Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's a move towards making the store both a comfy physical space and an accesible and interactive virtual one.
Onward, virtually, ho!
One fun aspect of this is getting to put together some little displays for various books. Our front tables are generally a showcase of the new and notable. But we do have one small table near the front register that doesn't have a specific cause. At times we use it to display books for an upcoming event. Other times it has some kind of focus or theme. Come April, we'll have lots of poetry books out for National Poetry Month. Right now I've chosen to turn into a little curator's table.
What I mean by that is that it doesn't have one particular focus other than the books displayed are ones we find to be beautiful, eye-catching or otherwise visually notable. Make sure the next time you stop in to take a peek at the little table and see what it has to offer. Little treasures await.
Finally, as the Schwartz group of bookstores(in Milwaukee) get ready to close their doors as March comes to a close I wanted to post a quote from their founder that I found especially compelling: "Bookselling was and is for me a cultural and political expression, an expression of progressive change, of challenge to oppressive authority, of a search for community values which can act as an underpinning of a better world. The true profit in bookselling is the social profit; the bottom line, the measure of the impact of the bookshop on the community." A. David Schwartz
That quote really reflects what we hope to do day in and day out here at Micawber's.
Bookselling was and is for me a cultural and political expression, an expression of progressive change, of challenge to oppressive authority, of a search for a community of values which can act as an underpinning of a better world. The true profit in bookselling is the social profit; the bottom line, the measure of the impact of the bookshop on the community.
-A. David Schwartz (July 15, 1938 - June 7, 2004
Friday, March 20, 2009
Hope some of you can join us tomorrow at 2 p.m. as the Okee Dokee Brothers join us for some singing. Check out their website at www.okeedokee.org to get more of an idea of what these two amazing young men are up to.
Also, two long-awaited books have come back into our store.
First, around Christmas, Daniel Pinkwater talked about James Thurber's "13 Clocks" which has come out in a very nice little hardcover package. It was gone forever but is now back. Come see it.
Second, we're happy to report that SAP's very own Susan Marie Swanson and her Caldecott-winning book "The House in the Night" has come back into stock. Copies are flying so top in to pick one up.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Earlier today I sent out our monthly e-mail newsletter(let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to start getting it) and I touched briefly on the fact that so very many people these days are asking us, "So, how are things going?" It can be asked with trepidation or commiseration or with compassion. The economy, in short and as we all well know, is not so great. Regardless of small or large business or what type of industry people are in it's tough sledding right now. No different here. Yet I'm choosing to take an optimistic viewpoint and think of this as a time to re-focus on what's important(the customers and the books) and choose our stock carefully and handsell those books we believe in even more wholeheartedly.
I also know that people are mostly exhausted by the constant chatter regarding "the economy." So I try to avoid it mostly. We're trying to get even more remainders in on regular basis to give customers various price options and always on the look-out for more great paperback options.
But who and what I really want to talk about today is Hans. Not to worry: I haven't gotten all third person on y'all. Hans Fallada is a writer that wonderful Melville House publishing is trying to bring back to the reading world's minds. His novels written during the Nazi regime--often written in code in small notebooks--have been suppressed and banishedat various times. Fallada's personal story is as wild and sad and unbelievable as any fictional story could ever be and I'll leave his biography those who read his books and those who wikipedia. But the novels--they deserve some talking about.
"The Drinker" and "Little Man, What Now?" have both been published in paperback for $16.95. These are re-prints and both had fans like Thomas Mann, Graham Greene and Herman Hesse to name a few serious heavyweights. It's exciting to see them published anew and available to new audiences. The real prize, in my mind, is the never before translated "Every Man Dies Alone". When we got an advance reader copy a few months back I handed it off to my mom who is a book-devouring machine. She read it and told me how fantastic she thought it was. Now that I'm fifty pages from the finish I have to agree. The book was written in 24 days(no typo) and is based on real-life events. A gorgeous jacket with cool inlaid maps accompany this book. Melville House has done American readers a great service by bringing these books to us. I hope they find enthusiastic readers both near and far. Go here http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/books/review/Schillinger-t.html?_r=2&ref=books to read a recent review. I do hope that, like "Suite Francaise", a book can find a deserving chance at life.