Wednesday, Nov 20 2013 04:48 PM

A little fun, a little play, a little shopping Friday

BY STEFANI DIAS Californian assistant lifestyles editor sdias@bakersfield.com

If the thought of shopping on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving evening) sends shivers down your spine, consider the upcoming Discovery Friday event. Barnes & Noble is offering a jump on holiday shopping Friday with a day of activities and giveaways for the whole family along with the expected shopping opportunities.

The event is the first of its kind for the bookseller, according to local community relations manager Cody Meek.

Related Info

Discovery Friday

When: Friday; giveaways and activities throughout the day, storytimes at 10 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m., signing with "Joshua Dread" author Lee Bacon at 6 p.m.

Where: Barnes & Noble, 4001 California Ave.

Information: 631-2575

Meek offered some suggestions for the tough-to-buy-for on your gift list:

For the movie buff -- "We have a great sale on arthouse films, including the entire Criterion Collection right now. ... I recently picked up a beautiful edition of the original 'Godzilla' from 1954 with special features and a pop-up Godzilla in the cover."

For game lovers -- "The card game Quiddler is one of my favorites. This mix of Rummy and Scrabble is quick to learn, easy to play, and a lot of fun. I've played it with everyone from young cousins to grandparents to college friends, and everyone has a great time. ... Great as a gift, even better to keep on hand for after Thanksgiving dinner.

"Settlers of Catan is a more complicated game, but its a great introduction to European-style board games and an antidote to fighting with your whole family after three hours of Monopoly stalemate tension."

For adventurous readers -- "The new title "S." -- written by J.J. Abrams -- is a really cool love letter to printed books disguised as a mystery title within a novel. Sounds confusing, but fans of other Abrams works like 'Lost' and 'Fringe' will be right at home."

SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER

"We're really trying to make it an antidote to all the craziness that holiday shopping entails. ... It can be hard to decide on a present, especially where there are so many new books, movies, music, releases all the time. We have really knowledgeable booksellers that can help you out."

Among Friday's offerings are games to play in the cafe, storytimes in the children's area, book signing by Lee Bacon and giveaways, which will be staggered throughout the day.

Bacon, author of the "Joshua Dread" series, has been to Bakersfield before (his mother lives here) and Meek said he uses his visits to engage young fans about his young superhero tale.

"He comes in and volunteers to talk at the schools about being an author. ... The second in the series just came out. They're really fun books."

There will be giveaways for readers of all ages, with posters, temporary tattoos, stickers and more from the following series: Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Heroes of Olympus and The Fifth Wave.

Fans of a certain A&E reality TV show -- and the book empire it has spawned -- also will have a reason to stop in for a photo op with a cardboard beard.

"I don't watch 'Duck Dynasty,' but I know it's super popular. ... Everyone will be able to pose with the beards for a photo with their friends and family. Our resident 'Duck Dynasty' expert will be manning the table to advise customers about all the different products available. "

Activities include LEGO Chima races at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., and "Every Reader is a Writer," which encourages people to start their own story.

"That one should be really neat because it's different from the other ones. ... Moleskine is just giving us some journals to give away. They're providing us with writing prompts, encouraging them to write about something and post them online. Writing is something that people don't normally do for fun."

For young children, there will be three storytime events, ending with "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition" at 7 p.m. "Elf" activities include a readalong, coloring and a book giveaway.

With so much planned, Meek said he's looking forward to the event.

"I'm really excited for the day. It's going to be really busy but fun."

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