On the Greenlight blog today we've posted a list of the people we have to thank for the opening of the bookstore.
It's a very, very long list.
Here on my own blog I wanted to say thanks to a few of those who helped me, myself, personally, get to this wonderful moment. These are the people I haven't thanked regularly in interviews -- the ones outside of the primary business development story, who nonetheless are the reasons I am here.
To my mom, of course, for reading to me when I still just wanted to chew on the pages; for letting me check out the maximum number of library books every week; for telling me I could go to college anywhere I could get a scholarship, and sticking to that even when it meant going 3,000 miles away; for giving me a chunk of my inheritance early as seed money for the store; for talking to me on the phone every week, as I planned and cried and hyperventilated and obsessed and pondered and worked toward this dream; for being the first reader in my life, and still one of the most important.
To my two younger sisters, for spending our childhood acting out our own stories (and putting up with me always having to be the king, president, or boss); for our own secret language made up of references to books, movies and inside jokes; for still getting excited about new books with me.
To Miss Rumphius, for teaching me that you must do something to make the world more beautiful.
To Anne Shirley, for teaching me that imagination creates the world.
To my high school English teachers and principals, for making me enter speech contests (I got good at it) and write essays (that too) -- so that I could be a good spokesperson, a good host, a good writer, and a good reader.
To my coworkers at Dean and Deluca on Rockefeller Center, for accepting me as a shift boss even though I was younger than most of them and we didn't all speak the same language (Wolof, Spanish, Gujarti, French), and teaching me what it's like to direct a team in a workplace.
To L.B. Thompson, my favorite poetry teacher at NYU, for casually asking me if I needed a summer job, and landing me at Three Lives, the best bookstore on earth. (Also, for being the best critical reader of my poetry, while I was writing it.)
To Jill Dunbar and Jenny Feder, the founders of Three Lives, for forgiving me when I was late (or forgot to show up at all, addle-headed college student that I was); for giving me my first taste of working at an independent bookstore; for showing me what a partnership could look like.
To Rebecca, for being the partner I didn't know I needed, but totally did; for having all the strengths I don't (task planning, merchandising, negotiating, reordering, etc...); for always picking up the ball when I'm about to drop it; for telling me when my hair looks good or I've lost weight (but not the opposite); for teaching me more about being a bookseller every day; for calling me on my shit; for working and working on a relationship that's as tough as a marriage, and just as strong, and just about as important; for becoming my friend as well as my partner.
And last, most, and always, to the ALP, Michael, husband for two years, partner for more than eight, for dating me even though I was an addle-headed book nerd; for always reading more books than I do; for that night when I was moaning over not getting into grad school, when he pointed out that the career I really loved was being a bookseller; for working office jobs he didn't love so I could do what I loved; for waking me up with coffee in bed every morning (every morning! even when I'm totally cranky!); for talking over the day over a glass of wine at night; for standing by me through every false start, every setback, every tough decision, every unbelievable success; for dealing with my weird schedule and frequent work emergencies; for being there when I walk home from the bookstore every night, so that my walk home is one of the happiest parts of the day: from the work I love, to the man I love, in the town I love, in this life I love.
Thanks, all of you. I am incredibly blessed. If I can live up to your inspiration, I hope I may be a blessing in return.