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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Of Books and Shelves and Books Again

This is my new art department at Dog Ears Books, the books shelved on the large, heavy unit I moved all by myself from back storage area to front corner of bookshop, after which I decided I had earned the name Archimedea. The art books are shown off to better advantage now, and there is enough room on the shelves for them all to be together in one place, with some of them even facing out--a big advantage for bookselling but not easy to manage with space always at a premium.

Another new feature at the bookstore takes up (so far) only one little shelf. It's "Some of My Favorites," and while it's in the new book section, some of the books are new and some used. It all depends on which of my favorites I have in stock at the time. Naturally, not all of my favorites fit on this shelf, so others will still be found throughout the bookstore. But people often ask what I recommend, and this provides a sample of books particularly dear to my heart. Here's what on the shelf at present:

Bruce was at the bookstore yesterday, giving me a chance to have lunch with my friend Sally, whose tulips are looking bright and cheerful outside Dolls and More these days. (We got sandwiches and pasta from Trish's Dishes.) After lunch came the book discussion group at the library, with Still Alice on the agenda. Next book to be discussed will be the last of the Conrad Richter trilogy, and--not to brag or anything, but--I am very, very pleased at how much the group loved these books because I pushed hard for at least the first book in the trilogy to go on their book list for the 09-10 season. Now, in fact, someone said it isn't only the library group, because they've been telling others, and "all of Northport" is reading The Trees, The Fields and The Town. Well, if anyone still needs copies, here's where I shamelessly announce that I have on hand, at present (no need even to order), two copies of The Trees and one of The Fields. (My last copy of The Town is already reserved spoken for.) There's even a chance that The Trees will go on the high school senior reading list. I feel I have made a tiny mark here in Northport, and it feels good.

At the end of the working day, there was still so much bright sunshine left that I easily talked David into taking a ride and picking up dinner somewhere away from home. We ended up at Pegtown Station in Maple City.

I love Greek pizza, and theirs is fabulous--so good that we ate way too much, leaving only one piece for my lunch in Northport today. What they say on their website is all true--great pizza, local hangout. Lucky for us, co-owner Mary recognized us from the Bluebird in Leland, so we didn't feel like total strangers. I'm sure, however, that a stranger would also get a warm welcome, because that's just the kind of place Pegtown Station is.

"Nothing much changes in Maple City," David mused reflectively. Many years ago he had a post office box there when staying in his "house in the woods," down in what is now part of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

Beautiful day all day long! Sunset over Fishtown on our way home:

P.S. For a good laugh, check out my contribution today to the Bookshop Blog. Blogger Bruce Hollingdrake found the perfect illustration for my text!

Another P.S. Take a look here for dogs going for rides!


Anonymous said...

The Richter chain reaction is the perfect example of the value of independent booksellers. And now I guess I have to read the trilogy sometime this summer too!

Anonymous said...

Pamela, what is the name of the big book with the spiral design on it among the art books?

Curious in Cow Bay

P. J. Grath said...

Amy, the book with the spiral of stones on the cover is ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: A COLLABORATION WITH NATURE. Do you know his work? Not like anyone else’s. There is a documentary film, also, called “Rivers and Tides.”

Gerry, you will not feel it as "have to" once you begin reading THE TREES. That's a promise.

Anonymous said...

Your new art department looks lovely, Pamela. I'll bet it provides new energy in your shop, too. Think of all the artists you'll attract! :)

P. J. Grath said...

Thanks, Kathy. There are a lot of artists in our area, and many others visit. Also, I read this winter that the right front corner of a retail shop is the hottest footage for sales, so I figured I'd better get some books into that corner! And it's just nice to have all the art books where they can be easily seen. So many beautiful books!

Karen said...

You have made so much more than a "tiny" mark on Northport, Pamela. Thank you for your shop & your thought provoking inspirations! I need The Fields! :-)

P. J. Grath said...

Karen, you will love THE FIELDS, I guarantee. I'll put a copy aside for you.

Anonymous said...

You know, Pamela, I read this back in April. But it wasn't until coming to your bookstore that the decision was made to start reading The Trees. And now I'm hooked, as you know. So so glad you got all of Northport--and soon all of the U.P.--to read this trilogy! Can't wait til our book club meets next to share it with them. Thanks again!

P. J. Grath said...

In a WMU undergraduate history class called "History Through Literature" that I took years ago, we read novels from the colonial period to post-World War II times, and many were "regional" novels (i.e., not set in New York or Los Angeles?). The Richter trilogy works this way, too. Pleasure, literature, history--whatever you look for in reading is all there in THE TREES, THE FIELDS and THE TOWN.

Perhaps this is the place to say that the library reading group also unanimously loved STILL ALICE.

Therese Holland said...

Well I am not familiar with Richter but I am adding northern Michigan to my to do list next time I am in the States. A tour of secondhand book stores across the USA what could be more fun?

P. J. Grath said...

Richter's trilogy, THE AWAKENING LAND, is one of the best ways to learn American history through literature. There is a series of books you’ll want to look into for your cross-country bookstore tour: see for more information. Would love to see you any time, Therese!