Local bestsellers for '99.
Congress Avenue Booksellers
1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden; 2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling; 3. Gypsy Songman by Jerry Jeff Walker; 4. Texas Cattle Barons: Their Families, Land, and Legacy by Kathleen Jo Ryan, foreword by Elmer Kelton; 5. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt; 6. Texas State Directory; 7. Texas Legislative Handbook; 8. Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond; 9. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom; 10. Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900 by James C. Martin and Robert Sidney Martin
Cliff Taylor, book buyer: "In the past few years, I've been trying to build up our Texana section. It's pretty much a conscious effort by everybody, like the Texas Cattle Barons and Texas State Directory. We're right close to the Capitol, so that really sells it right there. I think what really set off the Texas Cattle Barons -- we just bought many copies and actually Eleanor [Cochran, store owner] went up to San Angelo and had them signed [by Elmer Kelton]."
Dragon's Lair Comics and Fantasy
1. Tom Strong; 2. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (issue 1); 3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (issue 3); 4. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (issue 2); 5. Wildcats; 6. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (issue 4); 7. Battle Chasers; 8. Kurt Busiek's Astro City (volume 2, issue 20); 9. Kurt Busiek's Astro City (volume 2, issue 19); 10. Danger Girl
David Wheeler, owner: "I guess it may sound like everyone would say that their clientele is more erudite, but I really do have a much better-educated clientele than most places. ... For instance, when Sandman was coming out, I sold more Sandman than X-Men, and that's unusual nationwide -- it's more story-driven than art- and violence-driven, I'd say."
Toad Hall Children's Bookstore
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (hardback); 2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (paperback); 3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling; 4. Goodnight Moon (board book)* by Margaret Wise Brown; 5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling; 6. Fuzzy Yellow Duckling by Matthew Van Fleet; 7. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt; 8. Holes by Louis Sachar; 9. Moo Baa La La La (board book) by Sandra Boynton; 10. Barn Yard Dance (board book) by Sandra Boynton
* A board book is constructed of stiff cardboard pages to prevent destruction by young readers.
Barbara Thomas, owner: "We read the Harry Potter books in galley form and were telling our customers, 'You're not going to believe this book that's coming out' before it hits the bestsellers list. ... And now people are coming in and saying, 'Okay, you told me Harry Potter was good, you got my kid reading, what's going to keep him reading? What else is good?' And it takes a conversation and talking about what was it that you liked about that book ... it takes talking to the child and finding out what was it that appealed to them about that special book that you could then recommend. That's what we've been doing steadily through the Christmas season and after Christmas."