Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Publication date: 11/13/2010
Read any good anthologies lately? If not, I recommend you delve into My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop edited by Ronald Rice and to be released November 13 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
After a few essays featuring the uniqueness of each of the beloved places writers frequent for books, the most habitual prisoners of the big chains and online giants will seek out or rediscover their own independent booksellers.
In My Bookstore, writers describe their favorite booksellers as habits of mind, masterpieces, wells of knowledge, confessionals for transgressions, spiritual gatherings, dingy basements. The smallest bookshop can host wine tastings, while the biggest can serve as a music venue. They are places to be, oases for regulars, spaces with character, plus room for inventory and a children’s book section.
Bookstores are missed when writers travel or move far away. Mourned when destroyed by fire or by flood or by market shifts. Vital for the conversation and genuine book recommendations they offer readers. Cherished by the neighborhood or shopping district they inhabit.
Writers pay the most salient and poetic tribute to these bright corners because they provide inclusive venues for reading events or sanctuary from personal storms or somewhere to share a good joke.
Mostly they are the well-lit brick-and-mortar havens where writers can browse and read and shop for books.
Here are some of the loveliest of thoughts about bookshop patronage from My Bookstore:
“Sometimes, when I have a fight with Willie, or when I feel particularly nostalgic, I fantasize about going back to live in Chile but I know it will never happen—because my dog can’t travel so far, and I am not willing to lose Book Passage.”—Isabel Allende, BOOK PASSAGE, Corte Madera, California
“For writers like me who have been lucky enough to speak at the bookstore repeatedly, the encounter with an inquisitive, mettlesome audience can be revelatory, deepening an author’s understanding of his own work and giving new meaning to that old aphorism ‘I write so I know what I think.’”—Rick Atkinson, POLITICS & PROSE BOOKSTORE, Washington, DC
“The store’s name emanates from Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. At a crucial moment in Bradbury’s story, the “Book People” take the banned books into the hills, determined to memorize them before the books are destroyed. What (Steve) Bercu envisioned—and achieved—was a community meeting place where no matter what you were seeking, from politics to philosophy to poetry and beyond, that knowledge would be stocked on the shelves.”—Douglas Brinkley, BOOKPEOPLE, Austin, Texas
“I sometimes wonder if our civilization did end awhile back—it sure felt like it—and whenever I despair that it won’t recover or that it’s falling further, my daughter and I take a short walk to Daniel’s honey-lit windows on Downer, gaze inside and realize, with relief: Here is the world.”—Liam Callanan, BOSWELL BOOK COMPANY, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
“Statisticians may tell you that people cluster around jobs or transit or high-speed Internet, but some of us cluster around more important things. Like bookstores.”— Jon Clinch, NORTHSHIRE BOOKSTORE, Mancester, Vermont
My Bookstore edited by Ronald Rice is a worthwhile read for the poignant tribute essays scribed by acclaimed authors in homage to their independent booksellers.
Category: Nonfiction, Anthology