Saturday, August 4, 2012

I talked today with a delightful independent bookstore owner in Sarasota, Florida. Elsie is the events manager and though she is from the North, using Anne of Green Gables term, she is a "kindred spirit." What wonderful surprise it is when you stumble upon folks like that! The world may seem to be filled with strangers, but I discover more and more that the world is filled with friends I just haven't met yet. 

So, why am I interested in Independent Bookstores? I think the owner of Bookstore 1 (, Georgia Court, said it best when she wrote about why she opened Bookstore 1 when Sarasota's last independent bookstore closed:

"When Sarasota News & Books closed I mourned its passing and knew there was a big, empty crack where literature should have been shining through (my apologies to Leonard Cohen for messing up his lyric).  I complained about it to anyone who would listen. Then, after a couple of months, I realized if it meant so much to me, I should do something about it. 

Fortunately, circumstances aligned to allow me to quickly create a new bookstore on Main Street. A wonderful storefront happened to be available at 1359 Main. David Chaplin, who had been the soul of Sarasota News & Books, agreed to come on as manager. And he pulled together a fabulous team to get the bookstore up and running."

I know many  of my Dothan, Alabama, friends feel the same way about the Book and Art Shop where we all used to buy our school supplies. It was such a warm, welcoming place, a place I always felt at home because it was where all of my friends were -- books. 

In addition to that, independent bookstores are the most receptive to welcoming writers. 

Hopefully, I will one day get to visit with Elsie at Bookstore I. Sarasota is a place I am looking forward to visiting. I hope I can find someone who knows about the history of Angola. I'm going to be visiting there in a future book in the Serpents Series. 

     So.....why open a bookstore now? Because we couldn't wait for later. We need real books and real authors in our town as sure as we need sunshine and afternoon rain.

With sincerity and with thanks to our wonderful patrons,
Georgia Court
Owner, Bookstore1Sarasota

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