Friday, August 25, 2023

Save the Bookstores!

 When I was at the beach, I made my usual trip to my favorite bookstore. For once, I didn’t have a list in mind, so I browsed the staff picks, which led me to an interesting-looking novel. Then, since I’ve been on a jigsaw jag, I looked at that display as well but, in the end, settled on a nonfiction book instead.

I went to check out, congratulating myself on not breaking the bank this time, when a book at the register grabbed my attention. Without hesitation, I added it to the pile.

I’ve since started the nonfiction book, and the novel is next up on my fiction list, but the third book, the impulse buy at the register, is the one that has captivated me.

As it turns out, I’m not even supposed to have this book. When I tried to pick up an additional copy at another bookstore for a friend, I discovered the book is not actually releasing until September. I have no idea why my beach bookstore had copies available (the other bookstore had never heard of it and couldn’t find it when I asked about it), but I’m very glad I was in the right place at the right time.

The book? How to Protect Bookstores and Why by Danny Caine. If you love books, you should definitely get this one. Written as a tale of ten bookstores, it weaves in their origin stories—and, in many cases, survival stories—amid ways that readers and bibliophiles can ensure that bookstore browsing remains a pastime we can enjoy for a good long time.

This particular book also brought with it another benefit for me—one I didn’t even realize I needed (but probably should have). Since a bookstore owner (and her store) feature prominently in the novel I am writing, this book has enough behind-the-scenes information to help me ensure that the world I’m creating, while fictitious, is realistic.

You may not need backstory for a novel but, if you’re a reader, you’re probably invested in doing just what this book advises: protecting bookstores. Danny Caine writes about this pursuit in a way that is both informative and entertaining, making this small, but mighty paperback a worthwhile addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

Fortunately, the book’s actual release is in plenty of time to allow for some early Christmas shopping—at your local independent bookstore, of course.

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