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Present Tense Books

September 27, 2013 - 8:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Present Tense Books.

Present Tense books and gifts, on the corner of Washington and State, Batavia, will be closed as of Nov. 1, owner Erica Caldwell announced today in an e-mail to customers.

The store will start selling items at marked down prices on Oct. 8. Store fixtures will also be fore sale.

Here's a portion of the e-mail:

Present Tense could not have flourished for eight years without the help and support of many people:

  • YOU, our customers. It has been a privilege to provide books for you for these past eight years. We have enjoyed reading, talking, and sharing with you and treasure the many friendships we have made.
  • TERRI MARCHESE and MARCY RUBIN, my dependable, enthusiastic, book-loving sidekicks. Also, thank you to CHASITY MOORE, KELLY DUDLEY, and MARCIA GANN, who were willing to help out when needed.
  • MY FAMILY, especially my parents and sister, who spent quite a lot of time arranging, rearranging, hanging, shelving, fixing, proofreading, baking, and generally improvising to help me create the space and materials I envisioned for Present Tense. Thanks to my father-in-law for his willingness to put on a red suit and white beard every year for our Holiday Open House.
  • DARRICK COLEMAN, my husband, who was not only willing to let me try running an independent bookstore but has also been the one I call for all the worst jobs, like fixing the printers, hanging Christmas lights in high places in the freezing cold, correcting my endless bookkeeping errors, and once even donning the black robe and wig of Severus Snape. Malcolm Gladwell says that creative success is often highly contingent on the efforts of others, and that creative individuals’ stories are invariably love stories. That has certainly been the story of Present Tense.
November 17, 2012 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Present Tense Books.

Part of Santa's busy schedule in Batavia today was a stop at Present Tense Books on Washington Avenue. Pictured with Santa are Trey, 3, Quinn, 8, Lilyanna, 3, and Gunner, 2.

Below Santa holds a great Christmas gift idea -- the board game Bataviaopoly. The game was just released and is a fundraiser for the Zonta Club of Batavia. It's available for sale at Present Tense.

March 4, 2012 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, Present Tense Books.

Two brand-new writing workshops are being offered at Present Tense Books in Batavia.

Each two-hour session costs $17. They are:

  • Lessons in Enhancing Your Creative Abilities
  • STYLE: How to Develop Your Own Unique Writing Voice

These one-day workshops will be held Saturdays beginning March 31. The workshops are becoming very popular, and will fill up rapidly. Classes are limited to 12 participants, so sign up as soon as you can!

Students MUST register for the seminars by either entering their names on the registration site here:


Or by writing the instructor, Bob Comenole, directly at:

[email protected]

Lessons in Enhancing Your Creative Abilities

You want to think further "out of the box," to blow open every pigeon hole you encounter to generate novel and breathtaking ideas worthy of your craft, whatever that may be. This workshop is fueled by the notion that creativity is a skill that certainly can be learned and developed.

We will journey our way through various techniques of lateral thinking and innovation that will increase both your productivity and your sense of self-satisfaction. The tools acquired here can be applied equally to all, whether you are a poet, a potter, a Teamster, a business owner, a carpenter or just a die-hard doodler -- all in an approach that is relaxed and playful.

Style: How to Develop Your Own Unique Writing Voice

How to distinguish yourself from the hordes of other writers, most of them voiceless and indistinct? That is the question. This seminar is the launching point for the answer. We'll analyze techniques of the masters of our language to discover how they created moving and memorable voices. We'll then develop a set of our own tools, using an array of linguistic and rhetorical choices, to create a style that captures that voice within. This seminar fits the needs of writers in every genre.

The seminars offered by Present Tense Books are appropriate for beginners and seasoned professionals alike; there are no prerequisites for any of the workshops.

About the instructor...

For 20 years, Bob Comenole has taught writing, literature and communications at several colleges, including Miami University, Siena College, the State University of New York, and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.

He is the author of several books and is about to release his newest work "Perplexed by the Egg & Other Stories."

If you have further questions, call 1-315-685-1480 or email to: [email protected].

Present Tense Books is located at 101 Washington Ave. Phone is 815-7640 or visit on the web at www.presenttensebooks.com.

January 5, 2012 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, creative writing, Present Tense Books.

Present Tense Books in Batavia will offer four new creative writing courses during the winter semester, beginning at the end of this month.

They are:

  • Writing Memoir & Autobiography
  • Constructing Your Novel
  • The Art of the Short Story
  • Writing Poetry

Classes are held Saturdays at the bookstore, located at 101 Washington Ave. The morning class runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The afternoon class runs from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m.

Two five-week sessions of instruction will be offered:

  • Session I: Jan. 28 – Feb. 25
  • Session II: March 3 – 31

The fee for each course is $89 and includes individual conferences with the instructor, retired literature professor and regional novelist Bob Comenole.

The workshops are scheduled based on demand — that is, the first class to fill up will be the first taught, and so on. Participants will have the opportunity to express their preferences for which class time and which sessions they desire.

To register, please visit the registration site by clicking here:

Classes are limited to only 12 students, so sign up today!

They are designed for both beginning writers who wish to learn fundamental techniques and seasoned writers wishing to acquire more advanced skills; there are no prerequisites.

About the instructor: For more than 20 years Bob Comenole has taught writing, literature and communications at several colleges, including Miami University, Siena College, the State University of New York and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of "Bushel & Lamp" and the novella "The Long Night of Clement C. Craggogre" and has just completed work on a collection of short stories, "Perplexed by the Egg & Other Stories," as well as a collection of essays. He was also the producer of the children’s television series, StoryBrook.

To view what past students have said about the writing workshops,
visit: http://infinitelycurious.us/Waterline/students.html

For a description of each course, visit:


Call or visit the store for further details on the workshops or to sign up. Phone is 815-7640.


August 18, 2011 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Present Tense Books, Genesee Cash Mob.

It is "Genesee Cash Mob" day at Present Tense Books, on the corner of State and Washington.

The event, organized by Chris Charvella, is designed to encourage local residents to shop at local businesses. Each week -- this is the first week -- people nominate a local business to support for the day by spending at least $10 at the store. Present Tense won the first-round voting.

January 22, 2011 - 2:26pm


Local author Thomas Talbot, whose new novel "The Craft" is based on the disappearance of William Morgan, was at Present Tense today signing copies of his book.

September 18, 2010 - 11:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Present Tense Books.


For the literary-minded of Genesee County, Present Tense Books and Gifts at 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, has become an important community hub.

Owner Erica Caldwell opened the shop five years ago, on Sept. 17, 2005, because she thought Batavia needed a bookstore.

Today, the store officially celebrated its fifth anniversary and Caldwell said its success has exceeded her expectations.

"I’m thrilled that we made it five years," Caldwell said. "That’s a great milestone and I’m thrilled that we’ve gotten so much support from the community."

In an era of mega-chains, and now e-readers, there's plenty of competitive threats, but Caldwell said Present Tense has done well filling a quite little niche for the customer who prefers the bookstore experience and doesn't want to drive to Buffalo or Rochester to get it.

"You have no idea of the number of people who came in and thank us for saving them a trip," Caldwell said.

While it's a small shop, so there isn't the massive selection you might find in one of the mega-chains, there isn't anything Caldwell said she can't get for customers, often the next day and without any shipping costs.

For Caldwell, running the store isn't just about business success. She said one of the greatest joys is getting to know her customers.

"I enjoy talking with people about books," Caldwell said. "It's great to see all the people who love to read. People come in and I know what they’re reading and they know what I’m reading."

September 10, 2010 - 2:11pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, business, Present Tense Books.

Present Tense Books & Gifts, Batavia's premiere full-service bookstore, will be celebrating an important milestone on Saturday, Sept. 18. An anniversary party lasting from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. will celebrate five years of successful business.

Free and open to the public, the event will take place at the bookstore, which is at 101 Washington Ave. The festivities will include refreshments, prizes and a raffle, as well as the annual fall open house and holiday preview.

There will be discounts on all regular priced items on that day as well.

For more information, please call 815-7640 or e-mail [email protected].

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