Friday, November 2, 2012

Read This!

Last weekend, when I was in Poor Richard's Bookstore in Frankfort, I picked up a red bookmark from a stack sitting on the counter because in my experience one can never  have too many bookmarks. In large type it exclaims Read This! and I just got around to actually looking at the bookmark to see what it wanted me to read. 

It is an announcement of a new book entitled Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Booksellers in which "twenty-five independent booksellers across the country share the joy and wonder of books with their own must-read lists that put a 'bookseller in your pocket.'"

After a bit of research, I discovered these two articles about how this palm-sized book of lists came to be. You can read about it here Read This! and Read This! too.

Of the twenty-five independent bookstores included in the book, which has an introduction by author and independent bookstore owner Ann Patchett, one is Carmichael's here in my hometown and of course I have visited it often. Another is Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi which I visited on my Grand Southern Literary Tour. 

This book calls to mind a novel I read last year, A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse, about a bookstore in Paris which stocks only books recommended by a select committee of writers. I say that because the idea of opening a bookstore that only carries books on these lists (there are 25 booksellers times 50 books each) would make for mighty interesting shelves. Especially considering that Hans Weyandt, the blogger (Mr. Micawber Enters the Internets) who started this project, received all sorts of replies to his request for lists and the shelves could grow and grow as more indie booksellers recommended the books they love to hand-sell.

I am on my way to purchase Read This! (who doesn't love a book of lists of books?) published by Coffee House Press and costing a mere $12 (the royalties of which will be donated to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression).  

So there you have a fine example of the power of a blog and a bookmark.

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