Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Winner Is

I arrived at the bookstore this morning and found a copy of the just-released New Times "Best of Phoenix" awards on my desk. After blinking for a moment at the issue's befuddling cover and then thumbing past citations for "Best Bathroom" (Geisha A Go Go), "Best Place to Dress Like a Freak" (Easley's Fun Shop), "Best Local Law Firm Commercials" (Lerner & Rowe), and my personal favorite, "Best Bygone Theme Park" (Legend City, where I once barfed on the Krazy Kups), I discovered that Changing Hands has again won the award for "Best Bookstore."

Here's the entry:

Bookstores may be a dime a dozen (the way novels used to be), but there's something priceless about Changing Hands Bookstore, the independently owned Tempe shop that's become a Valley destination for book lovers, shopaholics, and DIY types. Along with a stunning selection of new and used reads -- many displayed with insightful comments from bibliophile employees -- Changing Hands hosts more public speaking events and book-signings than any other bookstore in the Valley.

Renowned physicist Michio Kaku and bestselling author Stephenie Meyer are just two big names to make recent appearances. In addition, there's a multitude of other interesting events on the Changing Hands calendar, from writing workshops and crafting groups to toddler-parent yoga. Besides books, the gift section has a well-edited variety of quirky finds.

Who can resist a crisp new journal, some exotic incense, or maybe a goofy Blackbeard action figure? Every aisle here is full of temptation. And as a bonus, you can waltz right into Wildflower Bread Co. when you're ready to sip some espresso and ogle the goodies you just bought. We'd probably live at Changing Hands if we could, but then they might just put us to work.

And lest you think the good folks at New Times are -- to borrow a phrase from a certain local presidential nominee -- "in the tank" for Changing Hands, consider this: We also won the Readers' Choice award.

A million thanks to New Times for the award love, and to our customers for voting us into the top spot again this year.


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Tempe, Arizona, United States