You deserve a damn break.

Y’all. WTF. I wrote this post yesterday morning and published it and then last night Victor was like, “Didn’t you post something new on your blog? Because I don’t see it” and then I realized that I hadn’t pressed the button after the “Are you sure you want to do this?” part and then I sighed loudly and went to bed. But then this morning I was like, “Fuck it. Let’s just publish it and then do an update under it.” So that’s happening.

What I wrote yesterday:

A week ago today it was Valentine’s and I was going to do a blind-date-with-a-book thing outside of Nowhere Bookshop and give out free copies of lightly damaged books (mostly covers with tiny imperfections that we can’t sell) or older arcs of wonderful books but then Texas froze and we entered a week of mild hell. Personally we had a lot of rolling blackouts and no water but as of today we have had power for over 24 hours straight and we finally have water again (although it still looks weird and has to be boiled) AND I had so many wonderful people get tickets for my book tour (they’re still available here) that I melted into a pool of relief.

We don’t have broken pipes (I think) and I was really worried that Nowhere would have been damaged because the building is older but it seems fine and to celebrate we are doing the postponed blind-date-with-a-book today. Also, giant apologies if you ordered something from Nowhere and it’s slow to get to you. Yesterday was the first time I saw a mail truck in a week so I know Texas is behind in general and we gave everyone at the store the week off since they were all dealing with the same bullshit weather and water and all that jazz. Thank you for your patience!

So if you want to stop by the store I’ll be waving through the window as I wrap up more books and a table of free books will be outside. I’m not there yet (gotta pack up the books here) but check my twitter or instagram because I’ll update them when I’m there and it’s set up.

What I wrote today:

So I did the blind-date-with-a-book thing and it was awesome and I suspect I enjoyed it even more than the recipients:

By the end of the day my descriptions were getting a bit more loose (“THIS BOOK CONTAINS PENISES BUT THEY’RE SCIENTIFIC SO IT’S FINE” and “I ASSURE YOU, YOU WILL LOVE IT” and I even tucked in some signed first editions and I listened through the glass as people laughed at the descriptions and children happily picked up books from the kid’s table and strangers stood at a distance and waved at each other and waited patiently for the table to clear so they could safely grab their own copy. And it was so wonderful that I plan on doing it again at least once a year.

My personal favorite was when a lady saw the table of free books and loudly said, “Oh no! They’re going out of business and I never even visited them!” and Victor yelled though the glass that we’re actually doing great in spite of the fact that we still have never opened our physical doors to the public and she was like, “Oh, thank goodness! We need books!”

Amen, lady.

A giant thanks to everyone, especially to the very patient people who may have ordered recently and had their order a bit delayed because of mail or weather. We’re getting back into the groove and most of us have power and water (although most of us still have to boil it) and we’re open again starting tomorrow for curbside pick-up. Thank you for your patience!

91 thoughts on “You deserve a damn break.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Do an online version where you post a picture of the blind date covers and then the next picture is them revealed in the same layout so we can match it up 👀

  2. I am so glad that you had such a joy-filled day in the midst of all the garbage!

    I have a weird question. Will the virtual book tour bookings sell out? I think I have to work on the day I really want, so I am waiting, just in case I don’t have to work.

    (I know at least one place added extra spaces but I assume they’re limited by how many zoom spots they can manage. ~ Jenny)

  3. Books make everyone happy – especially free book. Just think of all the happiness you spread that should give you tinglies for awhile.

  4. You are everything I need in a bookstore, but in a person. Who also owns a bookstore. Double win.

  5. What a lovely thing to read on a rainy Monday morning. Thank you for sharing some joy today.

  6. I have the opposite problem with posting. I’ve posted without realizing I forgot to title the post. I’ve posted multiple times in 2021 with the date as 2020 in the title. It would probably be better if I forgot to publish.

  7. First, glad you are doing ok!
    Second, in one of the photos it looks like the book description is “girls punching nazis!” What book is that cuz I want to read it!

  8. I wish I could visit just to watch and wave. Although if the right book was there I might take it (happy to let others have them).

  9. awesomesauce! Amazeballs!
    Wish I LIVED NEAR enough to participate….
    but bought two tickets to your show with Neil Gaman, so there is that 🙂

  10. We DO need books! I personally could not live without them. And dogs.
    As always, Jenny, thank you for being your wonderful self. I can’t get to San Antonio for a book and a wave to you, but send my love to you and Victor and Hailey.

  11. Jenny, you’ve made these weird times we’re living in so much better for so many people. You cheer me up and make me howl with laughter regularly! I’m still sending mail out to the commenters on your “Reaching Out,” post.
    I love sending snail mail and have actually made some lovely connections.
    Thank you,

  12. That’s *super* fun and awesome. And, it stands out, in a week/month/year that not so lovely news keeps getting attention, because there has been so much of it.

  13. Man I wish I lived there! What a beautyiful idea!!! I think I’d have loved just reading your little notes on the books! Thank you, lovely lady, for spreading such generosity and joy in the world. I hope more people pick up this marvelous idea! “We need books!”

  14. My town library does a Blind Date with a Book every year and I totally love it — though of course I have to give the book back to them after. This is way better, and makes me want to come to Texas just to visit.

  15. That sounds like fun! I want to give books away, too! Are we not having Booksgiving this year? My husband and I look forward to that holiday all year. I hope it’s still on the way! Sending love from AZ to you and all Texans today.

  16. You are awesome! Also, I feel the need to ask: what’s that one about girls punching nazis? Because I NEED IT.

    (There were several women-led WWII books so now I can’t remember which one it was. Hmmm…I’m guessing probably The Girl from Channel Islands or maybe The Historians. ~ Jenny)

  17. As someone who works in retail I respect you so much more (didn’t know that was possible) for giving your employees off to deal with a disaster, I’ve worked for more than one company that expected employees to be at work during hurricanes or winter storms so bad that the governor closed the roads.

  18. “Victor yelled though the glass that we’re actually doing great in spite of the fact that we still have never opened our physical doors to the public…”

    Have you checked with Guinness Book of Records to see how long you need to operate without opening to the public to set a new record? Because as much as we want Nowhere to open officially – I’d hate for you to miss setting a World Record by just a day or something. (And the way the world’s been working lately that would be just our luck.)

  19. You never cease to amaze me with how truly awesome you are! It almost makes me want to move to San Antonio to be closer to you. But then I remember that San Antonio is in Texas and I am a Northern California girl through and through and know that while Texas is cool to visit – but not now – I’ve visited my in-laws enough to know I wukdn’t be happy living there. So I’ll just keep reading your blog and being a big fan from afar. Oh, and Vicor sounds pretty awesome too. Stay safe y’all!

  20. Since a lot of us can’t get to Texas, how about doing the blind date thing where we pay the shipping and you send us the otherwise free book? Just thinking…

    (I would but we have such a tiny staff that it’d put too much work on them. But maybe one day! ~ Jenny)

  21. My daughter is 18 and we are both huge fans of your books and your blog and Victor and everything. Anyway, one of her favorite books from childhood is called Skinny Brown Dog by Kimberly Willis Holt. It’s adorable and part of it is a bakery where the baker does “Free broken cookie day” once a week because he loves it when the school children stop by. Your event reminds me of that.

  22. Blind date with a book looks awesome! I feel like I need that for finding new books as it always takes me a long time to pick out a new book.

  23. To Mariana…..The Huntress! There are lesbian Russian women night flying to kill Nazis. It’s the best read I’ve had in a while. :o)

    To Jenny… glad you and yours are safe.

  24. “Oh thank goodness, we need books” has been my covid theme song. Very thankful for the book club and for you!

  25. “My personal favorite was when a lady saw the table of free books and loudly said, “Oh no! They’re going out of business and I never even visited them!” ”

    So, this made me cry today. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

    Awesome idea, the blind date book table!

  26. Not to be judgey, but you are a wonderful person. And you and Nowhere almost make me want to move to Texas! Stay warm, dry, and H20-boiled. xo

  27. You certainly are the absolute very BEST! Actually made me want to move to Texas for a moment! I’m in the “heart” (literally looks like a heart w/pointy edges!) of Kentucky and the deep freeze is still on..we got scammed by Texas weather for too long! Thought we’d skate (pardon the not at all funny pun) and not have a horrible winter but that just was too much positive thinking, at least on my part. It’s stupid cold even in what sadly passes as “the south”. Praying for y’all and you and your family!
    Mighty nice thing you did there sweetie!! God bless 🙏 and love you!!! Tina

  28. I would have absolutely picked the book with the scientific penises. While it looks like I will definitely need to read that book, I would have been disappointed at the lack of penises wearing lab coats and being scientific. Or maybe there are penises with lab coats in the book?

  29. So every year for Christmas a gentleman at my work did a fundraiser where he would do something similar to your blind date books, but they were MYSTERY BAGS! And he’d have some very vague description and each one was in a grocery store sized paper bag so you couldn’t judge size or shape. And no one was allowed to pick them up. They were so fun, and he’d raise so much money for various charities, and they always had the best stuff in them because he’d work with local vendors and find stuff at goodwill. Thanks for reminding me of those, he has since retired, but I used to love those MYSTERY BAGS!

  30. This is freakin awesome!!! I so wish I was able to go. I can’t wait to visit your store one day when it opens. Wishing all the people in Texas a speedy recovery

  31. I just wanted to add to what you said about freight companies. We lost UPS & Fedex services for almost a week at our company in DFW Texas. So please have patience for delayed deliveries. When UPS and Fedex doesn’t show up, the product doesn’t go anywhere.

  32. What a great idea! Must have been so fun and good for the soul to give people a bit of joy.

  33. This is so wonderful!! I didn’t realize you were in Texas – I’m so sorry for everything you have been going through. I love how much joy you brought to others (and yourselves). Amazing…

  34. I wish I lived nearby! But at least I can go to one of the book tour events! I already have my ticket! I have to say that the whole pandemic horror is a load of crap but it HAS made some things a little better, like doctor appts I don’t have to leave my house for and book tours that I can access (because if it were in real life, you might have come to DC but I live about an hour north of there in MD so that would not be as cool as clicking a link on my computer and sitting on my couch).

  35. Jenny, the Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan is a book you would love. And perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day window!

  36. This just made me tear up with happiness! This day sucked. Not Texas-snowstorm sucked but just “feeling trapped by a pandemic, a month of snow cancelations on our one outing, a broken washer for weeks, and then today my kid came down with a stomach bug” sucks. Thanks for being awesome!

  37. The joy that you bring to the world can’t be underestimated. Thank you for always being a bright light when I need it the most.

  38. I got my first book club book and I’m so excited to dig in. I had to delay the start a little because it’s my 1st wedding anniversary, we are both fully vaccinated (both RN’s) and decided a 12 hour road trip to Vegas and Utah was the way to take out our immunity for a test drive (kidding, sort of). Just wanted to thank you for always making me laugh and sometimes making me think and see things from a different perspective. Love you to bits.

  39. I work for a library and I’m going to recommend the Blind Date With A Book for giveaways, and I’m going to promote Nowhere Books for giving me the idea. The library is part of a university and I’m sure we have students from San Antonio, or who might go to San Antonio for some reason, or who maybe just want to support an indie bookshop. Wins all around.

  40. “Oh, thank goodness! We need books!” — a perfect Nowhere Bookshop postcard (or T-shirt)

  41. Thanks for bringing me laughter, books, and a (virtual) place where I fit in. Stay strong, stay safe!
    When Mother Nature gives you snow, make snow ice cream.

  42. This was super great! I managed to get the copy of Jonathan strange and mr norrell that you all left out. It pairs nicely with Piranesi, which we got from your store over the Christmas holidays! Mind-meld 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you all survived the storm without too many issues! It was a weird few days.

  43. Have you seen Escape to the Chateau? She collects vintage taxidermy items! It’s pretty wild!

  44. I can’t even count the number of things that rock about this. Thank you for continuing to make the world brighter.

  45. Love the “ Date” idea, wish I lived near your store. In my Bethesda Maryland neighborhood lots of people have put up the post with an enclosed box for free books. I’ve gotten some interesting finds. And of course I have donated some hunnies as well. It’s great to be out for a walk and pass one of these libraries, scrounge around, maybe find something and walk on. Books, Mercy. What a comfort, all my life. I always found escape in reading. I’m 85 now and still at it, reading and escaping. So glad about your book store, I wish you the very best. Ann

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