Shelf Awareness for Friday, May 11, 2018

St. Martin's Press: The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben Rawlence

Berkley Books: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Candlewick Press: The Heartbreak Bakery by A R Capetta

Other Press: Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito, translated by Curtis Bauer

HarperCollins Publishers: Click to register for the William Morrow & Custom House Winter 2022 Fiction Showcase!

St. Martin's Press: See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success by Danny Warshay

Quotation of the Day

Happy Mother's Day: A Bookseller's Perspective

"The data is irrefutable, Mothers love you more when you give them something from Booksmith! What can we say, you can't argue with science. I said don't argue. Eat your peas. Happy Mother's Day!

"Mothers couldn't be mothers without little kids, which brings to mind this truth of bookselling: if a kid has to be carried out of our store screaming and crying, it means we're doing something right. I want to say to all the mothers out there, who might feel like everyone is watching them and judging them and annoyed by their shrieking kid... that's not us. We know you're doing a great job. Your child loves our store and the books in it so much. That's because of you, and we thank you."

--A Mother's Day note from Paul Theriault of Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., in the shop's e-mail newsletter

Sharjah Book Authority: Publishers Conference, October 31st - November 2nd, 2021


Mobile, Ala., Bookstore Gets New Owner, Name Change

Angela Trigg is the new owner of the former Bienville Books in Mobile Ala., which will be renamed the Haunted Bookshop. Lagniappe Weekly reported that when the business was put up for sale this spring, "trepidation rippled across eastern Mobile. Its community role was cherished, its survival a barometer of artistic health and general community spirit. Who would save it?"

"I should have the keys in July and start rearranging stuff," said Trigg, a store employee since 2011 and fixture in the local literary community. She is also a bestselling author under her pen name, Angela Quarles.

Angela Trigg

There is historical precedent for the shop's name change. Trigg's grandmother, Adelaide Marston Trigg, was co-founder in 1941 of the Haunted Bookshop, which "became a nexus of literary tradition in an Azalea City reshaped by World War II," Lagniappe Weekly wrote.

Trigg's goal is to build "a symbiotic relationship with local and original authors" by adding writing workshops, lectures, book signings, open mic-style readings and a writer-in-residence program. A new bookstore website is in the works.

"I've been brainstorming, fantasizing, writing down ideas for years because I've always wanted to have my own bookstore like my grandmother," Trigg said. "I have friends on the New York Times bestseller list who want to know when it's open because they all want to come, so it will be exciting. I think Mobile has a lot of talent here locally and regionally, so I think having a writer-focused bookstore is a good idea."

Peachtree Publishing Company: Hey! a Colorful Mystery by Kate Read

Main(e) Point Seasonal Bookstore Coming to Islesboro, Maine

Anmiryam Budner

Bookseller Anmiryam Budner will open a seasonal bookstore called Main(e) Point Books in Islesboro, Maine, early this summer, Bookselling This Week reported. Islesboro, which is located on an island off the coast of Maine and has a year-round population of around 600 people, sees between 2,000 to 3,000 visitors during the summer months. Budner plans to operate the store between the start of summer and Labor Day.

Budner is also the backlist buyer at Main Point Books in Wayne, Pa., and though she chose the name for her seasonal store as an homage to that one, they are not officially part of the same business. Budner did tell BTW, however, that she plans to keep many things at Main(e) Point consistent with the Pennsylvania store, so that customers can order seamlessly from the latter store during the former's off-season "and not feel like it's completely different."

Budner explained: "The name selection is intended to call back to the store here in part because I want to be able to service the community in Maine from Main Point during the rest of the year. Instead of starting my own website, I’ll direct people to Main Point's website for Internet ordering. Hopefully, even though the stores are independent entities, there will be some mutual benefit to the connection."

Main(e) Point Books will open in a 2,000-square-foot space that once housed Artisan Books & Bindery, which was Isleboro's only bookstore. That closed in 2016, becoming online-only, after owner Craig Olson could "no longer maintain normal retail hours" due to taking on another job while also starting a campaign to run to represent Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

Along with some of Olson's book stock still in the space, Budner will sell a selection of new books for all ages, along with cards and a smattering of gift items. She told BTW that she already has several events with Isleboro authors lined up.

Budner also called the annual "three- or four-month proposition" a "labor of love," noting that she was doing it more out of her fondness for Isleboro and its community than anything else. She said: "This is really for personal satisfaction and for community; if I break even, I'm going to be a happy person."

Main(e) Point will open in the first weeks of June.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.27.21

ABC Children's Institute Scholarship Winners Announced

Scholarships have been announced for 79 ABA member booksellers to attend the ABC Children's Institute next month, Bookselling This Week reported. The awards cover the conference fee, a three-night stay at the host hotel, and up to $400 in travel expenses to the June 19–21 event at Sheraton New Orleans.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

Fire Severely Damages Lucha Libro Books in Nicaragua

Lucha Libro Books in Granada, Nicaragua, was severely damaged by fire Wednesday night. On Facebook, the store posted: "Lucha Libro Books was burned down overnight. Complete loss. Whatever was salvageable was quickly looted. We want to thank the many, many friends we made over the years, far too many to mention here, and thank everyone for 7 amazing years. It was a dream--a frustrating one many times, as is any business in any country, but a dream nonetheless. And we thank you for helping make that dream a reality for so long. We will now refer you to our friends at Búho Books León, who we hope will continue for years to come. Thanks, everyone. We'll post more pics and info as we get it."

Early reports indicated that the blaze may have started from an electrical issue in an adjoining business, but in an update, the bookshop said: "More photos from this morning's fire at Lucha Libro Books. Apparently it was not caused by the electrical transformer as originally thought--the transformer is intact. The Granada FD is investigating. Not that we'll ever recover our loss."

Lucha Libro Books was featured in Shelf Awareness last month for its Floor Display of the Day.

Búho Books León posted: "I know that in the midst of this crisis, material loss is not the worst that can happen. But seeing our beloved Lucha Libro in Granada burn down is heartbreaking! I am so sorry for our friends in Lucha Libro Books--you have been such a good friend and support to us, and I dare even say we might not have survived without you!"

By the end of the day, Lucha Libro was expressing more hope for the future: "As difficult as it has been to see what happened this morning, we are very grateful to those who stepped in to help--many friends, many who don't know us at all--and as a result we do have some salvageable inventory. There's no way for us to bring Lucha Libro Books to its former glory, but we are exploring our options. Thank you everyone who helped out today. We hope to have some better news to share in the near future."

Obituary Note: Charlie Russell

Canadian author and photographer Charlie Russell, "an Alberta naturalist who spent decades trying to teach people to live with bears rather than fearing them," died May 7, the Globe & Mail reported. He was 76. Son of the renowned conservationist Andy Russell, he "grew up to be rancher--until 1960, when his father took him and his brother to help shoot a documentary on bears."

"The bears of the world have lost their best friend," said Gord Russell, his brother.

Expressing deep sadness at news of Russell's passing, House of Anansi Press editor Douglas Richmond recalled: "Last year, I was lucky enough to work with Charlie on the reissue of his 1994 classic, Spirit Bear: Encounters with the White Bear of the Western Rainforest. As we revisited Charlie's incredible photographs and stories of his visits to British Columbia's Princess Royal Island, where he observed the illusive Kermode bear (often known as the white, ghost, or spirit bear), I was struck by his deep compassion and concern for the well-being of all living things. Charlie believed that we could live in peace and harmony with bears, and spoke often of his desire to convey this message to the world. In the afterword to the new edition of Spirit Bear, he wrote, 'The problem isn't bears, it is us. And knowing this, we can change and once again live well in peace and respect with our ursine kin.' Charlie passed away in hospital on Monday. He will be missed."

Russell's books include Grizzly Heart: Living Without Fear Among the Brown Bears of Kamchatka; Grizzly Seasons; and Learning to Be Wild: Raising Orphan Grizzlies.


Maria Roden Named Orinda, Calif., Business Person of the Year

Maria Rodan

Congratulations to Orinda Books owner Maria Roden, who was recently honored as Orinda, Calif., Business Person of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. 

"Roden loves books and is delighted at the store's big, open space, which she uses for a multiplicity of purposes," Lamorinda Weekly reported. "She actively supports local artists by showcasing their work. There is an art reception once a month, and one wall of the store is dedicated to local art. A glass showcase displays the work of jewelry artists. Patrons of the Blue Egg Farm can order online and pick up their fresh organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit, seedlings, and blue eggs from the bookstore."

"People thought I was crazy when I bought the bookstore," Roden said. "Orinda is a community that wants to keep its bookstore." She also praised her "fabulous staff"--all local, all well-read.

Personnel Changes at DK; Cave Henricks Communications

Mary Marotta, v-p, sales, marketing & publicity, has been promoted to senior v-p, DK North America.


Effective May 21, Pamela Peterson is joining Cave Henricks Communications as associate director of publicity. She was formerly senior publicity manager at Fortier Public Relations, where she has worked for five years. Before that, she was in the publicity departments at McGraw-Hill and Hyperion Books.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: James Forman Jr. on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: James Forman Jr., author of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16, 9780374537449).


CBS Saturday Morning: David Hallberg, author of A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back (Touchstone, $28, 9781476771151).

MSNBC's Live with Alex Witt: Seth Hettena, author of Trump/Russia: A Definitive History (Melville House, $27.99, 9781612197395). He will also be on MSNBC's Live with Yasmin Vossoughian on Sunday.

NPR's Weekend Edition: Jessica Knoll, author of The Favorite Sister (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501153198).

Movies: The Personal History of David Copperfield

Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop, The Death of Stalin) "is bulking up the cast" for his upcoming film, The Personal History of David Copperfield, with the addition of Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Thick of It), the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

Capaldi, who joins a cast that includes Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie and Ben Wishaw, will play Mr. Micawber "in the fresh take on Charles Dickens' autobiographical masterpiece," THR noted. Written by Iannucci and Simon Blackwell, the project begins production in June in the U.K.

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Malamud; Innovations in Reading; Nautilus

Joan Silber and Amina Gautier won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, recognizing "a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction." They will share the $5,000 prize, to be presented at a public reading and award ceremony in December.

Silber is the author of four story collections (In My Other Life, Ideas of Heaven, The Size of the World, Fools), four novels and the nonfiction work The Art of Time in Fiction. Deborah Tannen, chair of the PEN/ Malamud selection committee, called Silber "a master of the short story. She has a rare gift for capturing the complexity--and beauty--of quotidian moments. Her stories span an astonishing range of countries, characters, and centuries, as she writes with equal ease and insight of sixteenth century Venice, China during the Boxer rebellion, and contemporary New York City. In perfectly crafted prose, she shows how small decisions and chance encounters ripple, in ever widening circles, through a person's life and the lives of others they know, love or have never met."

Gautier's story collections include At-Risk, Now We Will Be Happy, and The Loss of All Lost Things. Dolen Perkins-Valdez, a member of the PEN/Malamud selection committee, wrote: "Amina Gautier's unwavering commitment to the short story reveals a writer in full control. And the form is the perfect vehicle for her intellect. Like a scientist who takes apart the human body and puts it back together again to understand how it works, Gautier is unafraid to examine heartbreak, but equally comfortable capturing triumph. Her stories, sweeping and elegant, sophisticated and daring, call the mind and heart to attention."


The Academy of American Poets and its Teach This Poem program won the National Book Foundation's $10,000 Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded annually, with support from the Levenger Foundation, to an individual or organization that has "developed an innovative project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading in the community they serve."

With more than 25,000 teachers subscribed, Teach This Poem distributes digitally a weekly poem accompanied by curriculum and related teaching materials such as artwork, maps, and photographs selected by the Academy staff. Poems address timely topics, and classroom activities are designed to provide cross-disciplinary strategies for incorporating poetry into daily school work and encourage not only the appreciation of poetry, but also the development of creative and critical thinking skills.

The Innovations in Reading Prize also has four honorable mentions each year, and for the first time these organizations will be awarded $1,000 to recognize their meaningful work. The 2018 honorable mentions are the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Friends of the Homer Library, Jewish Women International's National Library Initiative and Words Without Borders Campus.


The grand prize winner of the 2017 Nautilus Book Award, honoring "better books for a better world," is The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change by Gleb Raygorodetsky (Pegasus Books). A complete list of this year's Nautilus gold and silver winners is available here.

Reading with... Adrian Todd Zuniga

photo: Michael Young

Adrian Todd Zuniga's debut novel is Collision Theory (Rare Bird Books, April 17, 2018). He's the host/creator/CCO of Literary Death Match (now featured in more than 60 cities worldwide) and host of LDM Book Report on YouTube. A WGA Award-nominated screenwriter, he co-wrote Madden NFL 18's interactive movie Longshot (EA Sports). His short fiction has been featured in Gopher Illustrated and Stymie, and online at Lost Magazine and McSweeney's. He splits his time between London and Los Angeles.

On your nightstand now:

I'm 3/5ths through the draft of my new novel that focuses on racism, feminism and altruism, so my nightstand is strained under the weight of these books I'm desperate to get to, in this order, and have to get through as I inch towards a finished first draft: Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith; Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates; At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire; Beloved by Toni Morrison; The Sellout by Paul Beatty; The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was a kid, I used to read The Fox & The Hound comic book/graphic novel over and over again and just bawl my eyes out. It's so personal and precious to me and I am so glad for this question, because I've just discovered the movie (and thus the comic) was based on a novel by Daniel P. Mannix! How did I not know this?! So, yeah, that's now on my nightstand, too. I am literally giddy with nostalgia and excitement over this discovery.

Your top five authors:

This list can go so many different ways--I adore so many writers. But today, at 11:24 a.m., these are my five favorite authors. So, in 10-12 minutes, feel free to ask me again, and watch these answers change:

George Saunders, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Etgar Keret, Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson.

(My brain is screaming: add Tobias Wolff! Add Carol Anderson! Add Ben Fountain! Add Vendela Vida! Don't stop at five! But I'm stopping at five. I definitely haven't listed nine authors. Just five.)

Book you've faked reading:

1984 by George Orwell. Don't look at me like that. I've seen the play, people! I'VE SEEN THE PLAY. And I've quoted him on the Literary Death Match stage ("In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.") Okay, I'll put it on the stack--I feel sufficiently shamed.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Power by Naomi Alderman. Every single person I've met has heard me talk about this book and about the hole in their life that will continue to exist until they read it. I feel the same about The Handmaid's Tale, but I know they'll just watch the TV show, so I'm all about The Power. It's also been a great influence on my new novel in that it taught me to haul ass in my writing. I'm a big fan of narrative speed, but this encourages me to bring it to another level.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Citizen by Claudia Rankine. What's inside is a masterwork, but the cover plain breaks my heart. I knew I'd read it, I knew I'd get to it, and then one day I was like, I cannot wait any longer. The cover wouldn't let me.

Book you hid from your parents:

I'm the last of eight kids, so my parents had seen it all. There wasn't a need to hide. The only thing I remember hiding was my listening to NWA's Straight Outta Compton. I'd play it on my brother's "boom box" (my mother's term for it, and her saying those two words makes me laugh to this day), turn the volume down to 1 out of 10, press my ear to the speaker and memorize every word. Books-wise, I might have hid the Punisher comic books, which I read because I thought they made me cool. Truth is, I didn't like them that much. But that desire to be cool, mixed with him feeling risky made me.

Book that changed your life:

It by Stephen King. I remember reading that book after school, and the dedication of Collision Theory is based on that memory. The dedication:

To my mother,
who loved when I was at home reading
because it meant I was near her,
which meant I was safe.

I'd come home, lay on the couch and read. And I know it made my mother happy to have me home. My brothers and sisters were hellions, but there I was, home and safe, reading.

Favorite line from a book:

This felt like an impossible question, but there's one thing that I cannot get away from, that makes me lose it every time, from Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. It's more than one line, but it's too beautiful to break up:

"The water was black and warm and he turned in the lake and spread his arms in the water and the water was so dark and so silky and he watched across the still black surface to where she stood on the shore with the horse and he watched where she stepped from her pooled clothing so pale, so pale, like a chrysalis emerging, and walked into the water. She paused midway to look back. Standing there trembling in the water and not from the cold for there was none. Do not speak to her. Do not call. When she reached him he held out his hand and she took it. She was so pale in the lake she seemed to be burning. Like foxfire in a darkened wood. That burned cold. Like the moon that burned cold. Her black hair floating on the water about her, falling and floating on the water. She put her other arm about his shoulder and looked toward the moon in the west do not speak to her do not call and then she turned her face up to him. Sweeter for the larceny of time and flesh, sweeter for the betrayal. Nesting cranes that stood singlefooted among the cane on the south shore had pulled their slender beaks from their wingpits to watch. Me quieres? she said. Yes, he said. He said her name. God yes, he said."

Five books you'll never part with:

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Pastoralia by George Saunders
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

This one's a total wrestling match between The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and George Saunders's Pastoralia and Saunders' CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. The Road because I remember thinking it's not getting better for these people, it's not getting better. It will, it will. It never does, and in the end, when there is the faintest light of hope after such a horrifically dark time, it felt like everything good in the world. That still amazes me. As for Housekeeping, I remember finishing that and being astonished by how much it moved me, and wowed by the fact that there's not one male character in the book. I never noticed. To me, it's the best book I've ever read. It's perfect. And reading anything by Saunders for the first time--just the thought of that fills me with a sensation of profound glee. And now thinking of that glee, I'm reminded of how devastating and sad his stories are. "Sea Oak!" "Jon!" "CommComm!" To read those again for the first time would be marvelous.

Book Review

Review: American Eden

American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson (Liveright, $29.95 hardcover, 480p., 9781631494192, June 5, 2018)

David Hosack (1769-1835) was a celebrity in his day. He was the founder of the first botanical garden in the United States, an early adopter of new medical treatments, a charismatic teacher and public speaker who started a botanical craze that echoes to the present. American Eden is an exhaustively researched, brilliant and lively biography set in the close political, social and intellectual circles of the new Republic by professor of urban planning Victoria Johnson (Backstage at the Revolution).

Hosack is a genuinely interesting figure in his own right--brilliant, adventurous, hardworking and acquainted with many of the great minds of his day. Johnson amplifies his appeal by emphasizing his relationships with Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, as their family physician and as collaborator in their gardens and botanical interests.

Hosack studied at Columbia, and with some of the most brilliant botanical and medical minds of the day in Edinburgh and London at a time when medical dissection sparked riots. He built and maintained relationships with European scientists that helped establish the scientific community of his young nation.

Back in New York, he became an admired professor, founded one of the first U.S. medical journals, promoted effective new medical treatments and championed the Hudson River School of painting. He founded the nation's first botanic garden mostly out of his own pocket in what is now midtown Manhattan, modeling it on the medical research gardens he had encountered overseas. "The Elgin Botanic Garden had less in common with a beautiful city park than with the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and Crispr gene-editing laboratories."

Hosack and his students also ignited a national craze for botany that still echoes in the public parks and private gardens of the United States. Johnson's storytelling skills and her thorough knowledge of the period and the science makes this a book that will appeal to history lovers, botanists and gardeners alike. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: The story of a visionary New York botanist, doctor and influential teacher in the energetic and competitive young United States.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Warren Buffett--'Be Sure to Visit the Bookworm'

One of the central tenets of Warren Buffett's investment strategy has been that what matters is where you are in the long run. This philosophy seems an appropriate way to consider the long association between Phillip and Beth Black--co-owners of the Bookworm in Omaha, Nebr.--and the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, which took place last weekend.

The relationship began during the 1990s with Sunday signings after the meeting. "Mr. Buffett has always supported reading and self-education and we were invited to sell books in 2004 when the shareholders meeting was relocated to a larger convention center," Phillip Black recalled. "The Bookworm continues to be the only non-Berkshire affiliated booth at the meeting. We consider this a great honor as well as testament to Mr. Buffett's desire for his shareholders to be educated about their financial lives."

In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Buffett wrote: "Be sure to visit the Bookworm. This Omaha-based retailer will carry more than 40 books and DVDs, among them a couple of new titles. Berkshire shareholders are a bookseller's dream: When Poor Charlie's Almanack (yes, our Charlie) made its debut some years ago, we sold 3,500 copies at the meeting. The book weighed 4.85 pounds. Do the math: Our shareholders left the building that day carrying about 8-1⁄2 tons of Charlie's wisdom."

Warren Buffett (center) with the Bookworm's staff just before opening last Friday. Beth Black is in front, holding flyers; Phillip Black is on the far right.

Black said the recent gathering was "much the same as previous meetings, except more shareholders seem to come each year. We sell many of the same books and see many of the same shareholders and authors from year to year. It's a reunion."

More than 42,000 shareholders attended, filling Omaha's hotels and restaurants. "They are in a party mood and tend to spend generously, especially where they receive shareholder discounts and special offers," Black said. "A number of other events for shareholders have developed, giving them additional reasons to come and extending activities into a long weekend."

The Bookworm's Loveland Centre location joins in the festivities, offering shareholders with credentials the same discount they receive at the meeting. "Many shareholders will come by the store to shop in a more relaxed atmosphere and to avoid having to carry the books around at the annual meeting," Black noted. "Our sales volume over the weekend is more typical of December than May. We also do some nice bulk sales related to Berkshire and the annual meeting."

At the CenturyLink Center, the Bookworm operates a 30' by 35' booth (reduced from 40' by 40' in past years as Berkshire has acquired more companies and exhibitors). "We plan down to the inch now," Black said, adding that the book selection "would be considered special interest by many booksellers." A full list of titles approved by Buffett for sale at the 2018 annual meeting may be seen here.

Black described the book selection process: "As I go through front list buying throughout the year, I send Mr. Buffett information about books I think he may be interested in for sale at the next annual meeting. He also sends me titles to add to next year's list as he comes across them. In January I send him a list of new titles for his consideration for the upcoming annual meeting. I also send him the sales figures at the last annual meeting, suggesting titles to drop. We always need to drop some of the weaker titles to make way for new titles. I get back the lists I sent with Mr. Buffett's markup of additions and deletions. We also ask Charlie Munger if he has any selections for the next annual meeting--sometimes he does and sometimes not. We will have the list of books approved by Mr. Buffett for sale at the next annual meeting firmed up in February. Sometimes we need publishers to make their book available earlier than their announced pub date in order to get them for the annual meeting."

Staffing presents another challenge. "We set up our booth Wednesday and Thursday, requiring six to eight people each say," Black explained. "For the past three years, Berkshire opens the exhibition hall to shareholders on Friday afternoon, requiring a full staff then. On Saturdays we are open for sales from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or so. We dropped from ten cash registers to eight this year due to space constraints. We also need a number of people to work with authors, restock and straighten the stacks of books, hand out flyers, etc. We have about 30 staff overall at the annual meeting Saturday, plus we still need to staff the store."

As might be expected, the atmosphere in the Bookworm's downtown store alters during shareholders weekend. "We see people from all over the world," said Black. "We also have people who come back to visit with us year after year. Of course, we still have our book clubs meeting and our usual customer base to serve. It's an interesting mix."

He added that shareholders say one of the main reasons they attend Berkshire's weekend "is to meet people with common interests and make contacts. Our years of selling books at the annual meeting have given us a similar benefit. We've met famous people and many authors, which is interesting as we often learn something new. We have met many of the Berkshire executives, giving us a deeper appreciation of Berkshire and what they do."

After all these years, Black said the adrenaline rush is still there as shareholders weekend approaches: "I will have been working on Berkshire for several months, and need to switch from planning to execution mode. Beth has to get the staff organized and coordinated. But when Berkshire opens the doors to shareholders, we get a second wind. The excitement of the crowd and level of activity energizes you."

--Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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