Author: Todd W

Discovering 锦绣未央, “The Princess Weiyoung” | Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise, Reel Chat on 24 Mar by Todd W

On my vacation recently, I forgot to stock up on new Manga. I was in desperate need of a new book, movie or TV series to binge. I have a great love of period dramas of all types, but it had been a while since I had found one that really captured my imagination. In researching this years Chinese New Year, I came across a random post of gorgeous historical Chinese costumes on Tumblr, I was then turned on to the Chinese drama Princess Weiyoung. It is inspired from the novel The Poisonous Daughter (庶女有毒) by Qin Jian.

The story of Princess Weiyoung begins with the Princess of Northern Liang escaping death as her entire family is slaughtered by the Chiyun clan of Northern Wei, her father having been framed for rebelling against the Emperor. She takes on the persona of Li Weiyoung, the estranged illegitimate daughter of the Prime Minister of Northern Wei, in order to infiltrate their clan and take vengeance upon those responsible for the death of her family.

Princess Weiyoung

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Celebrate #allthingsart with Mesa’s Local Art and Craft Fair | Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores on 23 Mar by Todd W

With it being the month of March, what first comes to mind? Is it March Madness? The Ides Of March? St. Patrick’s Day? To us, it means all things art. Art, and crafts are such an integral part of our everyday lives. The East Valley is full of such a wide array of diverse artists, we thought what better time to showcase some of this talent by bringing them to you. On March 25th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, local artists from around the valley will be in our Mesa location selling their unique art. Interactive tables will open up opportunities to discuss and learn various techniques with local artists, try your hand at something completely new or finally try out that new craft idea you’ve been putting off and best of all give a chance to network with others who love what you love.

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Get Active at Gilbert’s Ka-Pow! Superhero Adventure Run | Bookmans

Posted in Community Events on 22 Mar by Todd W

Attention Super Heroes of all ages!

Don your capes because…

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It…it…it could be YOU!

Superheroes? Capes? Adventure Runs? What is this craziness that we speak of? We assure you, future saviors of the world, it’s no dream. Nestled deep within the greenery and tennis courts known as The City of Gilbert’s Freestone Park, lies a top secret headquarters rumored to house one of the “Most Awesomely Impressive Superhero Training Courses Ever Imagined!”


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Ticket Tuesday Giveaway: Winneth Tickets to Arizona Ren Fest | Bookmans

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Uncategorized on 28 Feb by Todd W

***Contest Closed***

**Heareth ye, heareth ye all bookmans fans beholdeth! A contest liketh nay oth’r we presenteth f’r thee. Looking f’r an uplifting valorous timeth? It’s easy! Taketh a trippeth backeth in timeth to the wildly popular and ent’rtaining Arizona Renaissance Festival. Ent’r the w’rld of kings, queens, knights and mermaids.. Locat’d at 12601 e. Us highway 60 gold canyon az 85118. The annual faire begins at 10 am ev’ry Saturday, Sunday, and on Presidents’ Day Monday, from February 11th thru April 2nd.

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Food, Shows & Crafts, Oh My! Arizona Renaissance Festival | Bookmans Recommends

Posted in Community Events on 21 Feb by Todd W

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is one of my annual “must go” local events. I’ve been going to the Renaissance Festival since I was in high school and it was the first geeky event I ever attended, long before I started going to Phoenix Comicon. The Renaissance Festival is also accredited with sparking my interest in cosplay. I made my first costume, a purple cloak out of crushed velvet, for the Renaissance Festival nearly ten years ago. Years later I eventually went all out and made a full on Elizabethan gown which ended up being a hit at the festival. Bookmans is very happy to partner with them again this year.

While there are tons of things to look forward to at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, here are a few things I particularly love to experience every time I go:

The food.
The Arizona Renaissance Festival is most known for its smoked turkey legs and copious amounts of beer, however my particular favorites are the Steak on a Stick (a thick piece of tender steak on a stick), dessert crepes and funnel cakes, and the numerous variety of pastries at the Cottage Bakery which is conveniently located right at the entrance of the festival.

This year I stopped by the Cottage Bakery for a delicious sticky bun for breakfast, along with some coffee from the Cappuccino Inn (always nice to have on a cool, cloudy and potentially rainy day). Later in the afternoon, I munched on some fish and chips from the Queen’s Kitchen. I also make it a point every year to chase down the pickle guy who always has a bucket of crunchy, ice cold pickles which are especially refreshing after a beer, although this year it was a pickle lady.

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Love Of Reading: My Bromance with Andre Norton’s “Outside” | Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise on 09 Feb by Todd W

February may be our Love of Reading month but face it who doesn’t love books ALL the time? Everything from the cover art, to the feel of holding the book in your hands, to turning that page. Nothing truly compares to (or has that smell), quite like a book. This is the true story of a sometimes book collector.

Hi, My name is Todd and I am a nostalgic reader…

I was recently reminded of how much I actually do enjoy a good book. I don’t consider myself a “Bookie” by any means. But I do love nostalgia. As an adult, I lean toward collecting those forgotten or hidden gems I had found as a youngster. Everytime I re-read one of these text ridden treasures, I am instantly taken back to the time and place of where I originally read it and that excitement floods through me all over again.

Recently, one of our long time customers brought in a large amount of books for trade. Some newer, some vintage. A great collection that had just a little bit of every genre in it. As we were going through the piles of books, from the middle of one of the piles, I pull out a light blue hardcover book and noticed the name Andre Norton. My heart jumped. There it was! My absolute favorite book as a child. I couldn’t believe it. A story I had read over and over again.  A tale originally my third grade English/Science teacher made us read. It was a tale set in the future, yet seemed in the present. It touched on a very real reality that was as scary and even worse now. The subject of  Pollution.

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Bookmans Giveaway: Free Float at True REST Float Spa in Gilbert | Bookmans

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 24 Jan by Todd W

It’s Giveaway time at Bookmans!

The holiday stress is over, the elections have ended, and a brand new year is just beginning! Discover all the potential and possibility of 2017 at Bookmans Mesa. This is the perfect time to set ambitious resolutions, try unfamiliar things and reevaluate lofty goals. But remember to put that special someone first – YOU! We celebrate Jan-YOU-Ary by helping you get motivated, all throughout Jan-YOU-ary, we want to encourage you to get out and try something new!#TreatYoSelf!

How can we help YOU?  Stop in Bookmans Mesa anytime between now and JanYOUary 31st and enter to win a gift card good for one free hour float at True REST Float Spa in Gilbert.

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Enjoy JanYOUary With The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron | Bookmans

Posted in Bookie Blog, In Our Stores, Merchandise on 20 Jan by Todd W

If your 2016 resulted in a longest period of artist block good thing 2017 is here and seems to want to stay and JanYOUary is off to a brilliant start. During the latter half of 2016 I had been creatively trapped behind a seemingly insurmountable wall and now that the year is over it’s time to shake the dust off my creative engine and give it a kickstart. To do this, I am turning to my favorite inspirational book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

I originally came across this book over a decade ago when I was still struggling to find some sort of outlet for my creativity but was unsure which direction I should go. The Artist’s Way taught me that the creative process is a reward in and of itself and when you divorce yourself from needing to produce something perfect and instead give yourself over to the shear joy of creating, you not only create more often and regularly, but you create better and with a greater sense of direction.


It’s one of the ironies of the creative process that the more you focus on perfection and trying to get something right, the less likely you are to create something of quality that you can be happy with. If you let go of the need for perfection and instead focus on the process, the experience is far more rewarding and the results often end up better than you expect. Quantity not quality is one of the major sayings of the book. It’s more important to create often and regularly than to get hung up on perfection. Read More…

Bookmans Giveaway: Tix To Arizona Ren Fest (JanYOUary 15-21)

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, In Our Stores on 17 Jan by Todd W

Huzzah! It’s JanYOUary! Chilvary is alive and well! If you are in the market to try something different this month, stop in store anytime between JanYOUary 15th and the 21st to enter to win tickets to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. The ultimate 16th-century European fantasy village, is complete with royal court, dueling knights, an artisan marketplace, singing minstrels, mermaids, gypsies, torture chambers, animals and MORE!


What do these passes include? Free parking, all entertainment shows, including the Tournament Jousting and Birds of Prey show. You may choose to purchase arts and crafts items, food or beverage, or enjoy some rides and games (costs vary). Read More…

Bookmans Giveaway: Now Through JanYOUary 14th – Admission to MIM and a Ukulele

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Merchandise on 09 Jan by Todd W

The holidays may be over, but a brand new year is just beginning! Discover all the potential and possibility of 2017 at Mesa Bookmans. This is the perfect time to set ambitious resolutions, try unfamiliar things and reevaluate lofty goals. But remember to put that special someone first – YOU! We celebrate Jan-YOU-Ary by helping you get motivated, all throughout Jan-YOU-ary, we want to encourage you to get out and try something new!#TreatYoSelf!

How can we help YOU?  Stop in Bookmans Mesa anytime between NOW and JanYOUary 14th and enter to win Admission to The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) and a Brand New UKULELE! One lucky winner will win both!


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Bookmans Recommends: Critical Role by C’loni Bailey

Posted in Merchandise, Play: A Gamer's Blog, Reel Chat on 05 Jan by Todd W

The creeping crud has been going around and I spent the last week bedridden with little to do but watch videos on my phone. Fortunately for me, a week in bed is the perfect amount of time to catch up on my current geeky addiction, “Critical Role”.

critical role

For the uninitiated, Critical Role is a show on Geek and Sundry that features famous voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon Mastered by Matthew Mercer, the voice of McCree in Overwatch and huge D&D enthusiast, he and a group of his voice actor friends play through his original campaign every Thursday. The main cast features Liam O’Brien (Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft), Laura Bailey (Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft), Travis Willingham (Thor in Avengers Assemble animated series), Sam Reigel (Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series), Taliesin Jaffe (Blanka in Street Fighter IV), Ashley Johnson (Patterson in Blindspot), and Marisha Ray (Batgirl in Batgirl: Spoiled). In addition to the regular cast, the show also often features many famous guest players such as The Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss, Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, and many more. Read More…

Bookmans Recommends Post Apocalyptic Gifts to Fill Stockings This Season

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise on 19 Dec by Todd W

If you are stuck trying to find the perfect gifts for your favorite survivalist out there, we have a couple of our favorite survival movies to help you out and stuff the stockings of your apocalyptic junkies and that are sure to get them gleaming under the tree.

“The Road” is about a father and his son trying to survive long enough to make it to a safe space in a post-apocalyptic world. The Man, played by Viggo Mortensen, and the Boy, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, experience a very realistic and probable lifestyle in a world of this nature. The Man is a very effective protector and takes as few chances as possible in order to keep his son alive. Together the Man and the Boy travel south through the United States, starting presumably in Pennsylvania. Throughout their travels, the pair endures very honest and probable situations such as weather, food, and defense.


The film is shot very well. The cinematography is simplistic and honest. The camera work excellently fits the situation the characters are currently experiencing. Whether it is a playful or calm setting, the camera work stays either static, or with minimal movement. Any intense shifts in camera or lighting styles are motivated by situation our characters are in.

We would recommend this film to any post-apocalyptic junkie or someone who would enjoy a genuine drama within a genre that is usually over saturated with action and unnecessary stunt work. The film does an excellent job developing the characters, showing the growth of the boy as he learns from his father, and depicting an accurate portrayal of how the average person would most likely experience life after the apocalypse. Gifts for your cousins Chris and Jessie, check.  Read More…

Bookmans Recommends: Elder Scrolls Online: One Tamriel

Posted in Play: A Gamer's Blog on 13 Dec by Todd W

If you’re anything like me you’ve had an ongoing obsession with The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for the past five years and with good reason. Skyrim was a fantastic open world game with plenty of lore to engulf even the most staunch lore hound and a world massive enough to capture your attention for years to come. I played a bit of Oblivion before getting sucked into Skyrim, so I had great expectations when Bethesda and Zenimax teamed up to make The Elder Scrolls universe into an MMORPG. I have a weakness for online RPGs and the idea that one of my favorite game worlds was going multiplayer got me really excited!

elder scrolls

Unfortunately, upon participating in the beta just before the game’s launch in April 2014, I found myself feeling anything but thrilled. The world of Tamriel felt strangely small and restrictive, with favorite zones out of reach until much higher levels. The questing felt too linear for an Elder Scrolls game and the crafting was confusing. All in all, it felt like much of what made Skyrim and the other Elder Scrolls games feel so special, that go-anywhere-do-anything style of gameplay, was sorely missing from The Elder Scrolls Online. Upon release, I decided not the purchase the game after all and promptly forgot about it. Read More…

Freebie Friday – Tickets to The Musical Instrument Museum & Ukulele

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 25 Nov by Todd W

***Contest Closed***

As part of our belief that it pays to shop local, each and every Friday this November Bookmans Mesa hosts a Shop Local, Give Local Freebie Friday contest. This series showcases a local business each Friday and offers you a chance to experience parts of Mesa and the East Valley that deserve a broader audience. Our first week took us to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, our second week we traveled to Downtown Mesa and our third week to Flancers in Gilbert. Four our finale Freebie Friday giveaway we bring you tickets to MIM!

Did you know that we sell musical instruments? We do, and this last Freebie Friday giveaway (of this particular series) takes us over to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area to the Musical Instrument Museum. “M.I.M displays more than 6,500 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. Most displays are enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and video technologies that allow guests to see the instruments, hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original contexts – performances that are often as spectacular as the instruments themselves. What’s more, all guests are invited to play instruments from around the world in the Experience Gallery. They can also see instruments from music icons such as John Lennon, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Carlos Santana, and many more in the Artist Gallery.”

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Freebie Friday: Dinner at Flancer’s in Gilbert Compliments of Bookmans

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 18 Nov by Todd W

***Contest Closed***

As part of our belief that it pays to shop local, each and every Friday this November Bookmans Mesa hosts a Shop Local, Give Local Freebie Friday contest. This series showcases a local business each Friday and offers you a chance to experience parts of Mesa and the East Valley that deserve a broader audience. Our first week took us to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe and our second week we traveled to Downtown Mesa.

This week we head over to Gilbert where we find the home of Flancer’s Gourmet Grub. Where “if you have an appetite for succulent, fresh food, it’s available today at Flancer’s Restaurant.”

freebie friday Read More…

Bookmans “Spotlight On Sound” Music Series: Michael Elijah

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise on 17 Nov by Todd W

Our “Spotlight On Sound” series is a live bi-monthly music series started in 2015 by Bookmans Mesa. It’s original conception was to showcase local Music talent from around the East Valley area. On November 18th at 6:30pm we will be celebrating our one year anniversary with an extraordinary R&B musician. Mr. Michael Elijah.


Michael was born in Muskegon Heights, Michigan (the great city of friendly people). Muskegon Heights is located in Southwest Michigan on Lake Michigan. Some of his favorite memories include the feel of sand between his toes as he would dive into the cool waters of Lake Michigan. He was born into a musical family where his dad would gather his brothers and him around and they would enjoy all of the Motown hits, especially the Temptations. The Temptation’s were his father’s favorite group. Read More…

Freebie Friday Series: Shop Local In Downtown Mesa – Bookmans

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 11 Nov by Todd W

***Contest Closed***

As part of our belief that it pays to shop local, each and every Friday this November Bookmans Mesa hosts a Shop Local, Give Local Freebie Friday contest. This series showcases a local business each Friday and offers you a chance to experience parts of Mesa and the East Valley that deserve a broader audience. Last week took us to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.

This week takes us to beautiful Downtown Mesa where we are VERY excited to offer you a chance to #shoplocal in Downtown Mesa! We currently have $30.00 in gift cards to help you do just that! With over 100 participating businesses, from restaurants, to museums, to auto shops, recipients will get exactly what they want. These gift cards are perfect for out-of-town visitors or anyone who wants to discover and enjoy the Downtown area.

Freebie Friday

To enter this Freebie Friday giveaway, use our comment section to answer the following question: Read More…

Bookmans’ #40YearsOfFun: Unveiling The Second Prize Pack

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 09 Nov by Todd W

In case you missed our first Prize Pack unveiling, Amy C. from Bookmans Phoenix states it the best, “By now you have heard about, or at least seen, all of our fabulous tweets, posts and images across our social media feeds celebrating Bookmans’ 40 Years of Fun. You may be wondering what it’s all about…so don’t you worry, we are here to not only give you all of the epic details, but to reveal one of our prize packs that you can win! Yes, you heard that right, prize packS, plural.” (One from each store, in fact.)


We truly do love everyone that comes through our doors. Whether you are a 10-year regular or a first timer. We love you all and want you to help us celebrate the last 40 years together. As our way to say ‘thank you’ we have created this super-awesome interactive social media contest! Read More…

In case you missed it…NaNoWriMo 2016! Bookmans loves words!

Posted in Bookie Blog, In Our Stores on 07 Nov by Todd W

In case you missed it…

It’s that time again! The 17th Annual NaNoWriMo writing marathon is right around the corner. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is an annual writing marathon that runs throughout the month of November. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days which began at 12:00 a.m. on November 1 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Whether you are an aspiring novelist or someone who hasn’t written a sentence outside of high school English class, NaNoWriMo encourages anyone and everyone to participate. Genre, quality, and experience don’t matter. The point is to get yourself writing as much as possible for 30 days.

Not sure how to prepare to take on a challenge like this? NaNoWriMo creator, Chris Baty, wrote the book, No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, to motivate NaNo participants and other writers to stop stressing and get writing. The official website has numerous resources to inspire writers including writing tips, coaches, and community forums. The only rules to NaNoWriMo is that it has to be a novel and you can’t start writing it until November 1st.



Here are a few tips to help you reach your word goal:

Get ahead on your word count during the first week.
Writing 50,000 words in 30 days may seem like an impossible feat, but when you break it down it averages to about 1,667 words a day or 2-3 hours of writing a day. If you start early and strong and get ahead of your daily word count the during first week while your enthusiasm is high, it will help make up for falling behind in the third or fourth week which will inevitably happen as your enthusiasm starts to wane.

Attend or host writing meet-ups.
Writing with other writers may not seem like it would be very helpful when you’re all writing different stories, but having others around you can actually help keep your own creative momentum going. Other writers can give you suggestions and ideas for settings, names, and even plot points if you find yourself feeling stuck.

There are “official” local NaNoWriMo meet-ups organized by Municipal Liaisons (ML) which are posted in the local forums on, or if you can convince a few friends to try Nano with you, you can create your own writing group. My writing group, Plot Hunters, meets once a week at a local coffee shop for a couple of hours of writing and it’s extremely helpful in encouraging me to keep writing no matter how hard it gets.

This is going to be really hard for some of you, but it’s very important that you don’t waste precious marathon hours going back over what you’ve already written and editing. There will be plenty of time after the marathon is over to fix things. The point of NaNoWriMo is to get to 50,000 words, not necessarily 50,000 well-written words. The quality doesn’t matter. You’re just trying to get down as much of the story as possible in 30 days.

Accept that your story is going to be crap.
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional novelist, your NaNoWriMo story is probably going to suck. That doesn’t mean you should give up doing it. The success of running a marathon has less to do with finishing first than it does with finishing at all, and NaNoWriMo is no different. The goal is to challenge yourself to finish, not to worry about the quality. If you finish the marathon and decide you actually like your story, you’ll have plenty of time to edit it after. For now, JUST WRITE!

Ready to get started? Sign up at to track your word count as you go, see how well your fellow writers and friends are doing, submit your completed novel for word count verification, and browse the forums to see what events your local ML’s have cooked up to help you get to 50,000 words!


Freebie Friday Series: Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe Arizona

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, In Our Stores on 04 Nov by Todd W

As part of our belief that it pays to shop local, each and every Friday this November Bookmans Mesa hosts a Shop Local, Give Local Freebie Friday contest. This series showcases a local business each Friday and offers you a chance to experience parts of Mesa and the East Valley that deserve a broader audience. This first week takes us to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.


four peaks


“Four Peaks Brewery is an Arizona brewery and restaurant. The original and main location is in an old creamery and warehouse on 8th Street in Tempe, Arizona, about 1/2 mile east of the campus of Arizona State University. Nearby Scottsdale, Arizona boasts an additional location, and, in response to high demand (nearly 40,000 barrels in 2012 alone), another Tempe brewing site opened in the summer of 2012. The Tempe site was selected following a review of 25 potential sites, including the famed Sunkist facility in Mesa, Arizona and numerous warehouses in downtown Phoenix.” Read More…

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