Monday, April 19, 2004

Palo Alto

We arrived in Palo Alto yesterday around noon for my talk at Common Ground, an organic garden supply company. This was one of the few true worm composting workshops I did on the tour. About twenty people had called in advance to sign up. That’s a good crowd—a manageable number for a pretty interactive workshop. I had a stacking worm bin with me (sans worms, of course) so I could explain how it worked, and I had the worms on hand in their little plastic containers as always.

As I got started, people kept rolling in. The staff brought in more chairs, and finally the stools that were behind the counter, and a few of the garden benches they sell, until every chair and perch in the place was in use and there were 50 people in the room. About a dozen already had worm bins; many more were ready to buy one. It went very well—I got through the whole thing in about an hour, lots of people bought books, and we were on our way. Lots of cities and counties in the Bay Area sell worm bins to their residents, but the staff at Common Ground said they’d like to carry them too, so I gave them a few suggestions about suppliers. If you’re in the area and you’re looking for worms or bins, you might stop in and see what they’ve been able to put together.

After lunch, we stopped at Kepler’s in Menlo Park so I could sign stock. The idea is that if I swing by and autograph some copies, they’ll put an “autographed copy” sticker on them and put them on display, the books will sell better, and it just raises awareness in general around the bookstore. Also, I like to stop in and chat with the booksellers and thank them for supporting the book.

So Kepler’s knew I was coming and they’d ordered a dozen or so books, but like Bookshop a few days ago, they’d sold most of them by the time I got there and I only had 3 copies to sign. Ah well, at least it's selling!

Drove up to Santa Rosa last night for a radio interview with food author Michele Anna Jordan on her program “Mouthful.” We chatted for about twenty minutes—I like these live, chatty, interactive radio programs—and then went on to my parents’ house and to bed.

Today I have two talks at the California Academy of Science, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, and I’m hoping to swing by a couple more bookstores to sign stock.

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