Shelf Awareness for Friday, August 17, 2018


Little Brown and Company: Akin by Emma Donoghue

Sourcebooks Fire: I'm Not dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Ingram: Count on Us to Help You Never Miss a Beat - Learn More

Balzer + Bray: The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

Flatiron Books: Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #3) by Steve Cavanagh

Viz Media:  Snow White with the Red Hair, Vol. 1 by Sorata Akiduki

Sourcebooks: Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin

Quotation of the Day

New ABA Board Member Kelly Estep on Her Key Goals

"I look forward to continuing the ABA's work of creating and fostering an environment that will allow bookstores to remain a relevant and vibrant part of the national arts community. We have to continue to place ourselves in the public arena to remind publishers, authors, and the public in general that while indie stores may be a smaller piece of total sales of a book, our influence is so much bigger than that. Figuring out a way for young people to buy existing stores and open stores in areas that have been lacking a bookstore for many years is also incredibly important. I would really love to never have to have the conversation again with an author or publisher about why linking to IndieBound or an indie store in their area is an absolutely crucial thing for them to do. I also want to help booksellers feel comfortable with embracing technology to make their stores more profitable and efficient."

--Kelly Estep, new ABA board member and soon-to-be co-owner of Carmichael's Bookstore and Carmichael's Kids in Louisville, Ky., in a "Face Out" q&a with Bookselling This Week

Soho Crime: The Second Biggest Nothing (Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery #14) by Colin Cotterill


News

The Book Bungalow Opening in St. George, Utah

The future home of Book Bungalow

The Book Bungalow will open this fall at Green Gate Village in downtown St. George, Utah. Located at 94 Tabernacle Street, the store will occupy the front portion of the old Judd Bungalow, an historic home built in 1917. Owner and manager Tanya Parker Mills said a soft opening is planned for September 24, with the grand opening to follow in mid-October. Customers can shop at the store's website now.

"We're keeping it pretty much the way it's always been, other than removing a few doors to provide easier access for customers," Mills said. "It's a lovely building constructed in that early Frank Lloyd Wright prairie school style, with gorgeous wooden built-in cabinets and shelves.... It's the perfect place for an intimate bookstore, and only a short walk away from the library, the Children's Museum, and the Tabernacle. It will be right in the middle of Friday Fest, the Arts Festival, and close to anything major happening downtown."

The Book Bungalow will stock a variety of fiction, poetry, biography, history, nonfiction, cooking, and arts and crafts titles. There will also be a special section of books on influential women, as well as another featuring international fiction and nonfiction.

Mills added: "Along with gifts, toys, games, cards, and other sidelines, we'll be offering some locally made crafts--such as southwestern and literary-style artisan soaps--and paintings created by local artists." The children's room, featuring books, toys, puzzles, games and puppets, will be one of the primary draws. "The murals painted in there by Susan Grove are amazing," she said. "Everything from Peter Pan to Harry Potter. She's the same artist who painted the murals in the Children's Museum, and she definitely doesn't disappoint."

Tanya Mills

An author herself, Mills wants the bookshop to be a gathering place for book lovers from all over Southern Utah to mingle and learn. Her goal is to create a bookstore environment that will attract both writers and readers. Besides author appearances and signings, the store will have a "writer's cabinet" full of books about writing and famous authors, as well as writers' tools.

"We're also going to offer a bi-monthly, two-hour writer's workshop on Saturdays, led by visiting authors, for aspiring writers of all ages and levels," Mills said. "The calendar is already filling up with game nights, TED Talks, book clubs, music nights, poetry nights, open mic nights, author appearances and even school visits. This is what will really enrich the community. It gives us a reason to pull away from our phones, our computers and our TVs and enjoy some face-to-face time again. To be a community, we need to get to know each other, and books offer the perfect vehicle."

Although known for its artistic scene, St. George is "lacking when it comes to the literary arts, and I want to help change that," Mills noted. "There's something wrong when you have a metro area that is the fastest growing in the nation, a prime tourist destination, and yet you don't have a local independent bookstore that offers events. Yes, there are a handful of used bookstores in Southern Utah, but beyond that, there's nothing like The King's English up north. I want to put Southern Utah on the nation's literary map."

As the bookstore's sign proclaims, the Book Bungalow's ultimate goal is to become the literary soul of the community: "Our local library system is our literary heart, in my opinion. It's accessible to everyone and keeps us alive in the world of literature. But a library isn't designed as a place for conversation, and you need to be able to exchange ideas in order to grow and learn and understand each other. That's where The Book Bungalow comes in. If we do it right, it can become our community's literary soul."


MPIBA: Publishers, promote your books to hundreds of thousands of consumers - Reserve space in the 2019 holiday gift guide (print & digital catalogs)


Alissa duBois Is Drabyak Handseller of the Year

Alissa duBois

Alissa duBois, bookseller at The Otto Bookstore in Williamsport, Pa., has won the 2018 Joe Drabyak Handseller of the Year Award. Sponsored by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association and named in honor of the late NAIBA president, the award recognizes the "elite booksellers" who find "the right books for their community as well as the right book for each person who walks in the door."

"I am honored to be recognized by my peers in our beloved industry," said duBois. "I would not even begin to be worthy of this without the faith of Betsy Rider [Otto Bookstore's former owner], my beloved customers, my incredible publishing reps and our fabulous new owners, Katie Nassberg and Isak Sidenbladh. I must acknowledge our Williamsport community, for they have supported The Otto Bookstore for all these years; to them, I am especially grateful."

NAIBA recognized duBois for her "keen observatory knack and an elegant and humorous personable style." In addition to loving the act of handselling, duBois enjoys designing new displays and "creating a welcoming environment for one and all, especially the tiniest readers."

Tim Hepp, sales rep at Simon & Schuster, said duBois, "takes the time to learn each customer's reading preferences, yet is always willing to recommend titles that stretch their minds and often their souls." He noted too that duBois "often takes money out of her own pocket to help customers purchase titles of which she is especially fond."

Alissa duBois will be honored at the Awards Banquet at NAIBA's Fall Conference on Sunday, October 7, in Baltimore, Md.


Oxford University Press: Hitler by Peter Longerich


The Stacks Art Bookstore in New Orleans to Close

The Stacks, an art and design bookstore in New Orleans, La., that opened in 2014 and subsequently made Architectural Digest's list of "16 must-visit spots" in the city, will close October 1.

In a letter to "friends and patrons," owner Émilie Lamy wrote that the decision was made "with a heavy though a full heart.... We are very much at peace with this decision. The bookstore opened four years ago and I couldn't have been more honored by how it was received, seeing it blossom from a few shelves within in a furniture shop in The Marigny to a large operation within the Contemporary Arts Center was an immensely fulfilling adventure. I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to share with New Orleans a part of what I believe in through a space where people could feel welcomed, inspired and safe.

"Having been independently owned and operated from the beginning, I can only encourage you to support as much as possible your local businesses in any way you can. We need each other. An immense thank you for all of your love, loyalty and support throughout these past four years."


Bay Books in San Diego Faces Uncertain Future

Bay Books on Coronado Island in San Diego, Calif., is facing an uncertain future because of new landlords Kleege Enterprise, the San Diego Tribune reported. Kleege Enterprise, which purchased nearly an entire block of Coronado's Orange Avenue for $22 million last year, initially told Bay Books owner Angelica Ayala Muller that her rent would increase by close to three-fold.

Muller told the Tribune that after an initial panic, she made a counter-offer to Kleege Enterprise, where Bay Books would keep its current rent but cut its square footage in half. Bruce Kleege, owner of Kleege Enterprise, has said that he would prefer that the 28-year-old bookstore remain somewhere on the block, but no agreements have been finalized and negotiations are ongoing.

Kleege Enterprise intends to create an "inside-out" concept for the block with "walkways that people can use to get from Orange Avenue to an open courtyard in the middle of the block," and the company plans for an assortment of high-end restaurants to be the development's main draw. While some existing business will stay, other long-standing businesses, among them a towing garage, a boutique gift store and a Mexican restaurant, have either already left or will leave once their current leases expire.

In the meantime, Muller told the Tribune that she is hesitant to begin ordering for 2019 with the store's future so uncertain. Bay Books is the South Bay's only bookstore, and Muller worried that there is more at stake than another local business closing.

"What message are we sending to new generations?" Muller wondered. "If we don't teach our children to read, to question, to explore knowledge, we're doomed."


Sidelines Snapshot: Games, Smudge Kits, Bookmarks and Puzzles

An item from Bookish Birds

Trish Coffey, assistant floor manager at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, N.C., reported that jigsaw puzzles are always "huge" during the summer, and have picked up over the past couple of seasons. Among the store's go-to puzzle lines are Ravensburger Puzzles, New York Puzzle Company and Heritage Puzzle, whose headquarters are in North Carolina. The children's version of game The Storymatic has also proved to be a popular summer item, and Coffey has found that, somewhat surprisingly, all of the store's journals sell better in the summer than at any other time of the year, even the holidays. She added that she brought in journals from DesignWorks Ink in the past year that have done very well.

Coffey has had success with Bookish Birds, a company in Winston-Salem, N.C., that "upcycles" old and damaged books into bookish gifts such as page art, ornaments, cards and more. As for children's sidelines, Quail Ridge carries an assortment of plush along with children's puzzles and simple games. When asked about perennial favorites, Coffey said that Emotion Gallery bookmarks have "sold for years and years," and Book Darts have "been on the counter for as long as I can remember." Reading glasses made by 20/20 Vision and Peepers "keep on selling," while notable card lines include Caspari, Cardthartic, Sacred Bee and Two Bad Mice.

Tea towel from ellembee

In the past year, Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo., has had "really good luck" with holistic, self-care items like smudge kits and crystal bundles. Gift buyer Sam Foster said Tattered Cover sources theirs from a bookstore in Santa Fe, N.Mex., called The Ark Bookstore, and reported that when she brings them in, "they all start moving the second they hit the shelf." Foster said that Denver was a "remarkable market" for irreverent gift items, including kitchen towels from ellembee that feature fun phrases on them, socks from Blue Q, games like Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme, and gift cards from Footnote Studio that have words with funny definitions.

Foster has started working with a company called Indigo Fair, which sells wholesale, nonbook merchandise on a returnable basis; she said the experience has been "fantastic." She's been experimenting with new varieties of candles, and in particular has liked the P.F. Candle Co., which is in Los Angeles. Foster said that Tattered Cover carries a lot of items made by local vendors, and a recent example includes laser-engraved bookmarks from a company called LumEngrave. Among children's sidelines, Foster said she really enjoys games and toys with a cooperative focus, particularly games made by Peaceable Kingdom. She pointed to Where's Bear, Mole Rats in Space and Mermaid Island as great examples.

Copperfield's Books has eight locations in the greater Bay Area, and sidelines and calendar buyer Sharon Rompelman handles gifts and non-book buying for all of them. Rompelman said that some of her favorite puzzle lines at the moment are Pomegranate, New York Puzzle Company, Galison and Ravensburger. Copperfield's stocks a wide variety of games, and Rompelman said she uses Alliance Games Distributors and ACD Distribution to source the sort of "hardcore" or "boutique" games that one normally wouldn't find outside of a specialty games shop. Some examples include Ex Libris, Settlers of Catan (now branded as just Catan), Ticket to Ride and The Tea Dragon Society. Some more accessible games, which don't take hours and hours to play and generally have a lower price point, include Fluxx and Exploding Kittens.

For children's educational items and toys, Rompelman recommended science kits made by Discover with Dr. Cool, particularly the Geode Starter Rock Science Kit, the Hobby Rock Tumbler and the Glow in the Dark Crystal Growing Kit. She also tries to find small rock-identifying kits for the children's section. Rompelman noted that for adults, items like healing stone kits from GeoCentral and stone hearts from Pikes Peak Rock Shop, which were initially brought in as Valentine's Day gifts, are also popular at the moment, as are Ark-Made smudge kits. As for recently introduced lines, Rompelman said she's had success with Now Designs and its counterpart Danica Studio, along with stickers from a local supplier called Mrs Grossman's stickers and new metal bookmarks from Miles to Go. --Alex Mutter


Notes

Image of the Day: Nonfiction Hootenanny

On Wednesday night, booksellers from more than a dozen stores enjoyed a Nonfiction Hootenanny--a preview of upcoming titles--at Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass. Pictured are reps Suzette Ciancio (Norton), Conor Broughan (Columbia), Katie McGarry (HMH), Maureen Karb (Como) and Karen Corvello (MIT). The event was organized and hosted by Clarissa Murphy (MIT Press Bookstore) and Peter Win (Brookline Booksmith).


High Praise for City Lights' Paul Yamazaki

Rebecca Solnit, author most recently of the upcoming essay collection Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (Haymarket Books, Sept. 4), offers a great indie bookseller shout-out in this week's New York Times Book Review "By the Book" q&a: 

Whose opinion on books do you most trust?
Paul Yamazaki, the head book buyer at City Lights Books, who has worked there for the past 40 years. He knows everything about publishing and he’s never wrong about anything.


Bookshop Window Display of the Day: Nantucket Bookworks

Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, Mass., shared a photo of its latest front window display on Facebook, noting: "The Window Shopping at Bookworks is on point! This beautiful Alice in Wonderland inspired bookstore window is one of our favorites ever! Stroll by 25 Broad to see 'through the looking glass!' "


Ingram Publisher Services Adds Grim Oak Press

Ingram Publisher Services is distributing Grim Oak Press, the publisher of science fiction and fantasy that offers the Unfettered anthology series. Grim Oak was founded in 2012 by author Shawn Speakman, who needed relief from medical debt. The press now seeks to eliminate medical debt for other artists and authors. In October, it will publish the new Terry Brooks novel Street Freaks, Brooks's first science fiction title.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: William Oldfield, Victoria Bruce on Weekend Edition Sunday

Sunday:
NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday: William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce, authors of Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective Who Brought Them to Justice (Touchstone, $26, 9781501171208).


TV: The Time Traveler's Wife

HBO has landed The Time Traveler's Wife, a drama from Steven Moffat (Dr. Who, Sherlock) and based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel, with a straight to series order, Deadline reported, adding that "the project had been pursued by multiple outlets, including Amazon whose topper Jeff Bezos was involved in the effort."

"I read Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it," Moffat said. "In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called 'The Girl in the Fireplace' as a direct response to it. When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realized she was probably on to me. All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It's a story of happy ever after--but not necessarily in that order."

Moffat, Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin will executive produce through their Hartswood Films. Deadline noted that the company "produces in association with Warner Bros. Television, which has rights to the title. Warner Bros.' New Line division was behind the 2009 feature adaptation of the book that starred Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams."

HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said that Moffat's "passion is evident in every project he's written and we are certain that his love and respect for this mesmerizing and textured novel will make it a quintessential HBO series."


Books & Authors

Awards: Sisters in Crime Davitt Winners

Winners have been named for the 2018 Davitt Awards, presented by Sisters in Crime to recognize crime books by Australian women. This year's Davitt winners by category are:

Adult novel: And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic
YA novel: Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
Children's novel: The Turnkey by Allison Rushby
Nonfiction: Whiteley on Trial by Gabriella Coslovich
Debut: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
Readers' choice: Force of Nature by Jane Harper


Reading with... Michael Arceneaux

photo: Steven Duarte
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and author. He's written for Essence, Into, Complex, the Root, Splinter, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Wired, Buzzfeed, the Guardian and others. His first book is the essay collection I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé (37 Ink/Atria). Arceneaux is very active on Twitter and takes baby steps on Instagram.
 
On your nightstand now:
 
The newly reissued version of Samantha Irby's Meaty. I am obsessed with her previous book, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, and her blog, bitchesgottaeat. I also have Darnell Moore's No Ashes in the Fire. This year, there are two black queer writers with memoirs released via major publishers. As Mariah Carey would say, It's a moment (dahling), and I couldn't be prouder to share it with a storyteller of Darnell's caliber. Lastly, I have Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped because I've been depriving myself for too long.
 
Favorite book when you were a child:
 
Don't tell my mama but it wasn't all those religious books she gave me, it was R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series. They were horror mixed with humor. When you read my book, you'll understand that I could clearly relate even back then.
 
Your top five authors:
 
Zora Neale Hurston because I love the way she told stories and I have this odd attachment to her use of dialect; Audre Lorde because I always need to be smarter; Kiese Laymon because even after one book (How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America) I am just in awe of his writing and his mind; David Sedaris because his books let me know what could be; Samantha Irby because like I said, I'm obsessed with her. More importantly, though, we need to pay greater homage to our black humorists; she's phenomenal.
 
Book you've faked reading:
 
I never finished Fire & Fury because I read all of the excerpts online, and with the Sweet Potato Saddam administration, you know it's hard to keep up with the drama. I'd apologize to Michael Wolff, but I wouldn't want to interrupt him swimming through a vault of gold like (Uncle) Scrooge McDuck.
 
Book you're an evangelist for:
 
The Broke Diaries by Angela Nissel. It is so funny and so few people still really wrestle with class struggles--particularly in such an honest yet incredibly witty way.
 
Book you've bought for the cover:
 
I've never done this; I just usually pray that the person whose words I want to read doesn't have a really ugly cover presenting them.
 
Book you hid from your parents:
 
I actually didn't really have to do this kind of thing with my parents normally, but once E. Lynn Harris gave me a copy of his memoir. I interned at a radio station back in Houston, when I was around 19/20, and he was there to do an interview about it. I wasn't out to myself much less my folks, so I promptly gave the book to my mom.
 
And while I didn't hide it per se, I didn't necessarily want my mom knowing I was reading James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room.
 
Book that changed your life:
 
Keepin' It Real: Post-MTV Reflections on Race, Sex, and Politics by Kevin Powell. It changed my life in that it was perhaps the first time that I picked up a book full of cultural criticism from an author that wasn't dead. It made me think, "No, fool, you really can do this one day."
 
Favorite line from a book:
 
"Then Aaliyah's hmms and yea yeahs saved me from my awkward failings, calling me to the stage like a sultry siren." It's from Janet Mock's Surpassing Certainty. If I were a stripper, I, too, would debut to Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat." Also, y'all caught me doing this after dodging a call from my oppressive student loan lenders, so I have stripping on the mind.
 
Five books you'll never part with:
 
Bulletproof Diva by Lisa Jones; Redefining Realness by Janet Mock; The Price of the Ticket by James Baldwin; A Right to Be Hostile: The Boondocks Treasury by Aaron McGruder; The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
 
Yes, I realize how random this list reads. It's fine.
 
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
 
White Girl Problems by Babe Walker. I know people were probably expecting something profound, but even if I may not be the intended demo, I love satire and these books are so damn hilarious. Literally, I'm black, I'm gay and I'm not in the 1%. More often than not, I just need a laugh and a distraction. These books always crack me up.

Book Review

Review: Leadership: In Turbulent Times

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, $30 hardcover, 496p., 9781476795928, September 18, 2018)

Doris Kearns Goodwin (The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism) is a popular historian who has spent much of her 50-year career on biographies of U.S. presidents. In Leadership: In Turbulent Times she examines the titular quality through four interwoven case studies of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. This is not a simple condensed recycling of old material, but a new approach that took five years, and has much to say about how great leadership may be recognized and cultivated.
 
"They differed widely in temperament, appearance, and physical ability. They were endowed with a divergent range of qualities often ascribed to leadership--intelligence, energy, empathy, verbal and written gifts, and skills in dealing with people. They were united, however, by a fierce ambition, an inordinate drive to succeed... they all essentially made themselves leaders by enhancing and developing the qualities they were given." Their parents and educations had less influence on their future careers than might be expected. Three had well-connected parents who gave them various kinds of encouragement and support. By contrast, Lincoln had an abusive illiterate father who took him out of school by age 10.
 
Arrogance was a quality all four men had to learn to moderate. Lincoln once brought a fellow legislator to tears with his public mockery. He apologized, felt the shame of it long afterwards, but continued to use humor to counter-attack. Both Roosevelts had to overcome their entitled self-righteousness to learn how to listen and collaborate. Johnson was emotionally and physically exhausting to his students and staff, but balanced that with inspiring mentorship, his wife's generous hospitality and the fact that he worked longer hours than anyone. All four of these men suffered severe setbacks and depression, and considered quitting politics before going on to become president. And "all took office at moments of uncertainty and dislocation in extremis."
 
Goodwin alternates chapters on each president within three major sections: their educations and early careers; "adversity and growth"; and their very different presidencies. An epilogue looks at how each man approached death and prepared his posthumous legacy. She relies heavily on secondary sources, and provides a substantial bibliography that may interest readers who are curious to know more. Would-be leaders may find this a thoughtful introductory manual. For general readers it is a heartening reminder of what the best leadership can look like. --Sara Catterall
 
Shelf Talker: A popular presidential biographer examines the nature of leadership as demonstrated by the careers of four major U.S. presidents.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: The Quotable #LoveYourBookshopDay

"Bookstores are my houses of worship, and I consider those who work there my spiritual guides. Getting to know the wonderful people at my local stores has been the best way of guaranteeing a steady supply of books I've loved. Travelling around the country, I find it's the same wherever I go." --Bram Presser in the Sydney Morning Herald

Last Saturday, booksellers across Australia threw a party to celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day. Customers, authors, publishers, journalists and other bookish folk said many nice things about indies and, we hope, continued to buy lots of books. According to Nielsen, in the past year Australians purchased 55 million books at a value of more than A$1.1 billion (about US$800 million), an increase on the previous year. "Despite dire predictions over the years for the approximately 600 independent bookshops across the country, they are far from disappearing," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

"As author Mark Twain would put it, reports of the death of the local book shop have been greatly exaggerated," said Australian Booksellers Association CEO Joel Becker. "Video didn't kill the radio star, television didn't kill reading, e-books didn't kill real physical books and Amazon hasn't killed the local book store.... Australian readers still love going into a bookshop to buy books.... Whenever I see surveys about who people trust in their local community, the local bookseller is up there with the local pharmacist and newsagent as valued members of local shopping streets and centers. They are places to chat with enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff, to engage with authors and with other readers. Love Your Bookshop Day is a chance to get people who love books together on the same day, and have a party."

At Potts Point Bookshop

Anna Low, who bought Potts Point Bookshop, Sydney, 11 years ago, said: "We've worked hard in our neighborhood to be a safe place for anyone to come in and sit and read, to create community."

Hachette Australia asked several booksellers to share reasons for loving their job. All of the responses are great, including the one from Lea Wilson of the Book Warehouse Lismore, NSW: "To be clear here, I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. We are made of stories. Books contain everything we are, everything we've been or might one day become. People who read are the luckiest people in the world and the booksellers who serve those needs are truly the keepers of the treasure."

Text Publishing asked staff members to explain "what exactly it is about our local bookshops that gets us all excited." Marketing manager Shalini Kunahlan observed: "Bookshops are more important than ever: they are cornerstones of ideas, activism and, let's face it, the perfect escape from the less enjoyable parts of being in this world. We are so, so fortunate to have a healthy and diverse Australian-owned bookshop industry. Let's build on it and keep it going, book lovers."

Because I live on the other side of the planet, I couldn't visit Aussie indies last weekend. I did, however, keep an eye on social media for #LoveYourBookshopDay posts and celebrated from afar. Among my favorite quotable moments:

Berkelouw Books, Sydney: "An 8-year-old girl, with a handbag, just asked us at our Paddington store, 'How old do you have to be to read Jane Eyre?' Charlotte Brontë just let out a 'Jane YEEEAAAA!' from the other side."

Potts Point Bookshop: "We're excited, we are ready to be loved today!"

Love Your Bookshop Day: "WOW! @artgalleryofnswshop really outdid themselves this year! Not only are the costumes incredible, the bookish word-play has left us in stitches. Amazing work!"

Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney: "Yeah baby! Our little morsels are proving a hit on #LoveYourBookshopDay."

Mad Hatters Bookshop, Brisbane: "We're pretty lucky to have so many of you wonderful people walking through our doors every day. Thank you to everyone who celebrated #LoveYourBookshopDay with us--we couldn't what we do without you!"

Collins Booksellers, Shepparton, Vic.: " 'Reading is T-Rexcellent!' We had some dino-sized help promoting #loveyourbookshopday around #Shepparton today..."

The Children's Bookshop, Sydney: "What a crazy but wonderful @loveyourbookshopday at The Children's Bookshop!"

The Younger Sun Bookshop, Yarraville: "Happy #LoveYourBookshopDay from all of us at the Younger Sun! Thank you to all the authors and illustrators who came along today to join in the celebrations.... And a big BIG thank you to everyone who popped in today to love our little bookshop, you mean the world to us."

Fairfield Books, Vict.: "We are leaving our #loveyourbookshopday window up for the week so come on down and have a look at the fabulous work by @lucindagifford who did the illustrations complete with bookish cat pun titles!!"

The summing up: "Reading often sounds like a solitary, lonely, hobby but the reality is it's anything but," said Sean Guy of the Bookshop Darwin, Northern Territory. "We might spend a few hours alone while we read a book, but then it stays with us for years--and then there's the never-ending process of discussing and recommending! Books can truly change our lives. As a bookseller, I'm honored to play this small part for so many amazing, unique people…but even aside from that, I'm just having too much fun to stop. It's the best job."

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

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