dim the noise of the world; spend an afternoon at an indie

Sunday, December 13, 2015

At the Big Blue Marble Bookstore on a warm Saturday afternoon, I sat with Elliott batTzedek and Sarah Sawyers-Lovett (of Book Jawn Podcast) and talked.

Oh boy, did we talk.

About what happens when authors become brands. (It isn't pretty.)

About what happens when an author remains true. (Or, put another way, when an author, despite her success, works as hard and as fierce and as brave as she once did, before the world knew her name.)

About what happens when an author puts more stock in a trend than in her own imagination. (Leveraging a movement to the detriment of the story she might have told, for the making is always more important, ultimately, than the marketing—or shouldn't it be?)

About how picture books work. (Which is to say, how picture books stop time, in the hands of those who want to fully feel.)

About Kent Haruf, Sy Montgomery, Spirographs, Pigeons, A.S. King, Coates, Skippy Jon, living among noise, and the life of a ten-year-old community bookstore that serves an intelligent neighborhood and offers up its wares to those who believe in the capital B Book—and put their money where their faith is.

In and out the patrons came. A fifth-grade boy whose mother had to persuade him (gently) out of the stacks. A young man seeking a book for a friend. (David Levithan! Sarah and I said, nearly in unison.) An older man seeking lyrical nonfiction. (H is for Hawk! I shouted out. The Soul of an Octopus! Bettyville! M Train!) Such a seduction, sitting there, listening to what readers want, pointing the way, sharing the life and love of books with two intelligent readers who let me pretend, for part of an afternoon, that I was a book trader, too.

We are living in harsh times. We are trying to rise above the vitriol. We are hoping that the world will see beyond our wearying headlines, our damning theatrics, our brazen banners to the people so many of us actually are.

Look for the compassion, look for the hope, look for the conversation in your local indie. Go home with a book beneath your arm. Allow the wider world to seep in through you.

PS: Sarah. I finished the Colum McCann. I'm now onto Lucia Berlin. You?


Sarah Sawyers-Lovett said...

I just started The End of Eve by Ariel Gore and it is everything. (Also reading Marcus Samuelson's beautiful memoir, Yes, Chef.)

Beth Kephart said...

Okay. There. More for me!!

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP