Despite the title of this entry, it has nothing whatsoever to do with politics. It does, however, have everything to do with books.
I love bookstores. I can't help it. They make me feel good. Peaceful. There's a sense of belonging among the shelves crammed with volumes. Some by friends, most by people I don't know, many by authors I feel I should know because I've read so much of their work.
When the chain bookstores started killing off the indies, I cringed. I remember one place within about half a dozen miles of my house where the fireplace was going in the winter, cozy rockers set near it so you could peruse the books in comfort. The owner's dog greeted you at the door. A far cry from the sterile atmosphere of the big chains.
New England is well known for R.J. Julia's in Connecticut. In an old house in a "cute" town that is so adorable it could only signal wealth. I remember signing my first book there.
But if I had to pick a favorite off the top of my head it would be Emerson & Cook in Old Saybrook, CT. Set, oddly enough, in a strip mall this storefront has a loyal following. I've signed my last two books there and each time I've looked forward to it. The first time I was there the owner apologized because the storm warnings had kept people from coming. The store was jammed. I looked at her in amazement and blurted out, "Where would you have put them? Out the door???!" Yes, she assured me. Needless to say, when I was invited back I couldn't wait. The store, with its wonderful gift items and incredibly good staff didn't disappoint. They made me feel as if I were just as important as a best-selling author. So did their customers. And when the event ended and the last book had been signed, as well as those for stock, I shopped. I hated to leave.
Yes, there is something special about independent bookstores and the people who work and shop in them. I'll venture to guess that everyone has a favorite "indie." I just hope they can continue to survive. More. I like to see them flourish.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation