You like popcorn, right? 

So, one of my favorite things to do is throw a party, both in my home and at my bookstore. You know how you put oil in your pot and heat it on the stove and then you put popcorn kernels in and wait for the first POP? Seconds later, you hear a few more POPS, and then a POP-cacophony so fast and furious you rush over to shake the pot so you don't char anything. Here's the point (at last), POP is how party planning is for me, and I love when things POP. 

For example, I was so inspired by Emma's tree-tapping and maple syrup event last month that I bought (from myself) a cookbook called Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Maple Syrup by Katie Webster. That was the first POP, a.k.a. the PARTY IDEA!  "Yes," says me to myself — "that's it, I'll throw a dinner party with all maple recipes to celebrate Vermont's sugaring season!" POP POP. (Dave and the men will think it's weird, but POOPiness cannot halt POP)! Looky here, from the drinks and appetizer chapter (POP POP) - I'll make a Maple Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour and Maple Spiced Pecans to start ("Dave, look at these pretty pecan pictures ... Dave?") POP POPPITY. What about a salad with Grainy Mustard Maple Vinaigrette (Yumbly POP) and maybe a pork roast with Maple Apple Chutney, plus so many POPPING desserts I can't decide between them all.  The party is Saturday; I'll let you know how it POPS.
And, so, yeah there's more ... so, my Emma graduates high school in a few weeks, and since I basically forgot about her older sister's graduation because I was opening Prairie Path Books on June 2, 2014 - Dave and I are throwing a guilty-gradparty for Emma! POP! We will have friends and family and food POP POP POP. Wait, I have ignored my landscaping since we opened the bookstore two years ago and it is, well, it's not on our landscaper's website that's for sure (POOP). I have not been an organized collector of Emma-Memorabilia, so the chances of a shrine to her high school career are nil (POOP), and horrors - Jenny and the Riddles can't come because her eldest graduates from college on that day (POOP POOP). On the other hand, even without a shrine, there is after all, EMMA — POP POP POP and the people that love her (plenty of POP), and heck - it might rain so that no one will go outside or notice my landscaping (pray for PLIP POP plenty o' raindrops)!! 
Why am I talking about parties and POP? Because this Saturday is National Independent Bookstore Day, which is a celebration of all the unique ways indies like PPB reflect the community and gather it into a tight hug. At first I was NOT feeling the POP for this party because it felt like I was trying to think of ideas for a celebration of ... myself.  So basically my party popcorn pot had no heat. 
In fact I felt awkwardly POP-less until I looked at even just the few days at PPB surrounding April 30th - the official Independent Bookstore Day. Because boy, every day is IBD at PPB, looky here: 
1. The other day, our Jenny performed what is for me her best book dramatization yet - Diana Nyad's Find A Way, a simply staggering story of this 62-year old athlete's triumphant life, presented by PPB's own, one and only Jenny; 
2. Last week, Tucker and I were truly blessed to welcome 6 women, not a one who knew each other when the event started, to our Simply Scratch cooking demonstration. In our chopping, tasting and chatting, we somehow each shared our stories in such a personal way that tears were shed and hugs exchanged, plus calls for a reunion (have I mentioned lately that I LOVE my job?); 
3. Sunday, we invited Glen Ellyn's independent store owner Gretchen, from Out On A Whim pottery painting, to lead folks in making one-of-a-kind gifts for their loved ones.  See what we did there -  we brought two neighboring indies together to warm the community via our joyful jobs; 

4. Thursday night the 28th, Jenny and I will host our monthly Evening Book Club, celebrating one of our best reads of the year, Thomas Murphy, PLUS we will welcome one of our favorite people to the discussion, the gentle, brilliant and generous John Wilson who is the nationally recognized editor of "Books & Culture", and writer of works for the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the National Review. We love it that John walks to our store every Saturday with his Starbucks and wife Wendy - lucky us; 
See how we do stuff every day to just plain celebrate our community? It's not a one day gig. 

NOW FOR YOUR POPPING PLANS for TUESDAY NIGHT, MAY 3rd: Starting at 6:30 p.m., you will be here helping PPB celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with a fabulous author visit and book-signing! We are honored to welcome Wheaton's Karen Halvorsen Schreck for a big party-launch for her new novel: Broken Ground. This is Karen's fourth novel, and it's delicious historical fiction centered on a young widow who leaves her Oklahoma home during the Depression to seek a new life, starting with college in California. Or, that's the plan ... of course her journey is interrupted, and that's where the story really begins to pop. Karen grew up here-by.  She memorized the Wheaton Public Library as a kid, wrote some of her novels there, and works there now.  She is a home-grown huge success:  Broken Ground is a FIVE STAR read according to GoodReads (WOWSER POPs). So let's raise a glass and POP some corn for her success, and to the spirit of independent bookstores! See you here, please call the store (630-765-7455)or email your RSVP.