|Sarah in Arizona, 2019|
Does this ever happen to you? Someone says something, and you’re absolutely dumbstruck? Only by sheer force of will do you keep your jaw from dropping to the floor! A few hours later (or maybe a day or two later), it occurs to you what you might have said, could have said, should have said, but of course the moment (along with many others) has passed.
Here’s a question that knocked me sideways the other day. A local woman who follows my blog in the winter and has for years (but hadn’t visited the bookstore since 2016 or earlier) asked me, “Do you write the blog when you’re here, too?” Huh?
-- Do I write “Books in Northport” when I’m here in Northport? Do I write about books and my bookstore during the months my bookstore is open for business, the months I’m working fulltime to make a living as an independent bookseller? Astonished, I could only answer, stupidly, “Yes." If you can believe my witlessness, it did not even occur to me to redirect by asking my questioner if she remembered the name of the blog! To be painfully honest, my mind was far too busy dwelling on the absence of any connection made by this winter blog reader between “Books in Northport” and Dog Ears Books.
|Wall behind my bookstore desk, Northport, Michigan|
If I had never had a bookstore, I would not have started a blog. If I didn’t still have a bookstore, I might be writing a book by now instead of blog posts. Having at last achieved the dream of seasonal retirement, I write my winter posts from faraway, nowhere near my bookstore in the little village of Northport, but they still fall under the established "Books in Northport" umbrella because, well, this is all still my life, wherever I am. Sometimes I can’t help wondering, though, if people might not like me better when I’m not here!
Book authors can bury themselves in their book-lined studies and close out the world, but booksellers, many (if not most) of us introverts by nature, do not have that luxury. Independent retail booksellers, that is. Booksellers with “Main Street” presences, curated collections, and community commitment. We have to keep putting ourselves out there, blowing our own horns and shaking our money-makers. It's part of the price we pay for being independent, but make no mistake -- it is a price we pay!
Crank, crank, crank! Yes, yes, I hear myself! And yes, I know just how it sounds!
Don’t worry, I do not wish for some other life. The Artist and I have been very fortunate in being able to make a good life for ourselves doing work we love, and I am deeply, deeply grateful to my loyal customers, locals and visitors, for staying with me all these years! It’s just – and you must have an occasional moment like this, don’t you? – sometimes you kind of want to bang your head against the wall and yell, “What more can I say to get my message across?”
Thanks for listening (reading). I feel better. I’m laughing at myself now. You're probably laughing at me, too, and that's okay.
Now don’t forget: Saturday is the last day of our 2020 season! And you can continue to follow our pack's adventures here on Books in Northport!!!
|Ghost town mountains, Cochise County, Arizona|