Sharing a Common Interest Celebrity Book Signings at Naperville Shop Help Create a Buzz for Reading
Jedlowski, Jill, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jill Jedlowski Daily Herald Staff Writer
The next few days present a rare opportunity for Caroline Kennedy and Newt Gingrich to share the same view.
But geographically, chances are far greater as the well-known public figures make stops in Naperville - Gingrich on Sunday, Kennedy on Monday - while on book tours.
Their appearances are just two of dozens scheduled for the fall through Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave. in downtown. The shop also has a location in Downers Grove.
The independent book seller has established itself as a small but mighty force in a swelling sea of chain bookstores. Bolstering its unique success is its ability to again and again lure best- selling authors and, in the process, attract customers from across the suburbs.
"They know we provide a great venue and a great audience," owner Becky Anderson said. "To us, it's not just a book-signing. We do everything we can to take care of the author and bring in a big crowd."
Part of her store's charm, she said, is its staff's passion for reading and a true appreciation for books.
The book-signing events also help to increase community-wide interest in reading.
"Even if it takes a celebrity-driven book to get people interested, it still may get non-readers reading," Anderson said.
Susan Greenwood, Naperville Public Library community relations coordinator, said author appearances at Anderson's have a rippling effect that reaches the library.
"It's a kind of circular effect," Greenwood said. "They go to them. Then, they come to us to read more."
For example, children's fantasy author Christopher Paolini recently visited Anderson's to promote his new book, "Eldest." As of Thursday, more than 230 patrons had reserved the library's 100 copies, Greenwood said.
"In cases like that, both of us benefit," she said.
Monica Minnick agrees. As the library's children's services/school liaison librarian, she said putting a face to an author's name can do wonders to stimulate interest. "I can only see it as being a positive," Minnick said.
Some authors create huge demand, drawing crowds of roughly 1,000. Kennedy, whose Monday night appearance at Naperville Central High School is sold-out, was a given, Anderson said. …