Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bookstores as seeds

Book lauds independent shops for faith in authors and launching careers

Express Staff Writer

In celebration of having been included in a book heralding independent bookstores across the nation, Chapter One Bookstore owner Cheryl Thomas is having a party with a bundle of book releases by local authors. Courtesy photo

    “I think it’s momentous for independent authors, stores, publishers and of course newspapers,” says Cheryl Thomas, generously sharing the honor bestowed on Chapter One Bookstore after its inclusion in a new book, “My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Place To Browse, Read and Shop.” It’s a collection about the pleasure, guidance and support that writers’ favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years.
    A release about the book explains further: “Often it’s the author’s local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works.”
    Such was the experience of local writer Charles Brandt, author of “I Heard You Paint Houses.”
    “Until I first set foot in Ketchum in 1985, I had never seen a bookstore so crucial to the well-being of a community as Chapter One,” he wrote, crediting Thomas with making it possible.
    The event coincides with the second annual Small Business Saturday, hosted by American Express, which encourages shopping local. This time last year, the idea of the event had Thomas almost as giddy about that as she is about the book mention, saying, “It’s so cool, it makes me think that Occupy Wall Street might actually be working!”
    Either way, Thomas is dedicating the day to locals, honoring new releases by Cristina Ceccatelli Cook, who has just completed another cookbook, and John Rember, who just released “Sudden Death, Overtime.” Others on hand to sign books are Brandt, Todd Pedderson, Mary Ann Davidson and Leslie Little.
    There will be mini tarot card readings with Joyce, mini seated massages with Amy C. Nelson and new paintings with Meg Mazzocchi.
    “My Bookstore” is a collection of 81 essays and stories written by the nation’s most beloved authors.
    Publisher’s Weekly says this: “Edited by publishing professional [Ronald] Rice, with an introduction by Richard Russo and an afterword by Emily St. John Mandel, this anthology features essays by 84 writers waxing passionate about their favorite independent bookstores and about the importance of supporting and nurturing these bricks-and-mortar purveyors in an increasingly electronic age.
    “As the tradition of personalized hand-selling is threatened by chain stores and the Amazonian Internet, this cozy collection of love letters to dozens of still-operating independents (from such behemoths as Powell’s in Portland and the Strand in New York to more hidden gems in corners of Kansas, Utah, and Pennsylvania) offers voracious readers hope for the future. The all-star contributors include John Grisham, Chuck Palahniuk, and Ann Patchett, but the true protagonists are the bookstores and the dedicated professionals who bestow them with novel-worthy character. Though there are moments in the book in which sentimentality rules, the overall goal prevails: to thank, protect, and preserve these cherished spaces.”

It’s a party!

When: Saturday, Nov. 24, from
4-8 p.m.
Where: Chapter One Bookstore, 340 E. Second St., in Ketchum.


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