Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Words Worth Books 25th Anniversary Party



Words Worth Books has been a community fixture in Uptown Waterloo since 1984. Previously the owners, Chuck Erion & Tricia Siemens, carried on a bookstore business for seven years in Mount Forest. The couple was inspired to open a store in Waterloo because of its two universities and vibrant community.

The bookstore has a reputation for great books and great staff. From the thousands of titles that the staff has collectively read, each takes personal delight in placing the right book with the right person. “We are eager to share our love and knowledge of books. We have grown with our readers and introduced them to wonderful books and wonderful authors. We know and like our customers,” says Siemens, one of the co-owners. One of the store’s regular customers, Jennifer Stacy, says “I have a feeling of being among like-minded people whom I’ve come to think of as family: extreme readers like I am, and everyone so knowledgeable about books.” Another loyal customer remembers when Siemens recommended a book for a granddaughter who didn’t like to read. “I gave Danielle the book and said my friend Tricia had chosen it JUST for her.” Later on Danielle was sitting cross-legged in the rocking chair, nose buried and reading intently. She looked up and asked ‘Grandma, does your friend have another book?’’ Doris Lemon says, “Tricia hooked my granddaughter into reading.”

In addition to recommending excellent reads the store also supports book clubs with suggestions, a monthly book club pick and two in-store book clubs. As part of the 25th Birthday, the store is unveiling their list of their top 25 favourites from 25 years of business.
Words Worth is also proud to have a strong history of bringing outstanding authors to Kitchener-Waterloo. Since opening its doors, the store has been honoured to host some of the best authors in the world to their events. W.O. Mitchell, Timothy Findley, Margaret Atwood, John Irving, Robertson Davies, M.G. Vassanji, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Rohinton Mistry, Karen Armstrong, Louis de Bernieres, and Jean Chr├ętien are only a few of the hundreds of authors that the store has brought to this community. John Siebert, the executive director of Project Ploughshares, recalled his favorite Words Worth author event with Ishmael Beah, a former child solidier from West Africa. “The proceeds for the evening went to Project Ploughshares, which was really terrific, but more so was the response of my 2 teenage children to Beah’s presentation. They needed to read the book. It was one of those rare times where a parent literally sees the light go on in their child’s eyes.”

Words Worth Books is dedicated to nurturing the Waterloo community by supporting many local causes not only with donations but also with time and energy. For example, Words Worth donates $1 per author event ticket to the Record Literacy Fund or some other local cause. The store also supports local authors by hosting book launches and carrying their titles. Words Worth is also committed to being green. The retailer has been using Bullfrog Power for their electricity since 2007. This means that there are no greenhouse gas emissions resulting in the running of the store. The store also has switched all of their light to a more energy efficient system and now uses biodegradable plastic for their bags.

October 17 is Independents' Day, a day celebrating the importance of independent bookstores. Independents Matter is a national grassroots campaign with a community focus created by Canadian Booksellers Association to celebrate the independence and promote the benefits of shopping at local bookstores. On October 17, 2009 independent booksellers all across the country will celebrate Independents' Day. By a huge margin, independent booksellers carry more Canadian-published and regional titles than any other stores. For Canadian towns and cities, independent booksellers mean local jobs, local investment and local culture.

This free celebration takes place all day Saturday October 17, 2009 from 9am to 6pm at Words Worth Books, 100 King Street South, Waterloo. There will be giveaways, cake, and more. David Okum will be demonstrating a comic book drawing lesson to children at 10:30am. The store is offering 25% off everything in the store for the day (excluding special orders and periodicals). You may enter to win a $25 gift card by submitting your favorite memory of the store to Bronwyn Addico. Email to bronwyn@wordsworthbooks.com.

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