'Independent Booksellers Really Read Books'

"It starts with your first novel. Before that, stores were a haven as a young person. I was that kid who just sat in bookstores, browsing and maybe buying every several weeks--that's what only children do, they just hang out in bookstores. If not for the kindness of booksellers, where would I be? That's why I end[ed] up writing the storyline of A.J. Fikry, but also in terms of my career. Independent booksellers really read books, and that makes a big difference. I wasn't with a big publisher until this book, not in the adult space. I really feel grateful for booksellers that have ever taken their time to read a book of mine, even when some of my early novels didn't necessarily do well, but I think because independent booksellers are so much not about data. They're actually about the books and about reading the book, and I'm so grateful to them for that. It makes a huge difference. You're not just how many sales you've made in the past. It's about people, it's about relationships. I definitely wouldn't have the career I have without the support of independent booksellers. Period."

--Gabrielle Zevin, whose novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Knopf) is the #1 pick for the July 2022 Indie Next List, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week
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