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Monday, May 26, 2014
I Gotta Lotta Nerve
You need nerve to run a bookstore in the first place, and you need even more to mount bookstore events. Friends approaching a recent event of their own were understandably nervous ahead of time. “What if no one comes? What if too many people come?” I assured them that it was impossible for “too many” people to show up, and that if “no one” came we could simply adjourn to the bar, but that it was unlikely there wouldn’t be a good crowd. Then, to ease their concern that I would think their concern misplaced, I assured them, “I go through this every single time I have a bookstore event.” And it’s true. What if no one comes? What if the author forgets? What if the books don’t arrive in time? You gotta have nerve, friends.
Anyone who’s read this blog recently knows that my bookstore event of Memorial Day weekend was complicated, for the first time ever, by an unexpected delay in delivery of books. To be more precise, no books were even delivered: David drove down to Glen Arbor on Friday afternoon to pick up the first of the three boxes I needed to satisfy local demand, and we faced the signing with insufficient supply. You gotta have nerve--although I must say that it’s easy to be nervy about certain things in Northport, where bookstore and village and country loyalty make for very patient, understanding customer friends.
So thanks to a gracious guest (who arrived early and stayed late), photographer Ken Scott, and a gracious bookstore clientele, we had a lovely, lovely time on Saturday, with only a small number of disappointed individuals who turned up not having gotten word about the limited supplies. Everyone loved having relaxed time for conversation with the photographer (a first meeting with him for many), and the large matted prints he brought for display and sale brought the winter's ice miracles right into my cozy spring bookshop.
Where my real nerve showed up, though, and the initial act prompting the theme of today’s post, was my pulling out my camera to attempt a photograph of an accomplished photographer like Ken Scott. No, not even like Ken Scott, but Ken Scott himself, the very man. Oh, man, what nerve! I could hardly recognize myself in the moment of action. But Ken Scott I recognized, and I have to say I was very pleased with this candid portrait:
And now it’s time to start gearing up for the next bookstore event, featuring (at the latest count), eleven poets from the beautiful new book, Poetry in Michigan. Poets committed to reading their work at Dog Ears Books on June 13 are Patricia Clark, Dennis Hinrichsen, Linda Nemec Foster, Joy Friedler, David James, Josie Kearns, Bill Olsen, Anne-Marie Oomen, Mary Ann Samyn, Alison Swan, and Keith Taylor.
We’ve never had such an event before. Will it be like herding cats? Surely not. Will the poets outnumber the audience? I want a really good turnout for so many poets coming all the way to Northport! Summer 2014 also marks the 21st anniversary of Dog Ears Books, and that being the case, I’m thinking of the Poetry in Michigan reading event as the coming-of-age party for Dog Ears, which surely calls for cake, wouldn't you say?
The official 21st anniversary is on the 4th of July, but goodness knows there will be too much going on then for a bookstore birthday. No, I don’t have enough nerve to try to pull that off! So June 13 it is going to be -- Friday the 13th!