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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Do I Bother?

It's been a spectacular fall

Why do I bother blogging? It takes a lot of time and energy to put together a halfway decent post, whether or not photographs are included, and without an editor or proof-reader I’m always sticking my neck out even further. My handful of readers, for all I know, may shake their heads in wonderment at typos and infelicitous turns of expression, not to mention the high horses I sometimes mount and ride to a lather. “Why does she bother?” they may be asking themselves, and sometimes I ask myself the same question. It isn’t as if I have thousands or even hundreds of readers a day. Between one and two hundred is more like it. And they are not all reading the most recent post, either. No, it isn’t “consumer demand” that keeps me going.

For that matter, why do I persevere in maintaining an independent bookstore in a small village at the end of a northern Michigan peninsula? Our town has a library. There’s a post office, too, where residents can pick up books and everything else they order by mail from online sellers who don’t have my bricks-and-mortar overhead but do have worldwide name recognition. How many people find their way into Dog Ears Books in Northport on any given weekday in late fall? And how many of those who drop in are open to the treasures on offer?

New middle-grade vampire series!
For the last two years, I have waged exhausting war on invasive autumn olive on the land around my house and barns. Why? There is no quick and easy way to eradicate this pest, and there is no way to insure that it will not return. In fact, it is certain to return. Across the highway from our driveway is a corner so thoroughly infested that it has become impenetrable, and every plant has berries, and every berry eaten by a bird contains a seed that will be dropped somewhere else. Down by the Happy Hour, three fields were cleared of autumn olive. Neighbors on the hill above us made the effort. It’s either very expensive or (for someone like me who can’t afford the expense) very laborious and time-consuming to address this issue, and many, by default, make a different choice, but if everyone in Leelanau County were to make an all-out effort against autumn olive, that effort would still have to continue into the future year after year.

Why do I bother? This is who I am. These are some of the things I do. Here I stand. What else can I say?

Don't forget Teresa Scollon's reading and discussion and book signing this coming Saturday, 3 p.m. at 106 Waukazoo. Author visits are one of the best parts of my bookstore life, and I'm eager to share them with you!

Asters and native grasses in meadow


Kathy said...

I just wrote on your FB comment why you bother. Because your heart and spirit and life insist it so. And so many people are perhaps inspired or enriched by visiting your bookstore, by pausing at your blog posts.

In the middle of the night I was thinking of telling you more about why I put in to win that Kindle Fire. It was because someone said, "It's just like an iPad" and I thought, "Oh good, there will be navigation GPS on it and I can read blogs in coffee shops without carrying heavy Ms. Ellie and mybe it will take pics, too." Come to find out--even the iPad doesn't do that. It's the iPhone. I am so technologically illiterate.

Never even once--until I got the darn thing--realized it was an e-reader. Thought only the regular Kindle had an reader on it. I have NOT ever wanted a reader! I love books, bookstores with a passion and don't even like reading on-line. Will probably try to read a book on there, though, just to see, even though am feeling quite ambivalent.

My husband, you know, is in a challenged business as well. Newspapers are dying...his paper is barely hanging on...because everyone gets their news on line. It's sad.

P. J. Grath said...

Please tell your husband, Kathy, that Pamelosaurus still likes to hold her newspaper in hand rather than hunt around online for the issue that concerns her or, worse yet, gets bombarded with selected articles that some robot thinks I'll want to read. There is no unified audience for online news, only various choirs being preached to by the parsons of their established preference. God forbid they should happen to fall upon an idea that contradicts their perspective!

Thanks for commenting. I'm still cranked up, as you might be able to tell, but I'm feeling better.

Dawn said...

You do it because you can, and you want to, and you know it is necessary and because many people truly appreciate it...even if we don't all say so all that often.

P. J. Grath said...

Not sure about the "necessary" part, Dawn, but the first two parts are certainly true, and I am grateful for your appreciative voice and our connection. Thanks for the kind words.