Bookmans - Star Wars

As I’ve grown more involved in local geek activity here in the valley, I’ve found a common string running through a lot of the events going on.

At almost every big geek event (and even some small ones) that you might attend here in Phoenix, you’re more than likely to find a “Sponsored by Bookmans” sign somewhere.

So who’s to blame for this giant source of nerdy awesomeness? Who’s working behind the scenes to help make so many of these fun things possible?

Her name is Lori Whipple – and when it comes to geek culture, she’s one of the best friends Arizona has.

And she’s right here with us tonight, folks! [Applause] So lets give a big Lightning Octopus Welcome to Looooooriiii Whiiiiiiiple!!!

Bookmans - Lori

[Big applause!]

Alright, first of all – is it Bookmans or Bookman’s? I never know what to type.

It was Bookman’s for a long time, but we changed it a few years ago to Bookmans.

Mostly because it is a name, not something that belongs to  “Bookman.”

So says our Intergalactic Overlord.

Tell us what your role is with Bookmans and events.

At Bookmans, I am the Community Relations Coordinator for our Mesa &  Phoenix locations. I work with a team of geek-seeking robots to find out the coolest events to plan. Back on Planet Earth I have an awesome Events Liaison in each location, and we work together on planning events that our customers are interested in.

Our focus is always our customers, because they are the ones who create the flow for us.

If someone wants to work with Bookmans on an event, would they contact you then?

Absolutely! We are always seeking new groups, personalities, and ideas to add to the mix. Remember, resistance is futile!

All joking aside, my e-mail is loriw [at]

So why does Bookmans sponsor so many local pop-culture events?

Like I said before, we go where our customers are. Our employees are  pop-culture junkies. Bookmans encompasses so many product types and our customers are just as eclectic as we are. It’s fun to find a new way to share our core values as a company with our audience.

Bookmans - Beat The Geek

What do you go over when considering sponsoring/hosting an event?

There are so many things to consider when taking on a new sponsorship, or as I call them, adventures: How does this relate to us as a company? Will this event or group benefit from our business? Will our customers enjoy this? Will everyone look at me like I’m a nut for even considering this?

This last part happens more than you can imagine. 😉

What are some regular events at your stores that local geeks might find interesting?

In my humble opinion we have so many cool free events at our stores, it’s hard to pick just one.

I’m a geek of all trades and I consider everything from crafts to movies in my geekdom. Personally, I’m heavily involved with the Arizona Browncoats and we host a shindig on the first Saturday of every month at our Phoenix  location.

The Zombie Research Society, The Phoenix Lament, and Medieval Skills in the Modern World all meet in Phoenix.

We have a Banned Book Club, Craft Meetups, and live music. The Mesa Cafe is a fun new space to work events around, we are looking for a host for a board game or table-top RPG night, so e-mail me if you’re interested!

We must not forget about our annual video game challenges as well!

Bookmans - Zombie Research Society

What is the nerdiest event you’ve been a part of with Bookmans?

What does it mean that I find this incredibly difficult to answer? I have to pick just one?

(Plus, most nerd events don’t know they are “nerdy” so I would hate to offend anyone! Just kidding.)

I’ve been a part of everything from the International Horror & SciFi Film Festival to the Devastation Gaming Event & Expo.

Can’t Stop The Serenity is a hugely geek event. As an Arizona Browncoat, I was proud we were voted “Best Geeks With A Cause” by the Phoenix New Times in 2009.

Bookmans - Arizona Ghostbusters

Well, with all those books around you all day, what are you currently reading?

Hi, my name is Lori and I am a Nerdfighter! I am a huge John Green fan, so I am currently reading Paper Towns.

I have this terrible habit of reading multiple books at the same time so you can add The Passage and Never Let Me Go to that list as well.

PS – Bookmans wants to thank Lighting Octopus for being a shiny can of  awesomesauce for the Greater Phoenix Geek Community!

And a bigger thanks to Lori! Keep the fun coming.

Follow Bookmans on Twitter, Facebook, and check out their extensive photos on Flickr.