday, November 24 and One More Page will be offering some special discounts!

Alexandria's been named one of the most Well Read Cities? How do you account for that and what can other cities do to catch up?
The Washington, DC area is chock-full of educated, informed, well-traveled, interesting and curious people who love to read.  There are great schools and universities here, good jobs and a vast arts culture -- all of which attracts bibliophiles.

I also love that you have a Young Writers Group, for kids as young as 9, which promotes a love of writing and reading, without making kids feel like its homework. I'd love to know more about that, as well. 

We're so lucky to have Sallie Lowenstein in our local area. She's a huge supporter of the store and of fostering a love of reading and writing in children. Every Thursday evening she meets with a group of kids and teens so they can share their writings and offer encouragement and suggestions.

What three books are you now pressing into everyone's hands?

It's so difficult to pick just three, but we love How Not to Read by Dan Wilbur, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.


mo said...

Sounds wonderful! Love the concept of a Young Writers Group, for kids. What a great place for parents to encourage their children to read and write. Perfect!

Chocolate Wines said...

Start by swirling the wine and sniffing it, then take a small sip and swallow. Take a small bite of chocolate and let it sit on your tongue. When the chocolate is about to melt, take another small sip of wine and let the flavors unfold.

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