I can't think of a better introduction to my year of exploring independent book stores than this article in today's Parade magazine that comes with the Sunday paper. Written by author Richard Russo (who won a Pulitzer for his 2001 book Empire Falls and whose newest book Elsewhere: A Memoir was released on October 30, 2012), he explains the importance of bookstores. I was moved.
"But to me bookstores remain places of wonder. Like libraries, they're the physical manifestation of the world's longest, most thrilling conversation."
And the people who work in these places will . . . "put in your hand something you just have to read, by someone you've never heard of, someone just entering the conversation, who wants to talk to you about things that matter."
His first 'place of wonder' was Alvord & Smith, which was actually a stationers store in Gloversville, NY In business for 103 years, it finally closed in 1993. What is your 'place of wonder?
It turns out that Places of Wonder is excerpted from My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers). Guess who will shortly own this book?