I lived in Edmonton for about a decade, and Audreys Books was hands-down my favourite place to buy books. For one thing, they have two levels full of books. Many, many, many books. And staff who knew all about those books. Plus it’s in a lovely brick building, right on Jasper Ave. I’d usually walk or take the LRT there, buy some books, and enjoy the downtown Edmonton scene.
Audreys lineage dates to the 1950s, when Mel Hurtig was opening bookstores. These days its owned by the Budnarchuk family (I don’t really know the owners, but their son is a friend of my husband and I). It’s a mainstay in Edmonton’s literary community. When I mentioned that I was excited to be reading there, a friend asked it if was like Broadway.
I’ve never been to Broadway, but I can now say I’ve been to Audreys.
One great thing about Audreys is it hosts these types of events all the time, so the staff know what they’re doing. And even though they do a lot of these events, they care that the events go well.
For example, they had us come in the day before to make sure we were okay with where they planned to hold it. They introduced us. They had coffee set up for people for after the performance. They promoted the show beforehand.
Everything went quite smoothly. We had about 30 people show, which is what we expected. They’d set us up in the children’s section, in the lower level of the store. I thought it might feel weird to read there, given some of the adult content of my book, but it was a good space. Plus a few of my friends brought their kids, so it worked nicely.
Last week a friend told me Friendly Fire was on the Edmonton Journal’s best-seller list. I’m sure that show in Audrey’s helped bump it onto the list.
Thanks for hosting us, Audreys Books. And good luck with the rest of your fall events.