Road Trip: Day 6 – Gainesville to Universal
We made it to Universal. We did nothing but check out the grounds, hit the pool and game room, eat and go to sleep. We all agreed we were very happy to be out of the car.
Some interesting things we saw on the way down were a giant confederate flag a little north of Valdosta – and I mean giant, definitely a statement being made with that – and an incredible number of billboards for right-to-lifers and medieval times. You can take that for what it’s worth.
I 75 is long and straight and endless.
We stopped in Gainesville, Florida, to hit a Barnes & Noble there. Now don’t go all indi on me – there were no indi’s in the area and B&N was the closest to the interstate and we needed to find a book that two indi’s prior did not have. So we went and I pitched my book to the merchandise manager while I was there – a nice guy named Andy who indeed had heard of Captain Blood and Errol Flynn – always a good sign – who took Open Wounds and said I could follow-up with him to see if he read it in a couple of weeks. It’s something new I’m doing – asking if they mind if I follow-up. Anything that might make a difference is worth trying. Remember, it’s all about the relationships (yeah, yeah, I heard that before – okay… I’m just saying…).
The B&N in Gainesville has been there 18 years and seems pretty entrenched in the community. Andy said it’s one of only three small B&Ns left in the country. It doesn’t have a Starbucks café. It’s only books and although it’s a pretty good size – still bigger than any indi I’ve been too so far, it was smaller than the super stores. I had an interesting conversation with him about how B&N is doing compared to Borders – who clearly has lost the race to survive. More on that tomorrow because it links well to the conversation I had with Jeff from Bound to Read Books in Atlanta.