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Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Ten Years Came and Went"

November 2007
My headline today is a quote from a Jim Harrison novel. David always gets a kick out of that line, the way Jim disposed so easily of an entire decade in the life of a character. In retrospect, though, a decade does pass quickly, and so, while my decennial year of blogging has not yet passed, it has arrived, rather unbelievably to me. Nine years came and went!

My first post on Books in Northport appeared in September 2007. I remember that easily, because David and I were “between dogs” at the time, and I have always measured my years at least in part in terms of dogs. Still, ten years???  Est-ce possible?

It was brief, that first post, setting out my reasons for and intentions in creating a blog. Back then my biggest challenges, including figuring out how to upload photos, came from a slow dial-up connection: I would sit near the phone, plugged in, but always with a book close at hand, since there was plenty of reading time (the benefit of a slow connection!) while waiting for photos to upload, even after they had been, necessarily, reduced in size to make the uploading possible at all. 

Blogging opened to me the world of a Leland Township resident I hadn’t yet met in person at that time; introduced me to a young woman in China, a graduate student in French who blogged for years under the name “Neige”; and reconnected me to my dear, geographically distant friend Helen, with whom I’d lost contact for years. It also brought me new friends and readers from as far away as Idaho and the state of Washington and New South Wales, Australia, and, significantly, it brought writers Bonnie Jo Campbell and Benjamin Busch (his first visit, before his book was published, was a joint event with Anne Marie Oomen) to Northport. And this is only a sample, barely skimming the surface of connections made possible.

In the beginning I tried to write a post every day. Many had nothing to do with books but dealt with goings-on in the village of Northport, Michigan, my country life, and soon, in early 2008, adventures with our new puppy, whose face is now grey, though she can still run and romp like a kid.

Puppy Sarah
Nowadays posting once or twice a week seems sufficient. I’ve also become more book-focused on this  blog, giving quicker glimpses into specific books, usually new ones, on Northport Bookstore News and relegating other topics (well, usually!) to subsidiary blogs, primarily Lacking a Clear Focus (which runs the gamut from silly humor to raging rants) and From My Paris Kitchen (tiny farmhouse kitchen musings and fooling around)But Books in Northport is still my main effort. It’s the place online where my bookstore’s heart beats most strongly and where I hope readers from anywhere in the world can get some sense that they are visiting my bookshop on Waukazoo Street.

The shop itself started down the block in a different Waukazoo Street location in 1993. Yes, Dog Ears Books will be 24 years old this summer, and Books in Northport will be 10 in the fall. “I’m in it for the long haul,” I told a former landlord back in 1997, and so I have been, thanks to readers and customers and friends who love not only books but are also loyally devoted to bookstores. 

And so, old friends, thanks for sticking with me, and new readers, thanks for coming aboard. The future's not ours to see, but we're here now!

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