Sunday, January 20, 2008

Book Reviews

A lot of people ask me who I like to read. Here are some of my favorites in each of the genres:

Historical Romance - my absolute favorite is The Bride by Julie Garwood. I have re-read this book so much (at least once a year) that I bought a hard cover copy because the paperback would fall apart. The characters make me laugh. I thoroughly enjoy this book. All of Garwood's historicals I really like but Bride is my favorite.
Close second favorite is Johanna Lindsey. Her Mallory series is very entertaining again I like my books to make me laugh and these do.
Other favs are, Catherine Coulter, Jude Deveraux, Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn and Amanda Quick. And of course the first historical romance I ever read: Kathleen Woodweiss' Flame and the Flower.

Contemporary Romance - I followed some of my favorite historical writers into the contemporary genre. Jude Deveraux: actually the first book of hers I read was a combo book Knight in Shining Armor-the main characters go from present to past back to present. Again humor is prominent through out the book. The Montgomery family in some form are in a lot of her books.
Jayne Ann Krentz is at the top part of my favs she write Historicals as Amanda Quick and paranormal as Jayne Castle. I like all of her books. I don't think there are any of her contemporary or paranormal books that I don't like - one or two of the historicals are a bit dry, but if it has any of her names on the book I'll read it. I think I have read almost all her contemporary books and all of her paranormal and most of her historicals.
Nora Roberts - again most of her books I really like, though there have been a few..... The last trilogy -Circle Trilogy (Morrigan's Cross, etc.) I had a really hard time getting into the first book and it never really grabbed me - I had to push to finish it -- I haven't even felt like reading the other two - I probably will in the future sometime (I do like that type of book with shape shifters, vamps etc). The newest trilogy, Sign of Seven, I picked up the first book and breezed through it in an evening and really liked it and am pissed because I didn't realize the next book isn't out till May!
Other favs are: Fern Michels(her Sisterhood series esp. Weekend Warriors is great, Debbie Macomber, Christina Skye, Rachel Gibson, Sue Civil-Brown
Enough for now I'll continue later - want to read :-)

Monday, January 7, 2008


Can you imagine - over 25,000 titles each title has atleast 2 copies if not ore-- and all hardcover books not even in that count! That's about what I had to box up schlep across the street, unload and re-shelve! As you can imagine it took quite awhile. We closed the 2402 store the first week in June 2007. We opened for business at 2421 Sunday July 1st!
Here's the old store mid move.....

And here it is no more books!

Now here are some shots of the new store sans books


What a mess! Walls had to be taken down, carpeting ripped up, the ceiling repaired, lighting added and everything painted! Pratico's was in a hurry to open in their new location so they took what they wanted a pretty much left everything else - which was good that's how we have the couch an chair in the front area. But it did make for a lot of work!

Here's Bob laying the new flooring (that was after ripping out the carpeting and putting in new sub-flooring) I really can't give my husband much grief when he bugs me for the next fifty years or so because he really pushed himself getting the store in shape.. He'd work from 6am to 2:30 at his union job then be at the store from 3pm to 9 or 10 at night. The man lost at least 20lbs in sweat alone!

Oh yeah, and part of the time he worked injured - Here's Dr. Steve removing stitches from his dad's arm. I love those phone calls - "hey hon, won't be coming by the store this afternoon - on my to the ER, gonna need some stitches" Being married for almost thirty years to a guy in construction - you'd think I'd get used to them--not.

Here's Bob and Joe as they were painting the store - the fog is actually paint mist as they were using a sprayer. I had the fun job of cleaning the mirrors, windows and doors of all the drips and speckles!

Here's Bob checking out our nice pristine area! Look at all that space!


After almost three years of increasing loss of space, Bob happened to read an ad for a store front for sale in Mercerville! More out of curiosity, then really thinking we could afford it, we called. Ann Marie Pratico's from across the street wanted to move to a smaller location and were looking for a buyer!! Bob and I made some calls to banks to see about financing and lo and behold we're owners of a bigger space!! (Well, us and the bank - I honestly call the building my 401K - any real savings we had we plowed into the building!)


Booktrader of Hamilton has been serving the area's reading needs since approximately 1984. The store was originally located at Flock and Quakerbridge Rds. They sold used paperbacks and new books at a discount. The credit and trade-in policy the first owners developed is pretty much what we use today. The store has seen several different owners, all of whom have had different reasons for buying the store but who have all shared a love of books and reading.
Donna Benson - who I bought the store from, moved the store from Quakerbridge & Flock to 2402 Nottingham Way, when the strip center doubled her rent.

When she was setting up at her new address, she had quite a catastrophe happen. She had almost all the metal racks she was using as shelving, set up when they collapsed like dominoes! Luckily no one was hurt and she was able to find someone to come out and build a support system for the racks.
My purchase of the store was pure serendipity. I was a longtime if occasional customer and happened to be walking into the store when Donna posted a sign advertising the business for sale. I told her it would be my dream come true to own the store but as my husband doesn't share my love of reading, I didn't think it could happen. She convinced me to discuss it with him anyway and much to my complete surprise and pleasure Bob (said husband)thought it would be a good investment! So here I am :-) I have expanded the inventory and since this is my full time job (unlike Donna who was a librarian and only had the store open on the weekends) I have expanded the hours too. With the move to our larger location at 2421 Nottingham Way - I hope to expand our inventory and services a bit more. In the future as we continue to grow, we hope to hire part time help and expand the store hours more.