Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 24, 2022

Little Brown and Company: Wolf at the Table by Adam Rapp

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Quotation of the Day

'Books Help Us Understand Ourselves and One Another'

"In these fractured times, I believe more than ever that books matter, that they have the potential to help us understand ourselves and one another. And I believe the work that the National Book Foundation does to connect readers everywhere with stories that exemplify the power of literature, while ensuring every person can see themselves reflected in books, is an essential element of personal wholeness and of robust community."

--Ruth Dickey, executive director of the National Book Foundation, reflecting on her first year at the Foundation

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona


Ci10: Doing Well by Doing Good

During the second day of Children's Institute 10 in Phoenix, Ariz., booksellers gathered to discuss their approaches to community partnerships. Panelists were Lupe Penn, youth and schools manager at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Laurie Gillman, owner of East City Bookshop in Washington, D.C.; and Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint in Chicago, Ill; Jennifer Kraar, children's bookseller and buyer at City of Asylum Books in Pittsburgh, Pa., moderated.

From left: Jennifer Kraar, Laurie Gillman, Verlean Singletary, Lupe Penn.

Penn reported that Bookmarks recently revamped its children's storytime program. The sessions used to be held every Saturday, and while some were "huge," others drew far smaller groups. Both options were great, Penn said, but the Bookmarks team felt that it "diluted the event." They refocused the storytime program by making sure every session had a community partner. The initial partner was the local police department, which has a literacy initiative that includes a book and ice cream truck called SweetReads; some 150 people attended. Bookmarks has also done storytime sessions with the parks and recreation department of Winston-Salem and a local Pride organization for a Drag Queen Story Time.

Remarking on establishing partnerships, Singletary encouraged booksellers to "talk your store up" as often as possible. Those conversations can lead to some surprising connections, and a lot of valuable community partnerships can start through word of mouth. Singletary, whose store is located in Chicago, said getting connected with big school systems can sometimes be a lot of work. Becoming an approved vendor with Chicago Public Schools was a lengthy process that involved having a recommendation from a school. Singletary recommended booksellers just "suck it up and get on the phone," and advised against sending e-mails, as they are "never answered."

Gillman emphasized that partnerships and events that might work in one community might "never happen in another." She pointed out that sometimes partnerships and events don't work out, but even in those instances booksellers are still forming relationships in their community. She and her team are "constantly trying" new things, as long as the events don't take so much time that it detracts from the "actual business" of the bookstore. If an idea is relatively easy, doesn't take a ton of staff time and makes someone else's job or life or mission easier, "of course we'll do that."

Kraar, meanwhile, brought up the importance of researching and vetting potential partnerships. Sometimes the best way to do that is through word of mouth and asking community members about a business or organization. Kraar brought up an incident in Pittsburgh where City of Asylum and other local bookstores pulled out of a partnership with a group that was "not being inclusive." It would have been good for the store financially, but then, "Who are we?"

All of the panelists were in agreement that booksellers need to be better about bragging about their stores. Penn mentioned that when Bookmarks does something beneficial in the community, such as donating the age-appropriate versions of How to Be an Anti-Racist to every public library and school library in the bookstore's county, they post about it in the store. It helps customers understand that the bookstore isn't just a place to buy books. Penn suggested using small signs similar to shelf-talkers to display information such as the number of books that the store donated the previous year.

They also noted that partnerships can take different forms. Booksellers, for example, don't always have to go into the schools. Instead they can bring the schools to them by doing things like hosting educator nights at their bookstores. And during the session's q&a portion, they suggested reaching out not just to schools and hospitals but also to local nonprofit groups, library associations and long-term care facilities. --Alex Mutter

Banter Bookshop Opens in Fremont, Calif.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week at Banter Bookshop, which has opened at 3768 Capitol Avenue Suite F, Fremont, Calif. The bookstore is a dream project of Amy Holmes Davis, a longtime resident of the city, who noted on the shop's website: "We are excited to be creating a shop for all ages where everyone will feel welcome to browse the latest selection of new books, chat with a bookseller or fellow patron, or purchase a gift for a friend. We hope your love of reading will inspire you to stop by."

On Facebook, Davis posted: "Thank you to everyone who attended the Ribbon Cutting this afternoon and to all those sending wishes from afar. I was so thrilled and honored to see you all there. So many people helped get me get to this point. Words cannot express my gratitude. My husband and daughters have provided endless support--without them truly this wouldn’t be possible. I am so thankful to all my family, and friends who are like family, who cheered me on as I chatted about this dream of mine for years!... And thank you to all of you who have taken interest in supporting a new local independent bookstore--I cannot wait to see you at Banter Bookshop!"

Uncle Bobbie’s Staff Member Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver

From a memorial for Dia Lee (via Twitter)

Dia Lee, a staff member at Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books, Philadelphia, Pa., was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver Monday. FOX 29 reported that Lee "was crossing Germantown Avenue on Culter Street around 7 p.m. when police say a speeding Tesla struck her and kept driving." Police later said the car was found Wednesday in Philadelphia, but not the driver.

Calling the death "callous and cruel," Uncle Bobbie's owner Marc Lamont Hill said Lee, who was 21, had worked at his business since it opened in 2017. "Dia was the person to cheer you up. Dia was the person to ask how you were doing. Dia was the person to offer hug if you wanted it." 

Hill noted that Lee studied engineering at Johns Hopkins University and was interested in writing, adding: "It's not for me to decide what justice looks like, but I know there is nothing fair or just about a hit-and-run where someone with such a beautiful and bright future is killed and no one is held accountable."

On Tuesday, Uncle Bobbie's posted on social media: "This is hard. We are mourning the loss of one of our beloved team members. Thank you to those who have shared kind words with us. We are absolutely heartbroken and figuring out how to begin the healing process."

The business closed for two days and reopened yesterday, noting: "None of this is easy and we don't have all of the answers. We ask that you give us grace as we won't be at our best but know we will be trying our best. Dia meant the world to us we will do what we can to honor their legacy."

Management Team Changes at Harvard Book Store

Cassie Riva
Serena Longo

At Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., Cassie Riva will become the new director of events, effective next month, succeeding Serena Longo, who is becoming communications & people operations manager, a new position.

Riva has been assistant event & marketing manager for An Unlikely Story bookstore, Plainville, Mass., since 2017. Harvard Book Store general manager Rachel Cass commented: "Cassie has tremendous experience organizing and executing a wide range of author events, including large in-person events and, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the pivot to virtual platforms. We're excited to welcome her to the Harvard Book Store management team."

Longo has been with Harvard Book Store since 2011 and has been marketing & events manager since 2018. Her roles have also included bookseller, supervisor, and marketing & events coordinator. Her new position, communications & people operations manager, will combine aspects of marketing and human resources, helping manage communications and matters relating to personnel, training, and administration. Cass commented: "Serena's wide range of experience combined with her thoughtful approach to everything from marketing campaigns to internal company policies makes her the ideal person to develop this new position."

The Womb Bookstore in Hawaii Closing Physical Shop

The Womb Bookstore in Kapa'a, on Hawaii's Kauai island, which opened in 2020, will be closing its physical shop and moving all operations online. In a post on the shop's social media sites, owner Keri Cooks said: "I have a special announcement for you all today. After one year and seven months of building and creating and serving all of you here in this physical location, the Womb Bookstore is moving online.

"Thank you for your grace as I make that transition. A teacher teaches, a reader reads, and a lover loves so you'll continue to see me online sharing my wisdom and doing readings. You'll also see me around here in Kauai at the markets.... I am, like many others, looking for housing here on the island.... Thank you all so much for allowing me to serve you. It has been an honor. I'll be in the store for the next couple of weeks and everything including the furniture will be for sale! Stop by and see me."


Image of the Day: Alaska Is for the Birds

Local artist Evon Zerbetz decorated the front window at Parnassus Bookstore in Ketchikan, Alaska, to celebrate her new book with Susan Ewing, Alaska Is for the Birds! Fourteen Favorite Feathered Friends (Alaska Northwest Books). Zerbetz added, "Some fun with book-page winged birds and bentwood arches made with trimmings from my yard for a Guest Window Take-Over for Ketchikan's cool indie--Parnassus Bookstore. 100% upcycled materials."

Desanto, Reiner Named Bookstock Vermont Literary Inspiration Award Recipients

Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner

Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner have been chosen as the joint recipients of the 2022 Bookstock Vermont Literary Inspiration Award for their "outstanding inspiration to the literary prosperity and traditions of Vermont."

For more than two decades, Desanto and Reiner "have been a vital force in community bookstores in Vermont," the Mountain Times reported. "The couple entered the Vermont bookstore scene in 1995 with their ownership of Chittenden County's former Book Rack and Children's Pages bookstore. They founded Phoenix Books in Essex in 2007 and opened Phoenix Books in Burlington in 2012. The couple then opened Phoenix Books Rutland in 2015, and Brandon in 2019.

"In 2016, they purchased the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, thereby ensuring the life of the longest continuously open bookstore in Vermont. The Yankee Bookshop was a co-founder of Bookstock in 2009 and continues to play an essential role in our annual festival. Onion River Press, founded by Desanto, Reiner and Phoenix Books, is a publishing service for local authors, another expression of their dedication to the literary flourishing of our state."

Bookstock co-founder and board chair Peter Rousmaniere said: "Michael and Renee really see the importance and potential of community bookstores and so design custom plans for each of their 'family' member stores to flourish. Each of their six stores is a beloved gathering place for local book lovers, and they actively support regional and national authors. The rich literary life of our state is strengthened and enhanced by Michael and Renee's special entrepreneurial gifts."

DeSanto commented: "Renee and I are so surprised to be so honored. We love Woodstock, we adore the Yankee Bookshop and absolutely cherish our partners, Kari Meutsch and Kristian Preylowski there. We are very excited to visit Woodstock to be recognized. On behalf of our partners in Rutland and Brandon, and our 40 booksellers we are grateful and thankful."

Personnel Changes at Algonquin/Workman; HarperCollins; Abrams

At Algonquin Books/Workman Publishing:

Debra Linn has been promoted to director of marketing from digital marketing director.

Anna Skudlarek has joined the company as marketing assistant.


Lauren Levite has been promoted to publicity manager at HarperCollins Children's Books. She was previously senior publicist.


Stephanie Keane has joined Abrams as marketing & publicity assistant for the adult group. She was previously a departmental intern.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: T.J. Newman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: T.J. Newman, author of Falling: A Novel (Avid Reader Press/S&S, $17.99, 9781982177898).

On Stage: The Kite Runner

Broadway's The Kite Runner, based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini, will begin previews July 6, with opening night set for July 21, Playbill reported. The production comes to New York after premiering in the U.K., including two runs in London's West End. Giles Croft, who helmed the U.K. production, directs playwright Matthew Spangler's adaptation. At a recent press event, the cast and creatives shared with Playbill what to expect from the production, along with offering a sneak peek at the play's music. 

Leading the cast is Amir Arison as Amir and Faran Tahir as Baba. They will be joined by Mazin Akar, Barzin Akhavan, Demosthenes Chrysan, Azita Ghanizada, Danish Farooqui, Joe Joseph, Déa Julien, Dariush Kashani, Beejan Land, Amir Malaklou, Christine Mirzayan, Haris Pervaiz, Alex Purcell, Eric Sirakian, Houshang Touzie. and Evan Zes. Salar Nader plays the tabla, a percussion instrument.

Movies: Thieves' Gambit

Steven Caple Jr. (Creed 2, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts) is attached to direct Thieves' Gambit, an upcoming YA thriller novel by Kayvion Lewis "that has been generating deals and buzz ahead of its planned fall 2023 publish date," Deadline reported, adding that Lionsgate has acquired motion picture adaptation rights.

The film is being produced by Temple Hill Entertainment, Caple and Hodson Exports' Christina Hodson and Morgan Howell. Lewis will executive produce. Meredith Wieck and Jon Humphrey will oversee for Lionsgate, with Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner and Annika Patton overseeing for Temple Hill.

"Thieves' Gambit is a thrilling, wish-fulfilling, globetrotting adventure that will introduce the world to an iconic new heroine," Lionsgate president of production Erin Westerman said. "Kayvion Lewis is a tremendous new talent, and we're confident that Steven and our friends at Temple Hill and Hodson Exports will shepherd it into an electrifying movie."

Books & Authors

Awards: Trillium Winners

Ann Shin's The Last Exiles won the C$20,000 (about US$15,930) English-language fiction Trillium Book Award, which is given to "recognize excellence, support marketing and foster increased public awareness of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and writing." Bardia Sinaee took the C$10,000 (US$7,965) prize in the poetry category for Intruder

The winner of the C$20,000 French-language Trillium Book Award was Robert Marinier for Un conte de l'apocalypse, and the C$10,000 French-language poetry prize went to Chloé LaDuchesse for Exosquelette.

Karen Thorne-Stone, president & CEO, Ontario Creates, said, "Every year I am amazed by the unique and talented voices of our nominees and the great works we have the privilege to support and read. Congratulations to this year's award-winning authors and thank you to our Ontario publishers for providing a stage for these incredible stories."

Reading with... Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz dropped out of college in 1973 and ran off to France where she spent eight years doing a variety of odd jobs, from enrolling at the radical University of Vincennes to picking grapes in Provence to working on a goat farm in the Cévennes. She was unaware at the time that this was the best possible training for a literary translator. Schwartz returned to the U.K. in 1981, discovered that she was unemployable and invented herself as a translator, now with more than 100 translated works of fiction and nonfiction to her credit, including her new version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince (published in 2010). In 2009, she was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She most recently translated I Who Have Never Known Men by the Belgian author Jacqueline Harpman (Transit Books, May 10, 2022), an post-apocalyptic novel of female friendship and intimacy.

On your nightstand now:

About 50 books! I keep buying books that I want to read but can never quite keep pace. I'm reading the great Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov's Death and the Penguin alongside an intriguing French book Le Poulailler métaphysique, a philosophical meditation on chicken rearing, sent to me by the author, Xavier Galmiche. I'm also reading Afterlives by Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah, a novel set in East Africa (present-day Zanzibar) under German rule at the beginning of the 20th century.

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was little, I loved A.A. Milne's poetry book When We Were Very Young, especially the poem "Now I am six." I always give that poem to friends' kids when they turn six and they love it. As an older child, I didn't have a favorite book, but a favorite series. I was completely obsessed with Enid Blyton's Malory Towers novels, set in a girls' boarding school.

Your top five authors:

Only five! Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Faïza Guène, Ian McEwan, Kamila Shamsie, Stefan Zweig.

Book you've faked reading:

Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I had to study it at college and I just couldn't engage with Proust's world. Some years ago, I was commissioned to translate Dining with Proust by Anne Borrel--a clever concept that featured recipes for all the dishes mentioned in Proust's oeuvre, alongside quotes from the novels where these dishes were mentioned. I spent a lot of time plowing through the books to locate the relevant passages, because the English editions didn't correlate with the French. By the end of it, I knew In Search of Lost Time inside out.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Mireille Gansel's Translation as Transhumance--a memoir-cum-meditation on the act of translation by an extraordinary French poet and translator. A child of Jewish refugees from Central Europe, Gansel has spent her entire life bringing persecuted voices into French, seeking out East German poets and even traveling to Vietnam during the Vietnam War in order to learn the language and translate the poetry of that country, as her way of protesting against the war. I was viscerally affected by Gansel's story, her exquisite writing and her profound reflections on translation--which she likens to transhumance, the Mediterranean shepherds' practice of moving sheep to the fertile mountain pastures in the summer and bringing them down to the valleys in winter. I championed this book and found a publisher in Les Fugitives in the U.K. and the Feminist Press in the U.S. Being inhabited by this book had a profound influence on my own translation practice.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I don't recall ever buying a book for its cover. It's what's between the covers that interests me.

Book you hid from your parents:

I grew up in a house full of books and no book was prohibited. I read Henry Miller in front of my parents. But I did secretly read the Kama Sutra which I found in my father's bedside drawer when I was around 14.

Book that changed your life:

Tracks by Robyn Davidson, the account of a woman's solo trek across the Australian outback. I came across it at a turning point in my life, when I had left Paris but wasn't ready to settle back in England. Reading this book spurred me to set off on my own journey across India, where I spent eight life-changing months.

Favorite line from a book:

I love this quote from An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which resonates with me: "Home isn't where you land; home is where you launch."

Five books you'll never part with:

Make that five hundred, or fifteen hundred. I don't like parting with books. Each one that I've read becomes a little part of me, even the old battered paperbacks of my youth. I look at my books and it's like seeing my reflection in a mirror. I don't lend my books, I buy an extra copy if I want to share a book I've loved.

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

I've reached that age where I've forgotten the detail of so many books I read years ago and loved, so I'm torn between wanting to reread those and wanting to read my growing pile of new books. I'd like to revisit the classics: Zola, Dostoevsky, Camus, Sartre foremost among them.

The joys of translating:

I can honestly say that I learn something new each day. I feel like a lucky butterfly, flitting from flower to flower in a lush garden. One day I might be translating a contemporary novel, and the next a political science tome. It's like being a perennial student. The greatest reward is the friendships I have built with some of the authors I translate and knowing that they are happy with my work.

Book Review

Review: Estates Large and Small

Estates Large and Small by Ray Robertson (Biblioasis, $18.95 paperback, 320p., 9781771964623, August 16, 2022)

The life of a middle-aged used bookseller in Toronto might not sound like promising fictional material, but in Estates Large and Small, Canadian novelist and critic Ray Robertson provides a warmhearted and unconventional love story that's also an opportunity for a gentle encounter with some of life's fundamental questions.

After a rent increase and the complications of commerce in the time of covid-19 force Phil Cooper to close his physical bookstore, he moves his inventory of 10,000 books online. When he's not anxiously checking his new website for orders, he's often visiting Toronto homes where survivors are anxious to dispose of a departed loved one's book collection. It's on one of these excursions that Phil meets Caroline, a well-educated, retired mail carrier who loves gardening and jazz and who possesses a library she wants to sell. In her case, however, the motive for that sale isn't the passing of a spouse or aged parent, it's a terminal cancer diagnosis. The chemistry between the pair, both of whom bear their share of scars from more than five decades of life as singles, is nearly instantaneous.

Phil, an autodidact whose formal education ended with high school, invites Caroline to join him on a project he'd already begun as a solo quest--a survey of 2,500 years of Western philosophy. Through months of red wine- and cannabis-infused evenings, their relationship deepens as they swap their impressions of thinkers from Socrates to Nietzsche, reflecting, at some times more directly than others, what's involved in living a meaningful life, especially when the time to answer that question is rapidly growing shorter. Phil also takes the opportunity to introduce Caroline to one of his passions--the Grateful Dead, and specifically Jerry Garcia--whose guitar, Phil tells her, "will hook me up to the infinite and take me for an extraterrestrial joy ride."

Death is one of Phil's frequent traveling companions. With cash in hand, his approach is all business, but beneath the surface of these commercial transactions, he appreciates the poignancy of disposing of these lovingly curated libraries for a handful of bills. Robertson majored in philosophy at the University of Toronto, and has written a nonfiction book about death (How to Die: A Book About Being Alive), so it's not surprising these subjects would be ones he'd want to tackle in his fiction. With Phil's droll humor and world-weary cynicism, and Caroline's clear-eyed determination to live her final days on her own terms, the two make for an appealing couple. Like the philosophers they encounter, Estates Large and Small only hints at answers to life's deepest mysteries, but it's a wise reminder that the journey is really the point. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Warmhearted and droll, a pair of middle-aged Canadian lovers turn to the great philosophers and Jerry Garcia to help them confront life's existential questions.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: #IndieBookshopWeek Festivities & 'Our Usual Buffoonery!'

"Independent Bookshop Week is here at last and everyone in Team B is excited for some bookish fun," Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, noted in the shop's latest newsletter, adding: "Stay tuned all week to our Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter for bookseller insights, our favorite indie bookshops, and recommendations, as well as our usual buffoonery!"

IBW is indeed in full swing in the U.K. Launched in 2006 by the Booksellers Association and a part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, the festivities highlight the vital role Indies play in their communities. 

As it happens, just before writing this column I stumbled upon a July 2006 Guardian piece written by Nic Bottomley, co-founder of Mr. B's Emporium, which had just opened. Discussing the store's name, he wrote: "And yes, I suppose I'm Mr B, although in my head he is an anonymous cane-wielding philanthropic book collector who searches the world for great books for our customers while the shop is manned by his faithful assistant the Book Monkey (the character on our logo). Actually, I suppose that makes me the monkey."

At Medina Bookshop in Cowes

Sometimes "celebrating" independent bookstores is serious business (indies battling Amazon, Covid, inflation, supply chains, VATs, censorship, indifference etc.). And that's important. Through The Wardrobe Books, Mirfield posted from the heart: "So this week is #indiebookshopweek! To celebrate I'll be dropping special offers, giveaways and reasons to choose to shop with us on here all week!! I've written this post out a hundred times with all the reasons it's harder than ever to keep this place ticking over during these incredibly tough financial times... but honestly, all that really needs to be said is that I am grateful to YOU for keeping me here doing what I love, and maybe that's what I'll focus on this week!!"

Equally important is the fun, and occasional goofiness, that makes campaigns like IBW tick, as in this brief sampling of #IndieBookshopWeek social media posts:

At The Bookery, Crediton

The Book Hive, Norwich: "Independent Bookshop Week continues apace here in the shop--as Henry here is trying to say, we've taken it so seriously that we've declared ourselves an independent state! Yes, we're teaming with one of our favorite indie presses And Other Stories to celebrate the launch of @jessi.jstevens wonderful new novel The Visitors by declaring ourselves a 'gnome-man's land.' But we need your help! Drop into the shop and pen a policy for our nascent utopia, and the ones that are chosen for our charter will win a bulging sackful of And Other Stories swag. The fate of our land is in your hands!"

Clare Mackintosh at Booka Bookshop

Author Clare Mackintosh at Booka Bookshop, Oswestry: "I got to be a bookseller for the day! Huge thanks to @bookabookshop for letting me play shop for the day."

Chapter One Loftus: "On Friday... as part of #independentbookshopweek author Matson Taylor will be taking over the running of the shop!! Now Matson thinks it's just sitting around drinking coffee and eating cakes from @willowcakeshop and playing with the till (he's probably right) but why not stop by and challenge his knowledge, watch him use the till, buy a copy of his book or just have a chat."

Author Joanna Cannon: "A little film of my trip to Bert's Books [Swindon] to be a bookseller for the day, and celebrate #IndieBookshopWeek! Supporting your local bookshop is even more important now than it's ever been. And why wouldn't you? Not only is it a wonderful place to buy your books (and get the best recommendations), it's a valuable space for community, joy, laughter, friendship and hope. In a landscape where those things often seem in very short supply, we should treasure these magical places. Plus, if you ever find yourself in Swindon, you must visit Bert's. Not only do they have an EPIC selection of they do the best ribbon (which I learned to tie in the video, double chin levels of concentration right there."

Poet Hollie McNish: "I LOVE bookshops. They smell of stories. Here is my love letter to them, for #IndieBookshopWeek @booksaremybag. Filmed in the gorgeous @NOALIBISBOOKS Belfast."

At RIAS Bookshop

RIAS Bookshop, Edinburgh, Scotland: "It's a glorious day at the RIAS Bookshop today as we celebrate #NationalTypewriterDay with Street Typist @KrishanCoupland. Think of a word/topic and pop in on your lunch break to pick up your own poem!"

Storyville Books, Pontypridd, Wales: "We've already had some brilliant creations at our #CreationStation! Pop in today and get involved. There are activities for all ages!"

Sevenoaks Bookshop, Sevenoaks: "A huge thank you to both Alyson at @thatsnotmyage and @clairepeppep for the feature on the amazing 'That's Not My Age' in celebration of Independent Bookshop Week. The link is in our bio to read all about [owner] Fleur [Sinclair]'s summer reading recommendations, style inspiration and more!"

Let's end back in 2006, with Nic Bottomley recalling a conversation that led him and his wife to make the life-altering decision to become indie booksellers:

"It was something we decided during our honeymoon, on the balcony of an Alaskan B&B. 'Why don't we,' I suggested, 'try doing something that we're really interested in? We could create a fabulous bookshop like that one in Seattle....' 

" 'Well,' said Juliette, 'why don't we?' And that was that."

--Robert Gray, contributing editor

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