Shelf Awareness for Friday, April 15, 2022


Other Press (NY): Playing Under the Piano: From Downton to Darkest Peru by Hugh Bonneville

Shadow Mountain: Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together by Tara Teaspoon

Berkley Books: The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch

Charlesbridge Publishing: Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math) by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Anastasia Williams

MIT Press: Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louie Läuger

Spiegel & Grau: Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West by Katie Hickman

Austin Macauley: Lasseter's Truth by John Somerset

St. Martin's Press: Weyward by Emilia Hart

News

Bookstore Sales Up 27% in February

In February, bookstore sales jumped 27%, to $583 million, compared to February 2021, according to preliminary Census Bureau estimates. By comparison to pre-pandemic times, bookstore sales in February dropped 1.7% in relation to February 2020. For the year so far, sales have risen 17.2%, to $1.5 billion, compared to the first two months of 2021.

Total retail sales in February rose 18.2%, to $579.9 billion, compared to February 2021. For the year to date, total retail sales have climbed 15.7%, to $1.166 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing new books." The Bureau also added this unusual caution concerning the effect of Covid-19: "The Census Bureau continues to monitor response and data quality and has determined that estimates in this release meet publication standards."


CamCat Publishing: The Darker the Skies (Earth United) by Bryan Prosek


Hooked Opening Soon in Lansing, Mich.

Hooked, a bookstore/coffee shop and wine bar, will have its soft opening next week at 3142 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing, Mich. The Lansing State Journal reported that customers "will find nods to both Lansing and nearby Michigan State University inside. Artist Marissa Thaler's mural on the wall overlooking the store's children's section depicts the Michigan Capitol Building and an MSU landmark." In addition, the cafe counter is crafted from white oak trees that once stood on MSU's campus.

Including those elements inside the new business in the Red Cedar Development off East Michigan Avenue was deliberate, said Sarah Reckhow, co-owner with her husband and fellow MSU professor Matt Grossmann. "We have this central location," she said. "We're in Lansing, but right on the border with East Lansing."

Hooked has been taking shape in a 3,000-square-foot, ground-floor space for several months, but the owners have been planning for the business for years. "At this time last year, we said we'd like to be open around this time," Grossman noted, adding that the store's soft opening is scheduled for Monday morning, "surprisingly" right on time.

"The location offers an abundance of natural light from large windows along the front and side of the store and a large outdoor patio area that's expected to seat 30 people," the State Journal wrote. "Inside, Hooked will seat 40 people. In the morning and during the day, the coffee bar will serve brewed and specialty coffee drinks made with blends from Chicago-based roaster Intelligentsia.... Eventually, Hooked's evening customers will be able to order selections from its wine bar." 

While Hooked will be as much a bookstore as a coffee shop and wine bar, Grossman said that when people ask him about it, they often refer to what they have the most anticipation for. "So some people call it a bookstore, but some people are like, 'Oh, you're opening the coffee shop,' or 'Oh, you're opening the wine bar,' " he noted. "We actually like that because I think it shows that we're trying to do all of that."

"I think we are hopeful that we're kind of able to step into this space where this particular combination doesn't exist in the area," Reckhow said. "We want to be a third-place type of space where it's like, 'Oh, you want to meet someone for coffee?' You can come here, but you're going to interact with and see all these other things going on."


Barefoot Books: Save 10%


More Plans for Independent Bookstore Day

With nearly two weeks to go to Independent Bookstore Day 2022, Shelf Awareness is taking another look at plans for the annual celebration of bookselling.

On Wednesday, April 27, the American Booksellers Association is hosting a virtual event with IBD Ambassador Angie Thomas. Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give, On the Come Up and Concrete Rose, will be in conversation with Melanie Knight, bookseller at Books, Inc. in Alameda, Calif. Scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time, the event is free and open to the public; any donations will go to We Need Diverse Books.

Bookstore Crawls
In Seattle, Wash., 24 independent bookstores are collaborating for the Bookstore Day Passport Challenge. To ease crowding given present Covid-19 conditions, book lovers have from IBD until May 9 to complete their passports. Those who receive stamps at every participating store will earn a Bookstore Day Champion Stamp Card, which will be valid until next year's IBD and good for a one-time 25% discount at each participating store. When customers turn in their passports, they can choose a "home store," where their champion card will be available for pick-up starting June 10. More information, and a full list of participants, can be found here.

Forty independent bookstores throughout the greater Chicago area are once again teaming up for the #ChiLoveBooks Challenge. Customers are encouraged to visit as many of the participating stores as possible, with prizes available to those who visit 10 stores, 15 stores or more. 

Book lovers will be able to scan a QR code or visit the #ChiLoveBooks website to find a landing page with instructions and a Google map containing information about all of the participating stores. To log their visit at a participating store on IBD, they simply have to take a selfie, scan a QR code and tag their images with #ChiLoveBooks.

Customers who visit 10 stores on IBD will get 10% off all participating bookstores for an entire year, while customers who visit 15 stores will receive 15% off for the entire year. The #ChiLoveBooks Challenge is sponsored by the Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

Book Moon in Easthampton, Mass., has created a Reader's Guide to Western Massachusetts, featuring 20 new and used bookstores in the area as well as a few suggestions for places to eat. The map ran as a full-page ad in Book Moon's local newspaper on April 8, and Book Moon, as well as High Five Books in Florence, Mass., have been giving out 11"×17" copies of the map free with purchase. The map features art from Australian author and artist Kathleen Jennings, who has illustrated a few books published by Small Beer Press, which is run by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link, owners of Book Moon.

Grant explained that Book Moon actually made the map in early 2020 and was working with Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley and High Five Books on a bookstore crawl passport, but that idea was shelved "when we all went to online and curbside pick-up only. If all goes to plan, we'll have a passport for IBD 2023."


Candlewick Press (MA): The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman


Devon Dunn, Cody Stuart Madsen Named VPs at New York's Book Culture

Devon Dunn
Cody Stuart Madsen

Devon Dunn and Cody Stuart Madsen, managers for Book Culture, Inc., have joined the bookstore's executive leadership team, with Dunn becoming v-p of buying and Madsen becoming v-p of operations.

Dunn has been the principal book buyer for all Book Culture locations (three in New York City as well as the new store in Pittsford, N.Y.) since 2020. Prior to that, Dunn managed backlist and corporate vendor accounts for the main Book Culture location on W. 112th St., in addition to coordinating textbook buying for area colleges.

Madsen has worked at Book Culture for 15 years. From 2014 to 2020, he served as events coordinator, and since 2020 has helped coordinate staffing and training.

"Book Culture is like a second home for me, a feeling I know many of our lifetime customers share," said Dunn. "I am honored and excited to continue serving our community of readers, whose diverse tastes I will strive to follow."

"I am honored to be given this stewardship of the bookstores where I have spent the last decade," Madsen said. "And I will strive to do right by our booksellers, neighbors and friends all over the world."

Chris Doeblin, president and owner of Book Culture, added: "Devon and Cody have demonstrated great leadership, and I am excited to expand Book Culture's executive team."


Parallax Press: Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems by Thich Nhat Hanh


New York Times: B&N Goes from 'Villain to Hero'

Barnes & Noble opened in Deerfield, Ohio, earlier this year.

Today's New York Times has a feature about Barnes & Noble entitled "How Barnes & Noble Went from Villain to Hero" with the deck, "To independent booksellers, the enormous chain was once a threat. Now it's vital to their survival. And it's doing well."

Among the points in the article, some quite familiar, some new:

Many in the industry value B&N because of "its unique role in the book ecosystem, where it helps readers discover new titles and publishers stay invested in physical stores, [making] it an essential anchor in a world upended by online sales and a much larger player: Amazon."

Sales at B&N rose 3% in 2021 compared to 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, and book sales are up 14%, as it reemphasized the sale of books over sidelines that often were not book-related, according to CEO James Daunt.

B&N's online sales have risen 35% over pre-pandemic levels and account for about 10% of overall sales. The company is investing more again in the Nook.

B&N's central staff has been reduced by half since Elliott Advisors bought the company in 2019 and since Daunt began shifting many central office responsibilities, including some buying, to B&N's more than 600 stores. Daunt commented: "I get all the glory, but actually what I'm doing is getting out of people's way and letting them run decent bookstores. All the work goes on on the shop floor."

Print books account for 76% of publishers' sales, according to the Association of American Publishers, and more than half of all print books are sold on Amazon.

And among those quoted:

Michael Barnard, owner of Rakestraw Books, Danville, Calif., noted big box competition over the years, including B&N, but said 2021 was Rakestraw's best year ever. "They've been, at times, extremely competitive and hard to have," he told the Times, but "they're the other major part of the industry that is committed to print and to in-person bookselling, and I do think they share some of our challenges. Having said that, I would prefer not to have one just down the road from me."

Oren Teicher, former CEO of the American Booksellers Association, observed, "There was a period where the competition was pretty ugly. Barnes & Noble was perceived as not just the enemy, but as being everything about corporate bookselling that was wrong"--until bookstores developed "a common enemy," Amazon.

Literary agent Jane Dystel: "It would be a disaster if they went out of business. There's a real fear that without this book chain, the print business would be way off."

Dan Simon of Seven Stories Press: "Discovery is so, so important. The more Amazon's market share grows, the less discovery there is overall and the less new voices are going to be heard."

Ellen Adler of the New Press: "It's funny how the industry has evolved so that they are now a good guy. I would say their rehabilitation has been total."


B&N's Sterling Publishing Buys Knock Knock

Sterling Publishing, Barnes & Noble's publishing division, has bought Knock Knock, the gift and publishing company that includes Knock Knock, which offers notepads, sticky notes, journals, decks and books, and Em & Friends, known for humorous and empathetic gifts and greeting cards. Knock Knock has more than 600 backlist products and 150 frontlist projects. The move adds to Sterling's growing publishing operations, including Union Square & Co. and its Union Square Kids, Boxer Books, Puzzlewright and Sterling Ethos divisions.

Emily Meehan, chief creative officer and publisher, Union Square & Co. and affiliates, will oversee Knock Knock. She commented: "We are honored to welcome the smart and inspired team at Knock Knock and Em & Friends, and to provide them with a new home where they can continue to thrive. Their distinctive book, gift and paper products fit perfectly into categories we've earmarked for growth and will move our strategic vision forward."

Jen Bilik, CEO and founder of Knock Knock, said, "I launched Knock Knock in 2002 on a bit of a whim, and the growth, creativity and marketplace change we've experienced over the last 20 years has been exhilarating. With a new home at Union Square & Co., I know that the combined crackerjack crew will continue to expand our two brands into the future."

Bilik and Emily McDowell, founder of Em & Friends, will remain as creative consultants. Also staying are Jim Papscoe, v-p, sales & operations, and Craig Hetzer, v-p, associate publisher.


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Survivalists
by Kashana Cauley
GLOW: Soft Skull: The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley

Aretha is a young Black lawyer whose single-minded dream of corporate success is challenged when she finds herself falling for Aaron, a doomsday prepper and illegal gun-stockpiler. While one dream unravels for her, an entirely new world unfurls--with darkly humorous explorations of race, privilege and friendship. With The Survivalists, Kashana Cauley, a former The Daily Show writer, makes her sparkling literary debut. Mensah Demary, editor-in-chief at Soft Skull, says there was "absolute, full-throated support and excitement from the minute the acquisition was announced internally," because of Cauley's observant, edgy writing and the important questions she raises about how to survive in 21st-century America as a Black woman. With a sharp sense of humor and insightful storytelling, Kashana Cauley has written a bold novel that will entertain and captivate. --Grace Rajendran

(Soft Skull, $27 hardcover, 9781593767273, January 10, 2023)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
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Notes

Image of the Day: Flyleaf Books Settles March Madness Bet with Raven Book Store

March Madness Update from Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.: "We made a friendly NCAA championship game bet with Chapel Hill’s @flyleafbooks, and since @kuhoops took home the hardware, the Flyleaf crew got to wear Raven gear to work for a day. Thanks for looking so good, friends!"


Blue Willow's TeenBookCon Returns In-person

Posted by Blue Willow Books, Houston, Tex.: "This past Saturday, Teen Book Con came back as an in-person festival. For the first time since 2019, we had the honor of welcoming some truly amazing YA authors to Houston to connect with local teens. It was an unforgettable day, full of laughter, important messages, and, of course, books. Thank you to everyone who made it possible, including the festival committee, volunteers, educators, sponsors, authors, and attendees. We can't wait until next year. Until then, happy reading!"


'What Customers (& Owners) Love About 10 L.A. Bookstores'

"Bookstores are wide open again--the booksellers busy selling, the customers browsing and the house cats doing their thing," the Los Angeles Times wrote in reporting "what customers (and owners) love about 10 L.A. bookstores."

The showcase was part of Lit City, a comprehensive guide to the literary geography of the city: "In March, staff writers Dorany Pineda and Christi Carras visited 10 shops around town with a photographer in tow--from a romance bookshop in Culver City and a Black-owned store at the Westfield mall to the Central Library and establishments serving cookbook obsessives, design geeks and others. In the gallery below, customers, employees and owners talk about their favorite shops, books and reading nooks and share what they love about bookish Los Angeles."


Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

At Sourcebooks:

Sean Murray has been promoted to v-p of sales, national and independent retail accounts. He joined the company in 2001 and was most recently executive director of sales.

Karen Masnica has joined Sourcebooks Fire as associate director of marketing and publicity. She was most recently a senior marketing manager at Simon & Schuster.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bonnie Garmus on Good Morning America

Today:
Good Morning America: Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry (Doubleday, $29, 9780385547345).


Movies: Benediction

A trailer has been released for Benediction, a new film from British director Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion) capturing the life of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon and starring Jack Lowden, the Film Stage reported. Set for a June 3 theatrical release from Roadside Attractions, the new U.S. trailer has landed for the TIFF selection. The film also stars Kate Phillips. 



Books & Authors

Awards: NYPL Young Lions Fiction Shortlist

The New York Public Library released a shortlist for the $10,000 Young Lions Fiction Award, presented annually to an American writer 35 years old or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on June 16. This year's finalists are:

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
Something Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin
Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz
I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart


Reading with... Matti Friedman

photo: Mary Anderson

Journalist and author Matti Friedman's debut book, The Aleppo Codex, won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize and ALA's Sophie Brody Medal. His memoir, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story, was chosen in 2016 as a New York Times Notable Book. Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel won the 2018 Natan Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award. Friedman's latest book, Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai (out now from Spiegel & Grau), follows the little-known story of Cohen's concert tour on the front lines of the Yom Kippur War, including never-before-seen selections from an unfinished manuscript by Cohen.

Handsell readers your book in about 25 words:

The story of an artist at war, one of the strangest concert tours in history and the way in which, decades later, that moment echoes in our culture.

On your nightstand now:

I'm reading Pax Britannica by Jan Morris, the second book in her trilogy about the rise and fall of the British Empire. Morris is a wonderful writer of the old school. She wasn't interested in the kind of cynicism, moralizing and apologetic posing that are expected nowadays. She headed out into the world looking for wonder, humor and humanity, making her nonfiction such a lasting pleasure.

Next to Jan on my nightstand is Russian genius Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry, which I just finished. In a series of very short stories based loosely on his own experience, Babel chronicles the failed Bolshevik invasion of Poland, circa 1920, in which he rode with the Cossacks. I know that might not sound fun to everyone! But Babel's writing captures not only the violence but also the crazy energy of the time. Every sentence gallops like a Cossack pony going somewhere unexpected. And although he's very much part of the revolutionary scene, Babel never makes the mistake of caring about ideas more than people. That's probably why he had to be shot by the secret police.

Favorite book when you were a child:

It's not original, but my favorites were probably the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. The idea of heading off on a great adventure appealed to me (and still does). So did the idea that the world may contain evil but is basically populated by good fauns and talking beavers who'll help you out. I missed the Christian symbolism until rereading it years later to my own kids. They remain wonderful stories. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, about a sea journey to the edge of the world, is a particular favorite.

Your top five authors:

George Orwell, the master of clear-eyed journalism. Alice Munro, who finds the thundering human heart in the quiet Ontario countryside, a landscape close to my own heart. Nicole Krauss, whose recent collection To Be a Man is some of the best fiction I've read in years. Vasily Grossman, the ultimate chronicler of the individual caught up in vast tragedies. And the early John le Carré, the bard of the Cold War, who saw that espionage was a perfect metaphor for the identity games we're all playing.

Book you've faked reading:

I've never claimed to have read it, but feel like I should have and yet haven't penetrated the introduction and maybe the first third: Orientalism by Edward Said. It's such an influential book that I've tried to get through it all a few times but have failed, because I'm too spoiled to suffer through truly awful academic prose.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The word "evangelist" may be triggering an association here, but I'll choose a little-known indie book called the Hebrew Bible. I'm currently reading the Book of Samuel with a friend once a week. We're in the King David cycle. For power of language and character and for sheer strangeness, it's impossible to beat. There's a reason it has had such a long print run. Reading those books strongly suggests we should be modest about how much we've advanced in our understanding of ourselves or in our storytelling ability over the past 2,500 years.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Oranges by John McPhee, first published in 1967. The cover has this drawing of a round neon orange, set against rolling Florida orchards and hills with a weird orange sky, and the whole thing just says, I'm tangy and idiosyncratic, so buy me! (The cover was designed by Darren Wall. Nice work, Darren.) The part of the cover that says "John McPhee" is obviously also a draw.

Book you hid from your parents:

This sounds like a lie, but I don't remember ever hiding a book from my parents. I'm not just saying this because my parents are likely to read this q&a.

Book that changed your life:

There have been many, but I'll choose River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler, which I picked up about 20 years ago when I was in my early 20s. It was lying around my parents' living room at the time after I was discharged from the military, and my brain was slowly coming back online. It's the story of his time in the Chinese city of Fuling while he was in the Peace Corps, and it was the first time I'd really noticed the idea of "narrative nonfiction." I've never been in any kind of writing program and had never heard that term at the time, but it's more or less what I've ended up doing with my life.

Favorite line from a book:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat." --William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Five books you'll never part with:

The ones I won't part with are the ones I find myself returning to all the time.

The Road by Vasily Grossman (translated from the Russian by Elizabeth Chandler, Robert Chandler and Olga Mukovnikova). Unforgettable stories from the Soviet century.

Essays by George Orwell (Everyman's Library). The great man shows us how it's done.

The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell. A demonstration of how history lives in culture and an introduction to the unforgettable literary generation of World War I.

Reporting Vietnam, Part One and Part Two (Library of America). A collection that presents a war as it unfolds, without the safe distance of the historian. It includes terse news reporting from the bush and also literary essays, such as Tom Wolfe's "The Truest Sport," one of the best pieces of journalism I've ever read.

A Writer's World by Jan Morris. A book of dispatches from more or less everywhere between 1950 and 2000 and a great source of writing inspiration. Her essay about Toronto was the first time I remember thinking that I might have grown up in an interesting city after all; I was 35 or so.

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

The first volume of The Last Lion, William Manchester's trilogy of biographies about Winston Churchill. It's a 900-page book that seemed to blow by in minutes, illustrating not only what a world-changing personality looks like but also how a great biographer operates. You finish the book in awe of both.


Book Review

Review: Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting

Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley (Pamela Dorman Books, $27 hardcover, 352p., 9781984878649, June 7, 2022)

In the world today, many people tend to live anonymously, in their own personal microcosms. However, in Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting, British author Clare Pooley brings people together--strangers--in such a fun, spirited way that it's bound to spark readers to expand their worldview.

This endearing novel, told from the points of view of an ensemble cast of vividly drawn characters, starts on a London commuter train. At the center of it all is Iona Iverson, a vibrantly quirky, 57-year-old magazine advice therapist--an observant creature of habit with job security issues--who leaves Bea, her significant other, and sets off to go to work with her beloved French bulldog, Lulu. Every day, Iona and Lulu sit in the same seat--usually in the seventh aisle of carriage number three--as the train traverses 10 stops over 36 minutes from Hampton Court to Waterloo Station. In her mind, Iona assigns clever pet names to the seasoned commuters with whom she daily co-exists, but never speaks to. This includes Impossibly-Pretty-Bookworm and Mr.-Too-Good-To-Be-True. The other passengers, likewise, do the same--Iona is referred to by one as Rainbow Lady and another as Crazy Dog Woman.

One fateful day, a man who doesn't normally ride the 8:05 a.m. train--whom Iona dubs Smart-But-Sexist-Manspreader, and who talks too loudly on his mobile phone and refers to his wife as "the ball and chain"--boards Iona's carriage. He dresses exquisitely but has his look "ruined" because he displays an "extraordinary sense of entitlement which only really comes with being white, male, heterosexual and excessively solvent." When he starts choking on a grape from his fruit salad, the normal, everyday order of the commute is upended. Oncology nurse Sanjay--who has the hots for the Impossibly-Pretty-Bookworm but lacks romantic confidence--performs the Heimlich maneuver on the Manspreader. Sanjay's heroic, life-saving act serves as a catalyst that suddenly transforms the travelers from strangers into friends. Over the course of the story, Pooley reveals the soul-filled truth of each person connected to the near-death experience. The stereotyping of appearances can be very deceiving.

As in her previous novel, The Authenticity Project, Pooley's grasp on the constraints and longings of the human condition proves immensely entertaining. Readers will be charmed by this uplifting, hopeful story rife with tender insights. Traveling with Iona Iverson is a literary journey well worth taking. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: In Clare Pooley's uplifting, immensely entertaining novel, strangers on a commuter train become unlikely friends after a shared near-death experience.


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: How #NationalPetDay Got Me Through the Week

Did you do anything special on Monday? I know, I know, the world is shite and you have so many other things on your mind. Me too, but celebrating National Pet Day was this week's coping mechanism. Statistically speaking, 45% of Americans told the Pew Research Center in 2017 that caring for pets brought meaning and fulfillment into their lives. The pandemic has probably spiked that number much higher.

Georgie welcomes customers to Split Rock Books, Cold Spring, N.Y.

Hearthside Books & Toys, Juneau, Alaska, added more health benefits to the list: "It's National Pet Day and your feathered, scaly, furry, woolly friend is not only your pet but helps keep you healthy, too! Pet ownership reduces cortisol, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and brightens your mood."

The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, Ill., asked the key question: "Happy National Pet Day! Are you on Team Dog or Team Cat?" Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., offered an alternative: Veruca the bookstore tortoise

How did I celebrate National Pet Day? Well, after gathering our cats Molly and Maisie 'round the family hearth (laptop screen), we set off on a virtual journey to see how booksellers were marking the day. Actually, Molly tried to bite the screen and Maisie jumped down immediately, but I pressed on, keeping an eye out for bookish cats and dogs. Here's a sampling:

On duty at Harvey's Tales

Harvey's Tales, Geneva, Ill.: "Happy National Pet Day from Harvey's Tales, Hazel, and Howard! Give your pet an extra big hug today and show your love for them!" 

The Book and Cover, Chattanooga, Tenn.: "We've heard it's National Pet Day, but we don't need an excuse to celebrate this best good boy."

Round Table Bookstore, Topeka, Kan.: "Happy National Pet Day! Chalupa and Aragorn would love to see pictures of your pets!"

Coyote Wisdom Metaphysical Bookstore, Lansing, Mich.: "It's National Pet Day! Here are the pets Coyote Employees get to go home to everyday! Let's see your pets!"

Timbre Books, Ventura, Calif.: "Happy #NationalPetDay from Otto, the goodest bookshop pup!"

Small World Books, Venice, Calif.

Of course, it's not all about booksellers. Customers' pets (dogs mostly) are welcome in many bookshops, where tasty treats are often available. Examples:

Bookstore At Fitger's, Duluth, Minn.: "It's #NationalPetDay PLEASE feel free to come down and visit our booksellers with your furry fourlegged friend! We LOVE seeing dogs in the building and spoiling them with a treat when they stop in at the bookstore!"

Pearl's Books, Fayetteville, Ark.: "It's Monday... the store's day of rest, and our opportunity to highlight some of Pearl's Pals who graced our doors this week (we're thankful to their humans for coming in, too)."

Lady at Burke's Book Store

Burke's Book Store, Memphis, Tenn.: "Pup of the day: this is Lady."

Book Passage Bookstore & Café, Corte Madera, Calif.: "Lulu is elegant and has refined taste!"

Suddenly I remembered "the monkey incident." Back when I was a bookseller, a guy came to my register one day with a leashed monkey on his shoulder. As it happened, a well-known, rather prickly author who lived in the area was checking out at a register nearby. Without so much as a glance at her nemesis, she said, in a haughty, distinctive voice: "One does not bring a monkey into a bookstore!"

One does, though, and much more. At Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash., "we know there's not a day that goes by that you don't celebrate your animal companion but today's a great day to give them an extra treat + some super snuggles! Just a reminder that we welcome all your furred and feathered friends in the store every day."

Many bookstores used the theme to handsell titles, including Book Beat, Oak Park, Mich. ("Celebrate our animal best friends with our selection of books for adults and kids alike!") and Bookery, Manchester, N.H. ("Come into the Bookery to see our pets on display or get lost in a story that has a pet centric storyline!")

Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, N.C., even showcased a sidelines alternative: "#Catroomba is now available at our store. Hours of entertainment for the more simple folk."

Loki returned to Kona Stories

In Hawaii, National Pet Day had a touch of drama. On Tuesday, Kona Stories in Kailua-Kona posted: "Construction started at Keauhou Shopping Center yesterday and Loki ran away… anyone in Keauhou see him call Kona Stories." The following day brought a happy ending: "Loki is home!!! Mahalo for all the help with his rescue."

Many bookstores work with shelters to foster animals. I loved discovering Cupboard Maker Books, Enola, Pa., where co-owner Jason Haring has built more than 200 feet of Catwalks above the shop's bookcases for the three permanent feline residents as well as guests looking for new homes.

The cats "love playing around up there," he told Newsweek. "When you're in the bookstore and you look up at the catwalks, we have photos of the 190 + cats that we've adopted out running down along the edges of the Catwalk.... People often ask how we can foster and fall in love with so many cats and then watch them get adopted. Because doing so saves their lives. Every time we find a furever home for one of our fosters, it makes space for our next Castaway Critter." 

And that's how I got through my week. 

--Robert Gray, contributing editor

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