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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Village Books - Fairhaven/Bellingham (WA)

Village Books in Fairhaven/Bellingham (WA)
I earned my Master's degree from Western Washington University. However, I did so by studying at the Seattle branch, and only traveled to Bellingham for graduation. And that was 21 years ago. So I hadn't been back to this part of the state in a long, long time. I discovered that I had been missing out!

The Readings Gallery at Village Books
Village Books is a large three-story independent book store, now in its 35th year of operation and it's impressive. Books galore, people galore, and it's also connected to a cafe on its top floor, a bigger
cafe/restaurant on the bottom floor (Colophon Cafe), and a paper/art store (Paper Dreams). And now I hear talk they are expanding to a second store in Lynden later in 2015. The stage was set (literally) for a big visit.

Alas, the best laid plans... only a handful of people showed up. Here you can see what it COULD have looked like, had the house been packed. It's a lovely place for an author visit - intimate, formal enough, but still informal at the same time. It would have been dynamite with 30-40 people there. But as it was, I tip my cap to those who came, including my former student Sara and her two boys, and I gave them the best I had.

Jean Hamilton's first attempt at a Fibonacci Spiral quilt.
How great is this??
I think overall, Fibonacci was very well received. The common theme seemed to be searching for meaningful math books for grandchildren, and I think I hit the sweet spot there. One woman is the mother of a math professor at the University of Utah and was thrilled to be able to buy a book for her grandchildren that would teach them mathematics. Another woman, a quilter, told me she was going to go home and make a Fibonacci spiral quilt. I asked her to send

me a photo when she finished, thinking it would be at least several weeks, possibly months. She sent me this picture TODAY! She apologized, saying it was her first attempt and future ones would look better. But wow - isn't this awesome?

Part of the trail that connects Fairhaven to
downtown Bellingham. This may be my
favorite spot in all of Bellingham!
Oh, one other little glitch...they only had a handful of books. I think there were 4 or 5 books available for purchase. And this woman bought three of them. So despite the small crowd, several left without books in hand. They ordered copies, and will receive them in a few days, but it's sad not to be able to have the book signed by the author. I made an executive decision, then, to sign bookmarks and give one to every person there. At its worst, it's great advertising, and at its best, it's something tangible, signed by me, the author, that those without signed books can have.

The stone bridge over Whatcom Falls where I enjoyed
my picnic dinner. Beautiful!
My visit to Bellingham was wonderful. I could have explored so many more spots, but really enjoyed several, as you can see below, including the South Bay Trail that arches out over the water as you leave Fairhaven (and end up walking 5 miles round trip after finding myself in downtown Bellingham at the abrupt end of the trail!).

Whatcom Falls

Another highlight was Whatcom Falls Park, which is a series of trails through a beautiful forest with the Whatcom Creek bubbling and babbling its way over falls and down into the bay. I love exploring places I don't know and this trip afforded me that luxury.

You may not be hearing much from me in the coming month. I'm taking some time off to travel and gather my plans for the fall, when I hope to be hitting the school trail in earnest. For now, enjoy the pics, and remember, you can always "Count on Fibonacci!"

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