In Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, she writes with great passion and insight about the special nature of the independent bookstore, how a bookstore is truly part of the soul of a community. If you haven’t read this novel yet, you should. It’s delightful. Bookstores mean a lot to me (I know, surprise, surprise). But there is just something irreplaceable about the physical space of a bookstore – the thousands of worlds dwelling in the stacks, the smell of the pages, the very act of being greeted by another human being who loves the weight of a book in his or her hands as much as I do. It really does have a soul.
On Saturday, May 3, as part of CA Bookstore Day, I got to experience this soul firsthand when The Bookseller of Grass Valley hosted a beautiful party for the launch of my new YA novel CATCH A FALLING STAR in the multi-purpose room of Forest Charter School. They rolled out a red carpet, dotted the room with stars, set up a photo booth with costumes, and baked delicious treats. We gave out books and a prize basket full of goodies donated by other local businesses. Looking out at the audience, everyone there to celebrate this book and support The Book Seller, I couldn’t help but feel that soul Zevin wrote about in her novel – that special energy community creates.