The Blue Marble, a children’s bookstore located in Ft. Thomas, Ky., in the Greater Cincinnati metro area, celebrated its 30th anniversary with an in-store celebration Saturday, June 20 that brought in 150—200 customers. Seventeen local authors and illustrators—Marie Bradby, Mary Kay Carson, E. Charlton-Trujillo, John Fleischman, Will Hillenbrand, Kaza Kingsley, Barbara Libby, Loren Long, Edith Pattou, Linda Sanders-Wells, Tamara Schmitz, Ellen Schreiber, Anne Shelby, Linda Leopold Strauss, Christina Wald, Connie Wooldridge and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer—spent the day mingling with customers, who received a 30% discount on the purchase of any books written or illustrated by them. The daylong celebration culminated in a catered dinner at the store for 60 people, including the day’s featured authors, past and present store employees, a few sales reps, and friends of the store from the community.
Will Hillenbrand signing books at the Blue Marble.
“People dropped off gifts of food, flowers, and wine all day, and reflected on their relationships over the years with Blue Marble,” bookseller Tish Gayle commented later. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer donated to the store the jean jacket her sister had made for her to wear during her bookstore and school visits promoting her novel Reaching for Sun, and illustrator Will Hillenbrand gave the store a painting of the storefront that he’d created on a slate tile.
The Blue Marble was founded in 1979 by Tina Moore, in a 900-square-foot space. In 2004, after Tina suffered a stroke that affected her speech, her husband, Peter, a retired mathematics professor, assumed the management of the store, which contains an inventory of 30,000 titles in a 3,500-square-foot retail space. The store currently employs six people, besides the Moores.