Sunday, August 12, 2012

In Which I, Once Again, Rant About the World and, Then, Find Hope in a Small Bookstore




Apparently yesterday was Australia's National Bookshop Day (thank you, Louise at A Strong Belief in Wicker!)  I'm not in Australia and I'm a day late to the show, but I'd love to use Australia's holiday to share a bookshop story of my own.




I often feel sad when I consider my great state of Texas (see my rant...that is, my blog post Book Sale? Or Gun Show? You Decide! or take a look at any of Bill Crider's Once Again, Texas Leads the Way posts, especially the recent link to a story about a new $60 million Texas high school football stadium).

So much potential.  We are Texas, after all.  But we could be so much more than we are. Must we take pride in our many Texas citizens who find themselves in the People of Walmart videos? Is that all we've got these days? Sadness.



And then I take a trip with four of my fellow librarians to the amazing Blue Willow Bookshop in nearby Houston and my hope is restored.

You wouldn't know Blue Willow was there if you weren't told about it. From the street it's just another tiny little space in a strip center. But don't let first appearances fool you.

Blue Willow is all about books. And reading. And authors. And good writing.

My four librarian friends and I spent Friday chatting with the wonderful owner of Blue Willow, Valerie Koehler, and the events coordinator, Cathy Berner. What a great day!  Hope in the universe restored!

Now I must prod all of you out there to take action. Visit an independent bookstore. Visit it often. Buy something there. Buy one more book. And another.

We must show our love. We must not let the bad guys win.

Blue Willow Bookshop







What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go.
Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.




26 comments:

Helen's Book Blog said...

Great looking bookstore and I am glad your faith has been restored! We have a wonderful independent bookstore in Santa Barbara: Chaucer's. I definitely need to go there more often.

dollycas aka Lori said...

Fantastic story. My sister manages a small town bookstore that is part of a local chain. I just love to visit her and take in all the new book smells and gaze around the store to find the perfect book/s. You know there is always more than one I just have to have :)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

It is a beautiful bookstore!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Nothing like a real bookstore, is there?!

Unfinished Person said...

Love real bookstores. We are lucky enough to have one in our hometown...I only wish they had a/c. :)

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I love bookstores like this one! Most of the ones in my city have closed down...but in the outlying areas (in the foothills) there is a shop called Willow Bridge. Love the name...must visit it again soon.

Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

C.B. James said...

This looks like a book store I would love. Just the right size for me, not too big, and crammed full of books. I was toying with going to a bookstore later today. Think I will do just that, now.

We mustn't let the bad guys win!! ;-)

Harvee Lau said...

Yah for bookstores!

Rachelle21 said...

I just ordered 4 books from my local independent book store, From My Shelf Books in Wellsboro, PA. I usually call after I read about a book in someone's blog and order it from there.

Vasilly said...

You know, sometimes I feel the same way about my city. We have a great library system but every time a program needs to be cut, our mayor always suggest the library. It doesn't help that there aren't many bookstores here, indie or otherwise.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

A/c is certainly a bonus at this time of the year.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I hate hearing that bookstores like this have closed down. Very sad.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Our rallying cry!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Hip hip hooray!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

That's a good strategy.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Yes, why is that always first to be cut?!

Laura said...

Oh boy can I relate to your comments about where you live, as I often have similar feelings about the area I live in. That bookstore is quite a find -- an oasis in the desert, no? I'm sure you'll visit often now.

Lisa May said...

Blue Willow is a great store, and we're lucky to have it. Have you been to Murder by the Book here in Houston? If not, maybe on your next visit?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Yes, an oasis!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

We are lucky to have it. I'll try Murder by the Book soon. I have been to Brazos Bookstore a few times and it is lovely, too.

Ryan said...

What a cool looking bookstore!

Louise said...

We can't let the bad guys win, it's true. Keep up the ranting! Oh I wish I'd got to the Blue Willow Bookshop, it sounds lovely. Great post, and thanks for shout out.

Valerie Koehler said...

Wow! Thanks for all the compliments. And for those of you even remotely near an indie. Go there!!! Attend the events. Talk books with the staff. Tell your friends. We are here because so many wonderful readers like us and support us.

And every time you think you need to push the button on The Dark Side-remember all of us who support your libraries, schools, theater groups, and swim teams. So there will be a place for your daughter to set up her lemonade stand in front of and where your son will find his first job-shop indie!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Well said, Valerie.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I knew I could count on you, Louise, to help me fight the bad guys.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

It certainly is.