Serendipity in Bookland

Or, It Just So Happened: Why I Love Being A Bookseller In New York
(to the tune of "Lullaby of Birdland")

On Monday night at McNally Jackson, we hosted one of our ongoing Author/Editor events, and I found out rather late in the game that I would need to moderate. So I did a bit of cramming on the novel over the weekend -- with events 4 or 5 or 6 nights a week, it's rare that I read many of the featured books.

Shop Indie Bookstores
It just so happened that I love this book, Water Dogs by Lewis Robinson. I love the somewhat hapless narrator, the calmly skeptical girlfriend, the ridiculous male posturing, the snow, the sense of somewhat muted menace. I love that Mainers struggle with some of the same issues of authenticity that Brooklynites do -- are you a real [fill in the blank], are you one of us or an interloper? We had a great conversation with Lewis and his editor Laura Ford that night, and I'm still reading and loving the book.

It also just so happened that among Lewis' friends in attendance were Nathanael Bellows, who had been at the store for an event with his poetry collection Why Speak the year before; and Aaron Hamburger, who not only has his own excellent short story collection out, but is also one of the winner of our First Annual Children's Story-Writing Contest. So I got to chat with him about his story "The Dessert-Breathing Dragon," which he'll be reading on Saturday.


Last night several bookseller friends had arranged to meet up in a bar in Williamsburg to welcome to our borough Stephanie Anderson, who just started as a manager at Word in Greenpoint. Somehow in the 10 years I've lived in the city, I had never before been to a bar in Williamsburg, despite living there for one summer in college -- I was probably a little scared of the hipsters, and a little proud of living my youthful Brooklyn life without recourse to the standard stomping ground. But I trekked out on the L train after work, and it just so happened that on the way to the bar I passed Desert Island, a newish comic book shop I'd been dying to visit. I popped in and introduced myself to the owner, Gabriel, and chatted for a minute before hurrying on to meet the folks. When I arrived at the bar Stephanie was the only one there, and it just so happened she too had been meaning to visit Desert Island. So we went right back down Metropolitan Avenue and spent another 20 minutes talking with Gabriel about his year-old store (he made the shelves himself! He'd never worked in a bookstore before! He hangs a projector screen from hooks in the ceiling! He carries unique foreign and self-published comics that attract the afficianados, even if they end up buying Adrian Tomine!), our own stores' work with graphic novels, consignments, and other wonky book biz stuff. Far from being a scary hipster, it just so happened that Gabriel is a totally decent human being, and Stephanie and I made another friend in the book biz.

We returned to the bar, where our fellow book folks were waiting, and proceeded to have an uproariously enjoyable evening. It just so happened that two of the attendees were born quite near each other in upstate New York. It just so happened that three of us were separately scheming about BEA parties, and are now scheming together. It just so happened that my Random House rep gave me a galley that I'm as eager to read as she is to have me read it. It just so happened that some other folks joined us halfway through the night with their own connections to the book world. It just so happened that Kelly Amabile and I both had to take the L train home, and wove our way back to the subway together.

It's been a good week in New York. We spent part of the evening last night discussing our "hazing" experiences when we first moved here, and how the city can make you work for it. But in weeks like this, it's pretty obvious why we do it.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I just read "Trouble." You're going to love it!
Anonymous said…
"Trouble" is really good. I just posted about it on my blog: www.readingisbreathing.wordpress.com
Richard said…
We love Desert Island. It's a great store for Williamsburg and all of Brooklyn and NYC. They are having an event there tomorrow that is worth attending (sigh, we have to work).
Anonymous said…
Sounds like fun. My Brooklyn envy continues to grow. Wish BEA was in the budget this year...
Buried said…
I loved Water Dogs, as well. Such a good book and he's such a sweetie. My bookstore, The Odyssey Bookshop, selected it as our Breakout Fiction selection for February.
Unknown said…
http://www.chihairstraightener.us/ : chi hair straightener
http://www.chiflatiron.us/ : chi flat iron

http://www.polool.com/ : new polo shirts


http://www.pursecart.com/ : cheap handbags
http://www.pursecart.com/ : cheap bags
http://www.pumachaussures.com/ : puma chaussures
http://www.pumachaussures.com/ : chaussures puma
http://www.pumachaussure.com/ : chaussure puma

http://www.jacketsworld.com/ : Men's North Face
http://www.jacketscart.com/ : Women's North Face


http://www.myhairstraighteners.co.uk/ : hair straighteners
http://www.sexylingeriestore.us/ : sexy lingerie store
http://www.uggsoutlet.us/ : cheap ugg boots
http://www.12hot.com/ : tattoo wholesale
http://www.polooo.net/ : men's clothing
http://www.acrazystore.com/ : women's clothing




http://www.thehairstraighteners.com/ : cheap hair straighteners
http://www.polosales.com/ : cheap Lacoste polo shirts
http://www.superpolos.com/ : cheap Lacoste polo shirts
http://www.shoesbuying.com/ : 2009 nike shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/2009-nike-shoes-c-153.htm : new nike shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/air-max-classic-bw-c-185.htm : Women's max
http://www.shoesbuying.com/mens-max-93-c-188.htm : Men's max 93
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-c-165.htm : nike shox
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-force-c-174.htm : Nike air force
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-2003-c-181.htm : Nike air max 2003
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-air-max-ltd-c-166.htm : nike air max ltd
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-air-max-tn-c-167.htm : nike air max tn
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-rift-shoes-c-162.htm : Nike air rift
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-yeezy-c-184.htm : Nike air Yeezy
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-154.htm : nike airmax
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-155.htm : Nike air max 90
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-157.htm : Nike air max 97
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-birds-nest-shoes-c-152.htm : nike birds nest shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-dunk-high-c-177.htm : nike dunk
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shoes-c-168.htm : nike RT1 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-sb-c-180.htm : nike SB
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-156.htm : nike shox shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-158.htm : Nike shox OZ shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-159.htm : Nike shox R2 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-160.htm : Nike shox R3 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-163.htm : Nike shox R4 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-164.htm : Nike shox R5 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-c-171.htm : Nike shox TL3
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-trainers-lovers-c-118.htm : nike trainers lovers

http://www.racketsoffer.com/ : tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/wilson-racquets-c-19/ : Wilson tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/head-racquets-c-18/ : HEAD tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/babolat-racquets-c-17/ : Babolat tennis rackets
Anonymous said…
Truely a nice blog and thanks for your great work. By the way, welcome to our websites: nike sports shoes and ghd hair straightners. Every men like sport, then, it is quite important to have a pair of right cheap sports shoes to make you fully enjoy the sports. We provide puma cat , cheap nike shox, cheap nike max, shox shoesshoes, nike shox r4 shoes, shox shoes, ferrari shoesrunning shoes which are brand new and in perfect condition but on discount. All of the shoes, including the popularnike tn dollarpuma running shoes, cheap nike shoes,which is the representative shoes of nike mens shoesshoes are authentic and original of top quality. For people like running and playing basketball and other field sports, nothing would be more suitable than the cheap adidas shoes and nike shox nz basketball shoes. In addition to the shoes mentioned above, you may also be interested in the cheap adidas shoes , puma shoes and, nike running shoesWholesale and retail are both acceptable to us. Welcome to our site and free to look! Thank you and wish you a nice day. Good Luck!
Everybody like beauty, which is quite commen, especailly womens. Welcom to our store which is focused on sellingghd hair straighteners mk4and hair straightners. For women, especially the young girls, this ghd iv styler hair straightener is the best choice. ghd hair straightnersis famouse for the pretty outlook and the top quality. The price of this cheap ghd hair straightenersis acceptable and rational. Ed Hardy Jeans, Ed Hardy Hoodies ed hardy shirts ed hardy clothes ed hardy clothing
ed hardy trousers

Popular posts from this blog

Comment: Street Dates & Street Ethics; Call for Guest Bloggers

"Switchblades, bicycle chains and adventuresome tailors": Colson Whitehead on Brooklyn literary culture

The Word (and pictures) from New York Comic Con