Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Real Pictures of Heaven

The infinite tower of paperback heaven
I spent some time in Heaven today. And I mean capital "H" Heaven. Look at that photo above. It almost looks like the Tower of Babel. But it's really a giant tower of paperback books. And we're talking genre paperbacks. The good stuff. Yeah, you readers know what I'm talking about. From James Patterson to Nora Roberts, Stephen King to Dean Koontz, John Jakes to Jeffrey Archer. S. M. Stirling to Bruce Sterling, Debbie Macomber to Danielle Steel. All in one palatial place:

Escape Fiction in Salem, Oregon
Escape Fiction in Salem, Oregon. And I was there. I am a changed man.

Escape Fiction is a magical place that transcends the boundaries of space and time, much like Doctor Who's TARDIS, in several ways.

First, it is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside. I think this is due to the many science fiction and fantasy novels on hand in the store at all times.

The magic inside such books is likely responsible for the warping of space that allows Escape Fiction to defy the normal laws of physics.

Inside the Book Maze
Second, Escape Fiction is also a genuine Maze of Books. I think this is what Jorge Luis Borges had in mind when he envisioned heaven. For all we know, Jorge's spirit may in fact reside inside the winding halls of Escape Fiction. I guarantee that if you have never been to Escape Fiction before, and you explore it without a map, you are likely to get lost. I certainly did. It's better than any hedge maze I've ever been in, and it's even better than the hedge maze in the climactic scene in Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining. The difference is that unlike Jack Nicholson's character Jack Torrance, we all want to be in Escape Fiction's maze of books. Some of you readers, like myself, would be happy to live there forever and ever.

Maria and Scott, proprietors
I don't know if the owners of Escape Fiction, Maria and Scott, would actually want you to move in, but they certainly want you to enjoy the endless ocean of literary peace and comfort that their store provides, seven days a week.

Thirdly, Escape Fiction is a cathedral to the book. It celebrates the physical book, and it asks that we bow our heads reverently in respect for that which came before the eBook.

I have spent many an afternoon lost in Escape Fiction's wilderness of paperbacks, traveling through time along the spines of books I have seen in used bookstores since I was a kid.

I can't explain why used bookstores have this effect on me; I remember seeing many of the books contained in them previously as new books in chain bookstores over the years.

The Big Kahuna: Stephen King
And yet, when I see those same titles wearing cracked spines, sporting yellowing pages and tattered covers, the books somehow become better. There, I've said it. Used books are better. Maybe it's because you know that another human being has worked their way through the pages before you, as if that previous owner is saying "This book is a safe road to travel, friend. I hope you will enjoy it as have I."

Maybe I'm romanticizing. Maybe I'm not.

But the used book is still alive and well in America.

Kindles, iPads, Nooks and their ilk cannot kill the used book. The used book is fighting back and Escape Fiction leads the charge. So the next time you feel assaulted by the threat of the electronic book, head on down to Escape Fiction. You will be safe from ones and zeroes during your stay inside their Hallowed Halls.

Lastly, Escape Fiction is a magical domain of unprecedented proportion for the simple fact that they now stock my newest novel Night Walk.

Night Walk on sale now at Escape Fiction
You can see a fresh copy of Night Walk in the photo to the left. Maria was kind enough to place it there, in a position of prominence, at the front register. Where else would I, as a new author, find such support for my work? Not in a chain store.

I am very grateful to Maria and Scott for their willingness to support a local author like myself. Thanks guys! And I'm not the only local author with my book in their store.

You will note also that Night Walk is placed next to a fire extinguisher. I believe Maria put it there in case my book bursts spontaneously into flame. Night Walk is, after all, an intense, thrilling book which contains high-octane and extremely volatile story content. So placing Night Walk next to a fire extinguisher makes logical sense. It's the safe thing to do.

Smart move, Maria.

Some of you may be raising your hands now to protest: "But Night Walk is not a used book! How can you even consider selling it through a used bookstore?"

A quiet place to delve into good, old books.

The answer is simple: because Escape Fiction also stocks a good selection of new books. The popular kind: thrillers, science fiction & fantasy. Books with lots of zombies and vampires in them. J.D. Robb, Stephen King, Sandra Brown. The storytellers. Books we all like to read.

Remember, every used book is first born as a new book. It takes a dedicated, loving reader like yourself to properly rear and raise a new book until it is fully used, and ready to go out into the world so that it can enter the hands of another faithful book lover. I want my book to begin life in the hands of this sort of caring, loving reader; the kind of reader who frequents used bookstores, the kind of reader who shops at Escape Fiction.

That's why Escape Fiction is the perfect place from which to send my novel Night Walk out into the world.

The next time you are in Salem, Oregon, and need to go to Book Church, stop by Escape Fiction and pay Maria and Scott a visit. Tell them I sent you.

3240 Triangle Dr. S.E.
Salem, OR 97302

The TARDIS of used bookstores, Escape Fiction. Bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.


  1. Wow! Congrats, Dave! Escape Fiction is one hell of a place. Glad it's a slice of heaven for you. You certainly can tell you admire it from your colorful prose! Cool, cool, cool!

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  3. Great name for a book store. I need to go there. I need to buy something from this place.