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Monday, December 15, 2014

It's the Party Time of the Year

As the event planner, publicist, hostess, and bookseller at Dog Ears Books, I frequently don't get time to do as thorough a job as photographer as I'd like. Such was the case on Saturday, when Jerry Dennis and Glenn Wolff came out to Northport from Traverse City with their brand-new, updated and revised,  "Indie Bookstore Editions" of It's Raining Frogs and Fishes and The Bird in the Waterfall. The refreshment table was set up next door in David Grath's art gallery, with books stacked on the sales counter and Jerry and Glenn sitting at big desks in the front of the bookshop where customer-friends, fans, and bookstore supporters (the assembled multitude admirably filled all those roles) could visit at leisure with our guests while having purchases inscribed and signed. It wasn't until quite late in the event that my camera claimed me for a few minutes, and I was able to catch Glenn in serious conversation with Laura from Lake Leelanau and Jerry sharing stories and laughs with Dan from Omena.

Northport, Leland, and Cedar also sent "representatives," and we felt it was a good turnout for Jerry and Glenn and for Big Maple Press. Once again, I neglected to get a picture of myself, the invisible bookseller, with my deservedly visible guests. Oh, well! The goals of fun and good times and bookselling were all met.

Artist and writer and bookseller stayed on past the end of the event, visiting with a late arrival. An interesting conversation, with the drop-in speculating about the future for virtual books while we other three nearly lapsed into temporary shock, which I warded off by reminding our visionary, "You're talking to material people here. We are not 'virtual' people! Paper, canvas, paint, ink!" Good-natured laughter ensued. But seriously, I take Big Maple Press, with its Indie Bookstore Editions,  as a visionary endeavor -- innovative and downright radical.

Traditional publishers, small and large, are all heroes in this bookseller's personal book, but don't look for Big Maple books on the online behemoth's site or at big box or chain stores. The place you will find them is at real bookstores -- and if your local real bookstore doesn't yet carry them, consider becoming an advocate. Advocate for independence!

A Few Miles Away

Because of our own event at Dog Ears Books (and because it was, after all, Saturday), we missed the Grand Re-Opening of Landmark Books in Building 50 at the Grand Traverse Commons, but we made up for that on Sunday with a trip into town.

Bookcases in the hallway alert you to the new location of Landmark Books -- and what a great spot it is! With almost double the floor space, in a series of small rooms connected by lovely old brick arches bookseller Paul Stebleton has created attractive displays and cozy corners. It's beautiful! Paul's typewriters and publicity posters add further personal touches to the space. He really has the gift, and I hope all my friends living in or visiting Traverse City will take the time to seek him out.

Holiday Shopping Reminder

And remember, if you haven't finished your holiday shopping -- give adventure, ideas, knowledge, laughter -- give books! Books are not "just stuff"!

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