I almost died for Kafka, but bookstores are worth it

Well, that is a tad dramatic, but it was a frightful storm. Last Wednesday, I drove two hours from my comfortable home to a place called Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh. Quail Ridge hosts numerous events at their store for authors and readers, and I was thrilled to get a chance to hear John Kessel and Ruth V. Gross lead a discussion about Franz Kafka, his work, and his influence.

[Yes, I love Kafka's stories ... it's how us dark and grim people roll ...]

Anyway, Kessel and Gross led a spirited discussion. They read from the new anthology Kafkaesque, edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly, and from Kafka's works.

Aside from the fabulous presentation was the camaraderie of the staff and audience. A staff member helped me locate Christmas presents for a young member of my family; books I never would have picked without her help. All I had to do was tell her my nephew's age and interests and she led me to some excellent choices.

The storms outside were frightful, but inside the store was like another world--warm and inviting. There was standing room only for the event. I got to meet Sam Montgomery-Blinn, publisher of Bull Spec, so now I have a friendly face to put with his name. Bull Spec sometimes hosts events at Quail Ridge Books, so hook up with Sam on Facebook so you can keep up with those updates. I also spoke with a lovely lady who sat next to me. She told me of her love for Quail Ridge Books and her book club, which also meets in the store. I told her to cherish her bookstore. Quail Ridge Books has a friendly, knowledgeable staff. They host events for all ages all during the week (check out their event calendar).

Check out the local bookstore near you. Trust me, you never realize how much you miss them until they're gone.