I am spending the week in Asheville, North Carolina at the annual Winter Institute, a book industry learning forum. It is a place where independent booksellers gather to share ideas with each other, publishers and authors.
One of the highlights of the last couple of days was a terrific presentation by the NYTimes bestselling author John Green. John is not only a hugely successful young adult author, but a big supporter of independent bookstores. Having published five big books which speak to young adults as well as adults he reminded the gathering of booksellers that had it not been for independent bookstores no one would have read his first book. (A bit of an exaggeration, but we like the sentiment.) His early success was deeply linked to the loyal following and word of mouth buzz that small independent bookstores offered.
Well lucky for us because John is a champion of independent bookstores.
As John so eloquently mentioned in his talk, it is all those knowledgeable and engaged booksellers that bring new reads to the lucky customers who walk through our doors. We see more than the algorithm that Amazon uses to pick your books, we see a person with diverse interests, curious thoughts and a desire to discover more stories to carry them away from the routine of the day. We actually read those books unlike Mr. Amazon.
Keep supporting Elm Street Books and all independent bookstores so they can keep supporting you in this wonderful world of books.
John Green’s books make wonderful parent child book club books.
Ages 12 and up.