We’re gearing up for Thanksgiving here in the US (umm, tomorrow already? Guess I’ll be going to the grocery store as soon as this note is written). This year, I have a lot to be thankful for, including another year of this blog and the enthusiasm of all of you who follow it. Hard to believe that Camino Times Two is four years old this month! (Check out the very first post from November 2015: The Itch to Write.)
And Walking to the End of the World is already a year old!
Of course, right after Thanksgiving, the day when we fill ourselves with food and family time, is The First Official Holiday Shopping Weekend.
There’s Black Friday, when big crowds break down the doors of big retailers to buy big televisions and toys. There’s Cyber Monday, when (the theory goes) office workers go back to work after the holiday weekend and do their big online shopping at the big online retailers.
And then, tucked in between, is something small: Shop Small Saturday is a semi-organized event that encourages people to visit the small businesses in their communities—the ones that are owned by your neighbors.
I’m not a fan of the Big Days, but I love any event that encourages people to support their community retail centers… especially (of course) the ones that sell books. One of my absolute favorite things about releasing a book has been the chance to tour some of the best local bookstores and travel stores across the country, from Village Books in Bellingham, WA, to Malaprops in Asheville, NC; and from Powell’s in Portland OR to Sherman’s Books in Portland, ME. I met so many people who dedicate their lives to helping their neighbors find just the right books. And I want to support them.
So while I have never, ever written a blog specifically suggesting that you buy my book (and I promise not to make it a habit), I’m going to do it once and see what happens.
Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino de Santiago is my story of walking with my husband Eric from Le Puy, France, to Finisterre, Spain in 2015. I call it a travel guide masquerading as a memoir, because I wrote it not to unravel my own life, but to inspire other people like me—the ones who think they’re “not the type” for a big outdoor adventure—to see themselves in a different way. It’s funny and hopeful, and it makes a great holiday gift for those armchair travelers and hiking enthusiasts alike in your life, including:
- Retired or soon-to-be-retired family members (almost 20% of Camino pilgrims are over 60)
- Francophile friends (this is one of the only books that describes walking the Way in France)
- Book club friends (lots of things to talk about in here, from marriage to risk-taking to FOOD!)
- Weekend hiking buddies (you know, the kind who aren’t going to hike the PCT, but love to be outside)
- Friends and coworkers and family who have walked some part of the Camino themselves (we love to re-visit our own experiences and to hear about others)
And because I want to support Shop Small, I’ll sweeten the pot a bit:
I’ve just picked up a new batch of these personalized bookplates, which I designed with a Camino-stamp style image of the scallop shell our very first host in Lyon gave Eric, and one of my favorite quotes from Eugene Fodor: “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.”
If you purchase a copy of Walking to the End of the World this weekend (preferably from an independently owned store), email me at bethjusino [@] gmail.com to send me your address and the name of your gift recipient, and I’ll mail you (for free) a personalized, autographed bookplate. Because the only thing better than giving a book, is giving an autographed book!
No independent bookstore in your community? You can still shop small…presses! If you order Walking to the End of the World from my publisher, Mountaineers Books, you’ll be supporting an independent press AND a nonprofit organization whose mission is encouraging more people to get outdoors.
Use the code GREATGIFTS to receive 25% off (that’s almost as good as what the big Everything Store is offering, and all of your funds go to good people).
Okay, now I’m off to the store for Thanksgiving supplies, and I’ll be back next week with #CaminoTuesday thoughts and probably at least one extra post about pilgrimage opportunities around the world, because ever since I got back from the Cheltenham Literature Festival, I’ve been exploring the trails and traditions of the UK. (That’s a hint for what’s coming in 2020, for those who stuck with me and are still reading…)
Thanks for being part of my journey!