Shelf Awareness for Friday, October 20, 2023

Chronicle Books: Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy


Frankfurt 2023: Salman Rushdie, 'Unreasonably Optimistic About the World'

In only his third public appearance since being attacked and nearly killed last August, Salman Rushdie said this morning at a press conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair that "it's easy in the present day to have a tragic sense of life because the world is not in great shape. I've always found myself to be almost unreasonably optimistic about the world. Writing is a kind of optimism. Dedicating yourself to several years to make a book is an optimistic act--that somebody will read it in the end."

Rushdie said that after what has "obviously been a difficult year, I'm happy to be back in reasonable health." He also expressed deep gratitude to the doctors who treated him and conducted the nearly nine-hour operation that, he said, "saved my life." He stated that although he thought "temperatures had cooled," the attack was "a pretty harsh and sharp reminder" about the fatwa that has hung over him since 1989. "I'm sorry it happened, and I'm fortunate to be here."

Rushdie noted that only 10 days ago, he finished Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder, which will be published in April. He said it was "impossible to write anything else. It would seem absurd to write something else until I had dealt with this subject."

Börsenverein chair Karin Schmidt-Friderichs with Salman Rushdie.

The press conference took place under extraordinary security precautions, even for Frankfurt, and was in connection with the German Peace Prize, given by the Börsenverein, the German book industry association. Rushdie called the prize "enormously important... many of the previous winners are friends of mine who I admire. It's amazing to join them." In a reference to the presentation of the prize at a ceremony this Sunday at St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt, he said, "I'm looking forward to going to church on Sunday, which is a thing you never heard me say before."

At the press conference, the chair of the Börsenverein, Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, said that Rushdie is being honored because "we see him not only as a great, great storyteller but also a political person who fights for human rights and the freedom of expression, and fights in the most peaceful way you ever can--with words."

Speaking about the situation in the Middle East, Rushdie said, "I'm against war. In war, innocent people die, and the truth becomes a casualty, making it hard to know what is actually happening. I'm filled with horror. I'm filled with horror about the attack by Hamas. I'm filled with foreboding about what Mr. Netanyahu might do in return. I hope there can be a cessation of hostilities at the earliest point."

Rushdie lamented the postponement of the presentation of the LiBerature Prize to Palestinian author Adania Shibli, which was supposed to have taken place during the fair and was one of the reasons that some Arab and Muslim publishers decided not to attend the fair. "I have great sympathy for her position and what's happened to her," he said, adding that he hopes the "postponement" of the award presentation is "not a euphemism." He suggested new plans to present the award be made immediately.

Rushdie expressed anew his unequivocal support of free expression, saying, "I'm not a fan of the burning of books, whatever the book may be." He noted that the famous quotation from Heinrich Heine--"Where they burn books, in the end they also burn people," from his 1821 play Almansor: A Tragedy"--was in reference to the Quran. "I detest the idea of book burnings, and Germans of all people know why. We know what followed from book burnings in this country." But he said he doubted there should be any laws against book burnings "because that would be a way to reintroduce a blasphemy law" in Western countries.

In general, Rushdie said, there are two major threats in the world to literature and freedom of expression: authoritarianism and religious fascism. Democracy is in danger, he said, stating, "Those of us who have lived in the last decade in the United States through the madness of the Republican Party face the fact that it's very worrying that one of the major political parties in the United States seems to have departed from democratic values and moved to a kind of culture of personality." This is happening elsewhere in the world, he continued, where many "mini Trumps are emerging."

Rushdie said it is not the role of literature to overcome political threats: "Literature shows the world as a rich and complex place, which is opposite of a narrow, bigoted view. There is no such thing as a good bigoted book. Literature shows us a world of openness and variety and therefore tolerance." He called "polemics very bad for literature. I don't like books that tell me what to think. I like books that make me think."

While he mentioned several government efforts to censor and intimidate writers, Rushdie said that a kind of self-censorship is also dangerous. "I do have the impression that there is an uncertainty among young writers about what they're allowed to write about. Not only for political reasons but for social and cultural reasons. My view is that everybody can write about everything. If that's not true, then the art of the novel ceases to exist.... If we're in a world where only women can write about women and only people from India can write about people from India and only straight people can write about straight people, etc., then that's the death of the art. The whole point about the novel is that you invent the world that is not, and that includes inventing people who are not like yourself. If all you can do is invent people like yourself, that's nothing." --John Mutter

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

The Story Collective Opens in St. Joseph, Mo.

The Story Collective opened this week at 114 S. Seventh St. in St. Joseph, Mo. Owner Ashley Dawson posted on Instagram Tuesday: "Opening day and it has been busy all day. Thank you all for stopping in! Let’s do this again tomorrow."

Dawson told the News-Press that independent bookstores like hers are re-surging. "The book industry, as a whole, has really changed in the last couple of decades," Dawson said. "But reading never goes out of style, and people still make great books. I think what people look for in an independent bookstore nowadays is a place to connect with other people, and that's what we are looking to bring to the community."

The Story Collective "wants to build longevity and a community of readers that like to come together and share what they're reading and learning," the News-Press noted.

"The good thing about most book readers is they tend to be learners," Dawson said. "So, I'm learning what others like as a reader and if I don't have it in my store, tell me and I'd love to stock it. It's something new for everybody, for me to learn, but also for people to come in and discover stuff for themselves that they may like.

"Not every person reads every genre. So, it's good to have a variety of books for all ages and all people so they can have something to walk home with and engulf themselves in a great story. Anyone can enjoy reading if the book suits them."

University of Texas Press: Loose of Earth: A Memoir by Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Bookish Bookstore Coming to Modesto, Calif.

Bookish's future home.

Bookish, a new and used bookstore, will open next spring at 811 Roseburg Square in Modesto, Calif. The Modesto Bee reported that when Yesterday's Books closed late last year, after more than four decades in business, Will DeBoard and Paula Treick DeBoard "got busy planning. Now, their work is turning into a new indie bookstore for the city... in one of Modesto's most established shopping centers, Roseburg Square."

"We kept saying, 'We wish Modesto had a bookstore. Why doesn't someone open a bookstore?' '' Treick DeBoard said. "And then we said, 'Why can't we do this?' " 

In February they began researching what it would take to open a bookstore themselves. They originally had hoped to find a downtown location, but then the space in Roseburg Square became available. Treick DeBoard is an author (most recently of the novel Here We Lie in 2018) and writing lecturer at University of California, Merced. The co-owners are self-described die-hard book lovers. 

"To get started they've relied on advice from other local small business owners, their own experiences visiting indie bookstores across the state and beyond--something they always do when traveling--and a boot camp program with the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center," the Modesto Bee noted. Treick DeBoard also spent this summer interning at the A Seat at the Table bookstore in Elk Grove. The DeBoards have launched an Indiegogo campaign to help with the renovations and other needs for the new enterprise. 

"We've been really overwhelmed by the community. We expected our friends to come on board with us and support us. But all these people we'd never met or heard of have been sending us messages about how excited they are about this," Treick DeBoard said. "We are hoping the crowdfunding is the community buying into it, and then we could do even more with this." 

They plan to carry about 40% new and 60% used books. Ultimately they want the shop to be a gathering space for book clubs and community groups. 

In a Facebook post announcing the new location and more detailed plans, the co-owners wrote: "All good stories start with a story... right? One day this summer, I was walking the pups through Roseburg Square and noticed the empty storefront at 811, and I immediately stopped and took the exterior pictures you see here and sent them to Will. The truth is, we had been looking at some downtown properties (we love downtown!) but kept running into little barriers, like parking and space--either too much or not enough. And then came 811. It checked all our boxes: the windows, the high ceilings, the access to parking and proximity to the Virginia Trail and other small businesses.... We'll get started soon.... We're grateful for all of you. And we can't wait for you to visit us in this space!"

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Sower Books in Lincoln, Neb., Launches Funding Campaign

Tory Hall

Bookseller Tory Hall has launched a $50,000 IFundWomen campaign to open Sower Books in Lincoln, Neb., early next year. 

"I've been lucky enough to spend the past seven years learning the ropes of bookselling and running a bookstore," Hall wrote on the crowdfunding page, referring to her work as a bookseller at Chapters Books & Gifts in Seward. "Sower Books will be located in my adoptive hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, hopefully in the 48th and Leighton neighborhood by Wesleyan College. Our name is both a nod to the iconic Sower sculpture on top of the Nebraska Capitol and an homage to Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower--a book about community care and building the better world you want to see."

On the bookstore's website, Hall offers a glimpse at her vision for the bookstore: "I've been a book lover since Day 1 and an indie bookseller since 2016. It's been an honor to work in others' bookstores, and now I'm ready to pursue my own mission! Our focus is on marginalized voices and local creators, artists, and makers. Sower Books will be a space where all feel seen and appreciated. We're here to make friends, love one another, and last but never least: read, discuss, recommend, share, and love books!"

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Obituary Note: Vincent Patrick

Vincent Patrick, an author and screenwriter "who set pins at a bowling alley, peddled Bibles door to door and helped start a mechanical engineering firm before finding critical success with his first novel, The Pope of Greenwich Village," died October 6, the New York Times reported. He was 88. Son of a Bronx pool-hall owner and numbers runner, Patrick "was raised in a milieu sprinkled with the grifters, hustlers and mobsters who would eventually become characters in his novels, which also included Family Business (1985) and Smoke Screen (1999)."

He wrote the screenplays for the film versions of both The Pope of Greenwich Village, starring Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts; and Family Business, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick. His son, Richard Patrick, told the Times that his father understood the compromises required to make it in Hollywood, and convinced producer Scott Rudin that he would not treat his novels as sacrosanct works of literature, telling him, "I have no compunction at all about cannibalizing my own work in order to bring it to the big screen."

During the 1950s, Patrick put himself through New York University, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, after which he and a partner started a successful firm that designed, among other things, an assembly line for caskets. By his mid-30s, however, he had left engineering to write professionally. "I wasn't really happy, and I knew if I didn't begin to write something, it wasn't going to be written," he told People magazine in 1979.

While he was initially drawn to screenwriting as a means to adapt his own work, Patrick developed a successful side career as a screenwriter. Among many other projects, he contributed to the script for The Devil's Own (1997).

Patrick once told the Los Angeles Times that Hollywood was both a fabled land of opportunity and a trap: "Once you start, it's hard to get out." Discussing his novel Smoke Screen, he observed: "Yeah, this is my third novel in 20 years. But I think when you look at it, from the point of sheer craft, I've gotten better. And that's because, Hollywood or not, I write every day. It's different writing, but it all boils down to plot and characters."


Image of the Day: Patchett and Di Camillo at LOC

Ann Patchett (Tom Lake, Harper) and Kate Di Camillo (The Puppets of Spelhorst, Candlewick), who each dedicated their most recent book to the other, at the Library of Congress on October 19--their first time together on stage. You can watch their conversation here. (photo: Edmond Joe)

Halloween Window Display: City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, San Francisco, Calif., shared a photo of the shop's PageWitch (created by staff member Erin Messer), noting that "she greets all visitors to City Lights Bookstore, along with a selection of some of our fave spooky tales."

In an Instagram post, City Lights added: "She'll be haunting our selection of books for spooky season all month long. She's even got a buddy in the corner to keep her company... and plenty to read, of course!"

Lerner Publisher Services to Distribute Flying Start Books

Lerner Publisher Services, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, will be exclusive distributor in the U.S. and Canada for Flying Start Books, effective February 1, 2024.

Founded in 2000, Flying Start Books has headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, and Red Rocket Readers is the company's flagship reading series.

Lerner Publisher Services will distribute nearly 700 Flying Start Books from the Red Rocket Readers imprint to all markets, starting in spring 2024. The Red Rocket Readers program publishes illustrated and photo-driven leveled readers that are designed to support children through the use of controlled natural language and appropriately sized, well-spaced, and easy-to-read type. Red Rocket Readers were developed by literacy specialist and teacher Pam Holden. The Red Rocket Readers series will be available for pre-sale through Lerner starting on November 1.

Sarah Ensor, managing director and co-founder with her sister, Rachel Walker, of Flying Start Books, said, "Flying Start Books is excited to embark on this new journey with Lerner Publisher Services. Their expertise in delivery to market will allow us to focus on our core business--creating wonderful books that help get children off to a flying start with learning and gain a love of reading for life."

David Wexler, executive v-p of sales for Lerner Publishing Group, said, "The confidence and enthusiasm for reading that the Red Rocket Readers help nurture in children aligns with our mission to support literacy and inspire a lifelong love of learning."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Grann on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Vintage, $17, 9780307742483).

Good Morning America: Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, author of Forever Strong: A New, Science-Based Strategy for Aging Well (Atria, $29.99, 9781668007877).

Movies: The White Tower

DC and Marvel filmmaker Jay Oliva will direct iwot's upcoming 3D animated movie, The White Tower, based on Robert Jordan's epic novel series The Wheel of Time. Deadline reported that the "YA project will be set in a time before the events chronicled in the 14 novels by Jordan and Amazon and Sony's Wheel of Time TV series.... As previously announced, the long-gestating project will be based on an original screenplay from writer Zack Stentz (Thor). The team is eyeing an early 2024 start."

Oliva's TV directing projects for Warner Brothers Animation, Marvel/Lionsgate, Sony and Disney include The Dark Knight Returns (Part 1 and Part 2); Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox; Justice League: War; Batman: Assault on Arkham; Batman vs. Robin: and Batman Bad Blood

"I am so excited to be joining this amazing creative team," said Oliva, "Reading Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time inspired me to become a filmmaker, and having an opportunity to explore the world he created has been a lifelong dream of mine.... The rich history of the White Tower has intrigued me, and the expansive backstory of the books gives the creative team the freedom to tell a fresh and imaginative story within the familiar world that was so meticulously crafted by Jordan in the Wheel of Time."

Selvage commented: "With the addition of Jay, his vision and his experience in world building, the White Tower team is complete and positioned to deliver our collective vision of an animated feature film that is unique, powerful and entertaining."

Books & Authors

Awards: Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Winners

The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation named No Country for Girls by Emma Styles the winner of this year's £10,000 (about $12,150) Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for best published novel. 

Judge Giles Kristian said No Country for Girls "has everything you could want--living, breathing characters, evocative descriptions, and a journey across an unforgiving landscape. It is an adventure novel through and through." Judge Leon McCarron praised the book's "sense of adventure," adding: "That road trip is written to perfection. The protagonists are great, and it is full of excitement and jeopardy. It is just what an adventure book should be."

Prize founder Niso Smith commented: "The entries this year were strong, the shortlist filled with remarkable yarns that push the boundaries of adventure fiction. It was a delight to have such diverse and inventive narratives to share with readers, a testament to this thriving genre and its ability to take readers on exhilarating journeys, through landscapes and experiences."

Five writers were selected as winners of the 2023 New Voices award, designed to support them in taking an idea and turning it into a finished manuscript, receiving one-to-one editorial guidance and mentoring.

In addition, four writers received Author of Tomorrow honors. Selected by a panel of young judges, the prize recognizes a short adventure story by writers 21 years old and under.

Reading with... Tim Johnston

photo: Dave Boerger

Tim Johnston is the author of the novels Descent and The Current; Irish Girl, a story collection; and Never So Green, a young adult novel. After earning degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Johnston made a living for 25 years as a carpenter. He is the recipient of the 2015 Iowa Author Award and lives in Iowa City. Distant Sons (Algonquin Books, October 17, 2023) is a crime novel set in a small Wisconsin town.

Handsell readers your book in approximately 25 words or less:

Two young men meet by chance and set off a chain reaction of violence in a town where three small boys went missing in the 1970s.

On your nightstand now:

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead. I've been a Colson Whitehead fan for a good while and saw this new one at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City and grabbed it up. He builds and inhabits his worlds in just the finest of sentences.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. No one has to explain why they loved this book as a child.

Your top five authors:

Cormac McCarthy, Alice Munro, James Salter, James Joyce, Charles Portis. For each of these authors, it's the combination of mesmerizing storytelling and a way with the English language that just makes you glad to be a reader (and a writer).   

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible, during a brief teenage religious phase.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Open City by Teju Cole. The writing, sentence by sentence, is just addictively serene and beautiful. And then there's the sly psychology of the story that is so deeply connected to all those beautiful sentences and which only becomes more powerful and connected upon subsequent readings.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Diaries of Franz Kafka--the Schocken Kafka Library hardback edition. Just one hell of a good-looking book. But also, I want to read it.

Book you hid from your parents:

There was no hiding of books in my childhood--either by me or by my parents.   

Book that changed your life:

Carrie by Stephen King. I found it in a junior-high language arts classroom and had never read anything like it. When I was finished, I wrote my first short story--fan fiction they call it now--the detailed mayhem of which, these days, would set off alarms, but back then seemed mostly to surprise my teacher, who'd had little good reason to notice me before.

Favorite line from a book:

"My friend, who seemed to have read my thoughts, said, You have to set yourself a challenge, and you must find a way to meet it exactly, whether it is a parachute, or a dive from a cliff, or sitting perfectly still for an hour, and you must accomplish it in a beautiful way, of course."

This is from Open City by Teju Cole (p. 197), and it seems to me the author's summation of the challenge he set himself with this book, not to mention an appropriate challenge for anyone who sets out to create.

Five books you'll never part with:

True Grit by Charles Portis, Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway, Dubliners by James Joyce, Last Night by James Salter, Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee--each of them wildly different worlds discovered at entirely different times in my life and to which I return with a feeling of relief: I do not read to find out if I will love this book or to find out what happens in the story; I go there to soak in the known loveliness of the story and the sentences.

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

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Beyond the notorious story line, the novel turns out to be so strange and beautiful and funny and brilliant that it's impossible to imagine the surprise of reading it for the first time.

Five books that broke your heart:

Independent People by Halldór Laxness, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway, The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy, Ask the Dust by John Fante.

At the heart of each of these books, as at the heart of the human condition, is sorrow. I don't require it from every book, but it's one beautiful thing great books can do, which is devastate you.  

Book Review

Review: The Archive of Feelings

The Archive of Feelings by Peter Stamm, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Other Press, $15.99 paperback, 192p., 9781635422757, December 5, 2023)

Swiss writer Peter Stamm (The Sweet Indifference of the World; Agnes) writes with the seemingly effortless precision of an artist. He is known for his ability to cut away every unnecessary phrase and still leave readers feeling awash in a kind of quiet abundance. In The Archive of Feelings, translator Michael Hofmann renders Stamm's original German with care, capturing with apparent ease the buoyant rhythm of the text and the structure's complexity. With an unnamed narrator and a constantly shifting sense of time, this novel could have disintegrated into abstraction; however, Stamm is able to maintain clarity and subtle strength, even as the tense shifts and readers question what is actually happening and what might exist only in the middle-aged archivist's mind.

After his boss deems obsolete his job curating and organizing news clippings, the archivist moves the entirety of the collection to his basement and attempts to continue the work independently. He recognizes that the archive "didn't pay its way. But tell me, what does? The archive not only points to the world, it is a picture of the world and a world in and of its own.... That is the true point of the archive. To be there and make order." The archivist, despite his desire to create and maintain order, has entered a period of searching and uncertainty, especially as he dwells on his lifelong love of a childhood friend--Franziska, now a Swiss pop star known as Fabienne. The narrative moves seamlessly between the present and the past, tracking the years of his longing for Franziska and various other relationships along the way. He acknowledges his abnormal detachment, a "tendency to stand to one side and observe myself" and reflects: "Perhaps that's why I was so overcome by my feelings for Franziska, because they seemed to come from my body, not my brain. Because I didn't understand them and couldn't even properly name and classify them."

Gradually, his view of the archives changes, as does his perspective on the next phase of his life. When he unexpectedly reconnects with Franziska, everything is imbued with possibility, a familiar feeling to those who, like the archivist, have reached midlife and wondered what might come from risks newly taken. Stamm's prose is remarkable, exerting a hypnotic draw that may catch readers unaware but will surprise them with its force. --Sara Beth West, freelance reviewer and librarian

Shelf Talker: Like light shifting across a landscape, Peter Stamm's The Archive of Feelings plays with time and memory, offering an unusual look at the way changes in midlife can open onto unexpected possibilities.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Bookshop Day U.K., Ireland: 'You Magnificent Lot Arrived in Droves'

For us, Bookshop Day is all about community. We celebrate the wonderful relationships we've established with our loyal customers and champion bricks and mortar independent shops on the high street. In an age when Amazon and online shopping can be all too convenient, Bookshop Day allows us to remind people that we're here and have a genuine passion for connecting readers to great books.

--Jordan Taylor-Jones of the West Kirby Bookshop, Wirral, U.K., in Northern Soul

Last week's column highlighted Australia's Love Your Bookshop Day (October 7), so it only seems fair to return with a little peek at Bookshop Day in the U.K. and Ireland, held October 14 as part of the Books Are My Bag campaign. Bookshop Day was launched in 2013 and is run by the Booksellers Association. The aim is "to highlight the cultural importance of books and bookshops, and celebrate the people that bring the two together, our wonderful booksellers! Booksellers are what make our book-buying experiences so special--they are book experts, curators, community champions, bibliotherapists and matchmakers."

At The Main Street Trading Company, St Boswells, Scotland

Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Assoiation of the U.K. & Ireland, noted on social media that this year's Bookshop Day was of special significance for Kate Harris, owner of Harris & Harris Books in Clare.

Last Saturday's launch of her new, larger store was "the best day ever!" she posted on Facebook. "Yesterday at 10 a.m. sharp we opened the door to Harris & Harris Books--Volume Two, to find a QUEUE waiting ever so patiently to come in. I couldn't believe my weary but jubilant eyes. Then in you came with your smiling eyes and happy faces to feast upon the new and improved bookshop.... You magnificent lot arrived in droves. It was like a tidal wave of bookish joy and soon the bookshop was full but still more came in. I was absolutely blown away by all your love, kindness and support for this not-so-little-anymore bookshop."

Bookish glad tidings of good cheer were on display everywhere. Among the many #BookshopDay2023 highlights on social media:

Drake the Bookshop, Stockton on Tees: "Thank you so much to everyone who visited us yesterday on #bookshopday and kept our fabulous guest booksellers so busy! Thank you so much Matson Taylor, Andy Ruffell, Amy McCaw, Lisette Auton and Fiona Erskine--Your customer service, book recommendations, donuts, banter and till operating expertise was legendary. But most of all--thank you to our fantastic customers for choosing your local independent bookshop. We really couldn't do what we do without your support too."

At White Rose Book Cafe

White Rose Book Café, Thirsk: "Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate #BookshopDay with us, plus our 28th Birthday. (We reckon we're the oldest retailer in town!!) You are all awesome and we couldn't be here without you.... A massive shout out for our Team, who work tirelessly to create a welcoming and attractive shop & cafe space for all."

Gloucester Road Books, Bishopston: "Happy Bookshop Day one and all! May your day be filled with excellent finds from the shelves, and entirely free of paper cuts. Shop is, as ever, full to bursting with HOT new publishing and trusty favorites. Salutations to all the other Bristol bookshops. We hope everyone enjoys their Saturday."

Little Acorns Bookstore, Londonderry, Northern Ireland: "#BookshopDay loves authors & publishers too!"

At the Portobello Bookshop

The Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh, Scotland: "We can't believe this is our 5th bookshop day already, the years have flown by! We're here all day celebrating books and bookshops and are looking forward to seeing some of your lovely faces in store.... We're delighted to have such lovely displays for Bookshop Day and are in awe of the amount of detail, skill and patience that has gone into this."

Sam Read Bookseller, Grasmere: "It's #BookshopDay! Why not embrace your weirdest bookshop day traditions and rituals and frequent your nearest bricks n mortar bookshop to share them (and maybe track down that spooky tale/crucial map/biography of your favorite animal...)."

At Booka Bookshop

Booka Bookshop, Oswestry: "Happy Bookshop Day! Welcome to Booka this Bookshop Day as we celebrate bookshops and our own 14th birthday!... Wherever you are and whatever you're up to we hope you find time to pop into a bookshop near you!"

Suddenly On Sheaf Street, Daventry: "And that's a wrap on our first ever Bookshop Day! Thank you so much to everyone who came to support us today, we had a wonderful day celebrating with you all!... We are so grateful for all your support--whether that is buying a book, sharing one of our social media posts, or telling a friend about us. It all helps."

Bookshop Day also happened to be the first day of Irish Book Week, and Dublin's Gutter Bookshop noted: "Thank you to all the customers who shopped with us today, such a joy to be talking #IrishBooks all day long."

As part of the festivities, a #ChooseBookshops video--described by Emma Bradshaw, BA's head of campaigns, as "lovely authors, saying lovely things, about lovely bookshops, whilst in lovely bookshops"--was released. BA's Meryl Halls observed that it "sums up what bookshops bring. Joy, enlightenment, fun, humor, comfort, answers, wisdom, distraction--books make us what we are, and bookshops bring us together with others. Especially when the workings of the world might elude us."

--Robert Gray, contributing editor

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