Get thee to an independent bookstore.

Y’all, this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day and to celebrate, participating indie bookstores have a bunch of cool stuff, and some are offering a thick, lovely poster of an exclusive drawing of mine.  It isn’t in YOU ARE HERE and the numbers are very limited so this is the only way to get one.   Click here to find a bookstore in your area.  I’m not sure if I get paid for them but if I do I’ll use the proceeds to buy copies of YOU ARE HERE for people here who haven’t been able to afford one yet.  EVERYONE WINS.

This is the drawing in progress:

And the final result:

“I have lost myself and found myself in books.”

And they all came to my house where I signed them and all my pets tried to fuck everything up but they failed miserably.

“We’re totally not looking at those posters like we want to eat them if you walk away.” ~ Lying motherfuckers


And speaking of
YOU ARE HERE, I have suddenly developed an appreciation of coloring for relaxation and now Victor is like “Where are all these watercolor pencils, oil pastel pencils, and gel pens coming from?” and I’m like, “THEY’RE MEDICINAL, VICTOR.”

I’m sharing the ones I’ve done here but honestly some of you are putting me to shame and you should click here to see the stuff I’ve liked on twitter because there’s a shitload of awesomeness out there and now I want to learn to quill and embroider and paint and NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO OPEN A CRAFT STORE, Y’ALL.

“Home is where my head is.”
“Alone” is not the same as “lonely.”
“We all lose our heads eventually. Might as well get lost on an adventure or two first.”
“It’s a magic lamp. It’s a sorcerer’s hat. It’s a time machine and a song bird and a treasure chest. It’s a weapon and a weight. And also you can type with it.”
“Sometimes safe can be suffocating.”
“There is so much more going on under the surface. In the world. In me. In you.”

90 thoughts on “Get thee to an independent bookstore.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. OMG, you’re awesome! I’m glad no one will see my pathetic colouring efforts, but I find it very relaxing anyway. So thank you for your gorgeous book.

  2. ALL of your artwork is amazing, including your coloring. I haven’t been able to do any coloring of the pages in You Are Here yet, but I am finding a lot inspiration in all the cool pictures you & others have posted. I have lots of ideas for when I get a chance to get started!

  3. Is that Ferris Mewler on the left, what a handsome devil he is!

    (Nope. It’s Hunter S. Tomcat. But Ferris was just out of the frame. ~ Jenny)

  4. Thank you for participating in Independent Bookstore Day!
    –love, a bookseller

    (Thank you for your magical work! ~ Jenny)

  5. What if they are no where near us but would love a poster.

    (I’ve heard that some stores make any leftovers available online after Saturday but no guarantees. Last year I got a friend who lives near one to pick up something for me because I couldn’t get there. ~ Jenny)

  6. I’m getting my print at Parnassus Books in Nashville on Saturday. Hoping to meet up with a few FOEs too!

  7. I just got off the phone with my local indie bookstore and they’ll have 20 in stock on Saturday. Hooray! (Now to convince my Saturday brain that I really do need to be up and out of bed by 8:30)

  8. I’m so sad, apparently my city no longer has any independent bookstores – other than a handful of used bookstores.

  9. There’s a street fair going on in front of my indie bookstore on Saturday, so all my usual routes will be blocked. I’m still going — just going to have to leave early! 🙂

  10. The closest bookstore to me is 90 minutes away and they only have 3!! I am going to be going and I hope to get one. I love books, and I love yours so I am hoping to be able to get one. Fingers crossed.

  11. I’ll be heading to Book Culture in NYC. Hoping my poster comes with bonus pet hair!

  12. Jenny,
    while your artwork is beautiful, I like the words that you have written to go along with them even more. Some of them are so comforting and kind and beautiful. Thank you.

  13. I have been enjoying You are Here and find the coloring (currently with only colored pencils) extremely therapeutic. I’m disappointed the poster will not be available at my local indie bookstore which happens to be the Oldest Bookshop in the country, opened in 1745 in Bethlehem, PA. It’s a cool shop 🙂

  14. Your drawings are so beautiful! I have just started on one page in the book, and am finding I like markers much better than pencils. I am slowly coloring in roses and learning not to worry about going outside the lines.

    If you open a craft store, I’ll come help and open a coffee shop next door. With cats. And maybe dogs. And possibly llamas.

  15. What are the chances you can send some of those signed drawings across the border to an independent bookstore in Victoria, BC? PRETTY PLEASE, WITH MOTHERFUCKING SUGAR ON TOP!!! Alternatively, you could just move here – you know, if that’s easier for you. Just sayin. Canada needs more Jenny!

  16. I think I gave you an idea to color that one page like rainbow colors. Awesome. 😉 xoxo

  17. I am over the moon. I contacted my local indie bookstore a few weeks ago, and the will have the poster! I hope I get one because to have a little goodie that has been sniffed by Dorothy Barker is the most magnificent thing in the world!

  18. I love coloring. Unfortunately, The Viking doesn’t consider it ‘productive’ when I’m already up to my eyebrows in projects I haven’t finished. I think I need to hide those projects better so he can’t see them – outta sight outta mind. Right?

  19. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of craft store you would own. It would be the most whimsical thing that has ever whimsied. I love your artwork, whether coloring or drawing or both, and I am totally jealous of your talent. But in a “this only makes me love you more” way.

  20. Jenny you need to knit! I’ll come and teach you. We can arrange a knit night which basically involves good food and booze! You in? You can knit all sorts of cute little animals or big animals too. It’s my therapy, really!

  21. Is there any chance there is some sort of Canadian equivalent to Independent bookstore day? I have been going to our local store and fondling your book for weeks now, soon I will have enough money to get my own copy!

  22. To Mrs. Completely – The Viking doesn’t get to decide if you have “too many unfinished projects.” No one but you have that privilege. Color when you want to, not when someone else says you can. Unless you’re supposed to be doing paid work – I think the rules are different. But then, I color when I’m on conference calls so what do I know.

  23. You amaze me with your many gifts and talents.
    I’m hoping to be surprised with your newest tome in 2 weeks when I turn 65!!!!!
    Thank you for ……everything that you do 😘

  24. I love the bird on the typewriter sooo much! Makes my heart happy. All of your drawings are brilliant, and you’re a far more imaginative colorer (is that a word?) than I. You’re just awesome all around. How fun would it be for you to have a talk show where you had regular people on and everyone hid under tables (or couch forts!) for interviews?

  25. Your artwork is amazing. I wish there was a bookstore closer than a 2+ hour away from me that I could visit so I could get one of those posters. However, that’s not something I’m able to do at this point. So I’ll continue reading your blog and ooh’ing and aah’ing over your wonderful pictures as you post them here.

  26. Urg!!!! What is the song that’s playing in the video? It’s familiar, but I can’t place it and my brain can’t/won’t help figure it out….Please!

  27. I wish I could make it out of my house this weekend. I don’t see that happening. Last weekend I was overwhelmed by a tidal wave of ptsd fueled anxiety and feelings of horror and self loathing. I’ve been hiding and popping xanax like candy ever since. I would color the hell out of that!

  28. Awesome work, Jenny. I especially love the typewriter. Which reminds me. Tom Hanks collects vintage typewriters, and he wrote a book of stories on them. From what the publisher is saying, he’s a really good writer. If you’re a Hanks fan, be on the lookout for it!

    And thanks for the plug for indies. We need all the help we can get!

  29. Your drawings are simply magical. You are magical! Whenever my husband hears me laughing uncontrollably in the other room, he knows I am reading (or rereading) your first two books. Now, I need to get You Are Here so I can use the multitude of colored pencils I have collected since we got married. Thank you for giving me reason to put them to use. Truly, you are a wonderful human being to share your arts with the world as you do.

  30. Yeah, don’t turn your back on that gang parked around your posters.
    I drew a cartoon on 2×3 poster board and it turned out thrillingly well after I’d inked it. I was on a cloud. Then, my six-week-old kitten (identity withheld to protect the Guilty) went from sniffing it, then rubbing the side of his mouth on the edge of the cardboard, then biting into it, flexing his jaws to get his teeth in up to his gums. I stiil have the poster, now in a frame behing glass and people will ask me what happened to ruin the board. .

  31. Somebody here must know a place where these can get printed on board and flocked with black velvet!

  32. I need to get myself a copy of “You Are Here”, stat! We’re focusing on Mindfulness in DBT, and coloring is easily the best way to get lost in the moment. <3

  33. Really, nothing near Charlottesville, VA? I thought there might be, being that Charlottesville is a beleaguered city in a sea of the red south. And there are lots of independent bookstores here. 🙂

  34. I wish I could see you! Get your editor to book you a ticket to Toronto Ontario. I am a big fan! I know that it is probably just me but I would love to see you and have you sign one of your books. You can hide underneath a table I don’t find that weird at all I get so anxious sometimes, mainly because I have to be on all these meds. Anyway I can hope 😊

  35. Well, now I don’t know if I can return to my book. You are TOO Fucking Multi-Talented, Jenny! I just don’t think I will ever get that “good” at coloring (I mean, shading and highlighting is still well beyond my grasp)

    I love ya, Jenny. But you’re killing me, as it were. Still love ya, though!

  36. I have sent a begging&pleading letter to a friend who lives in a major city with access to a half dozen independent bookstore, instead of 60 miles from the nearest one. If he’s out of town this weekend, I’ll be looking for leftovers by mail-order.

    I had planned to make a day of it and go to New Haven for bookstore & museum… but then my daughter’s invention was picked for the state-level Invention Convention. I’ll be in a VERY big VERY loud room with dozens or hundreds of grade-school and middle-school kids. Yarn and coloring should help me survive.

  37. What a coinkydink. I just did a somewhat satirical post about national days. However, Independent Bookstore Day is awesome.

  38. I’ve been wanting new coloring utensils, but I haven’t wanted to do the research on what to get – so thank you!

  39. I’d love to get one of these coloring pages but the closet participating bookstore is 85.5 miles away! At least I can see it here.

  40. Huh. One of the participating stores is on the other side of the parking lot from me.

  41. I just finished reading You Are Here. Thank you. I’m not really a person who colors much but your words are helping me through a very tough time right now. Even more than wine and cheese and cats. I’m gonna go cry a little (’cause I deserve it) and try to hang on some more. Thanks Jenny. Continue to rock as much as you do.

  42. Man, as if I didn’t ALREADY have to show up at Politics & Prose in DC at 9 am on Saturday to get Rainbow Rowell’s special Kindred Spirits that’s only available as a giveaway on that day (because she wrote it as a special short story for Independent Book Day in the UK last year) and then drive to Baltimore for a 2-day security conference.

    If I had to have my Desert Island Authors, can I bring you and Rainbow and Drew Hayes and Jonathan Maberry (just because I have to find out how Joe Ledger saves the world???). No really, I want you to come with me. We’ll have a party. And Twitter. And cool people. No assholes.

  43. Jenny, I just need to talk to all you all on this safe space.
    After a number of years I realised I’ve been gaslit by my husband. It’s been so many endless things. But it was all right there. Things were usually fine. Not a lifetime movie or anything. I never noticed it. Never a lifetime movie. No hittng, no screaming, no pushing.
    Just so many excuses.

    Without going into details, which are confusing and painful since I still view it as me being dramatic or insane…. He’s moving out this summer.
    My family knows and supports me and I’m slowly reconnecting with old friends to let them in.
    Its sad and strange. To think so much was my fault, my skewed viewpoint. To end a marriage that was several years old and a relationship over a decade old.
    But I realise something…

    I am strong as fuck. And I can do this. I have no choice. I’m glad I realise this while we have no assets. No kids.
    I am an educated woman in her 30s.I don’t need to stay in a manipulative marriage if I don’t want to.

    I just had to tell someone before I told my old friends. Thank you for listening, my dear funny, strong as fuck, tough as nails, hilarious, beautiful friend

    (You are strong as hell. You’ve got this. ~ Jenny)

  44. Gave my copy away to my friend battling cancer. She’s been stuck in the hospital for over two weeks with surgeries and setbacks. True confessions: I’m afraid I’ll get it back with nothing colored.

  45. That first picture reminded me of the saying “Not all who wander are lost.” I shall get me hence to Parnassus Books this Saturday.

    Also, The doctor’s companion, I apologize for addressing you but it can be difficult opening up even in a safe space. You are strong and courageous. Here’s wishing you well.

  46. Cheers to you and your hands!! The artwork is awesome…especially home is where my head is and the typewriter. When I am up at night I have really enjoyed focusing on your words and the colours in your drawings. Will be making a path to the bookstore tomorrow.

  47. How beautiful! I am very sad that the closest independent bookstore is 2 hours away from me. Since I have an event tomorrow I won’t be able to make the trip. Would have loved one of the posters. Thank you for sharing your art with us.

  48. I got my copy!! AND my bookstore had tables full of ARCs they were giving away (limit 5 per person) so I didn’t have to be sad because we’re broke and I couldn’t afford to buy books too!

    Independent Bookstore Day is my new favorite!

  49. Jenny you absolutely blow me away. I can only dream of being able to draw and color that well someday! An absolute inspiration. Thank you for keeping me going. <3

  50. Jenny, thank you for this post. I was able to get to the local independent and get one of your posters. Thank you for pre-signing them!

  51. My local bookstore, Phinney Books, is the most awesome place! I went in to get your poster today (Independent book store day) and was so SO excited. Long story short, an employee emptied her change purse with me to help me out! Best bookstore ever. So excited to have your new poster to hang in my room!!

  52. I was at work all day (6am- 11:30pm). Is there anyway to get another poster? I will be happy to donate to any charity of your choosing. You do not even have to sign it. I know all that signing has to hurt your hands after a while!

  53. I just realized my copy of the picture in You ARe Here doesn’t include the tagline “Sometimes Safe Can Be Suffocating”. They like… whitewashed it. Now I’m mad. Also, stop ending up in the hospital. That’s like.. not cool, Jenny. Not cool. Be well.

  54. Jenny-Hi–I couldn’t wait for your book, and I love it. I thought I was a purist and only loved it in B&W but coloring it is like meditation. can you tell me how you make those narrow arcs that kind of look a little intestinal, and those rectangular pieces that go on forever? Now that I color them Im really impressed at the consistency of the width!

  55. Hi There! I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I’m almost everyday here checking for new posts and it always surprises me with awesome and inspirational ideas. Thank you so much! Btw: the poster looks incredible!

  56. I bought your book at an independent bookstore in Ellensburg, WA because I’d been meaning to do so (and yet still had not) and my son was running late from whatever it was he was doing that was more important than meeting his mother who drove 4 hours to see him. Ostensibly I purchased the book for my daughter (who is much funnier than I am and I thought she would appreciate you as much as I do). However, I began reading your book on the airplane on the way to visit her and it never made it to her bookshelf. Sorry, not sorry. Finished it on the airplane home this past weekend, with tears of laughter and empathy running down my face. Thank you for writing this. That sounds weird, but I am ever so glad you put all of this into a book. I do so wish your body wasn’t such an asshole to you, though. It isn’t very sporting.

  57. Wow,just wow all these speak to me so much and I can relate to them so much. Please make them available to buy!!

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