Well, it’s been a busy weekend.
For those of you not aware of recent events, a quick summary. Last week we let everyone know that a developer had plans to demolish The Book House to make way for a four story storage facility. This, to say the least, was upsetting.
What was comforting to find out was the sheer amount of support and messages we’ve gotten since letting everyone know this. Our Facebook page has been filled with messages from local customers and businesses, people have been mentioning us on Twitter, and generally, people have been acting so wonderfully that it brings a tear to the eye.
It appears this support has not gone unnoticed, either.
The Riverfront Times have picked up the story and interviewed Michelle, the developers, and local officials, and the developers (Great Northern Development llc) are now stating that everything so far is very preliminary and they’re very prepared to work with us.
Publishers Weekly has also picked up the story, and has their president, Bill Bowman, stating that “absolutely no plan has been made on that house,”, ”We’re going to work with her to try and find a solution,” and ”The bottom line is, she wants to stay open and we want her to stay open.”
In other words, great news. This is a much more promising position to be in, and we suspect this statement is very much influenced by the public show of support we’ve received from you all. Whether we’re out of the woods or not yet remains to be seen, but all of us at the store would like to thank everyone who’s stopped by, commented online showing their thanks, or just rallied round generally. It’s greatly appreciated.
We will, of course, keep you up to date with any further developments; this certainly isn’t over yet, but things are certainly starting to look a little more optimistic.
How you can still help:
Follow us online – if you aren’t already. We’re on Facebook and Twitter are above, and you can sign up for our newsletter on our website. And of course, there’s this blog, though if you’re reading this, you likely already know about that. You may be reading this because someone shared this post, though, which brings us to point 2:
Let everyone you know, know - Feel free to share this, our Facebook posts, the articles in the media, anything you like. Put them on your blog, share them with friends, let anyone know who you think would be interested. Then get them to share with their friends. The final decision as to what happens with The Book House will very much be influenced by how public opinion is perceived, and the more visible support we have, the stronger our position will be.
Sign the petition - A special thanks here to local author Robin Tidwell here, who quickly started a petition over at change.org. To date, this has gathered over 500 signatures and is still rising at a fair old clip. The petition can found here, please sign it if you haven’t already, and again, share the link with anyone you know.
If you’re not much of an online person, or you’d prefer to leave a phone message, you can contact Mr Bowen at Northern Developers on (586) 703-9882 or (734) 996-9979, or Rock Hill City Hall on (314) 968-1410. We were also encouraging people to attend the town hall meeting originally scheduled for May 8th, though the date on this may have changed. We’ll keep you up to date regarding this. And finally:
It’s business as usual – Despite all the turmoil, we’re still here, and we hope we’re not going away any time soon. We’re open our usual business hours, selling new, used and collectible books, we can ship orders anywhere in the world, and if we don’t have the book you’re looking for, we can order it.
We also have various events coming up in May, from author signings to our now regular Poetry Night every second Thursday of the month. And we’re still accepting book donations for Second Chapter Life Center and charities we support.
Drop by and have a browse any time, we’d love to see you.
Happy Birthday to Terry Pratchett, who turns 65 today. Before the advent of JK Rowling and Harry Potter, Terry was the singlemost bestselling living author in the UK, and is the only author to have gotten a map into the number one bestseller slot. Despite suffering from a rare form of Alzheimers that leaves him unable to type, Terry continues to produce novels via dictation and word-recognition software, and recently started a collaborative series of novels with Steven Baxter.
April also marks the 30th anniversary of his best known works, the Discworld series, set on a flat world which sails through space on the back of a giant turtle. What started as a gentle parody of traditionally fantasy works like Fitz Leiber and Robert E Howard has, over the years, become more of a mirror to our own world, and the humour has only gotten better and better. The fortieth book in the series (yes, that’s four-zero) is due out later this year.
Many happy returns to Terry and the Disc!
We mentioned this on our Facebook page, but just in case you weren’t aware, today is the last day of our clearance booksale. There’s still some great books available, but today is the last chance for a while to fill a bag for $10. We’re open till 8pm, so stop by!
To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Book House is holding an Open Poetry Reading Night on Thursday, April 11th, at 7pm!
Feel free to stop by and read a few of your own poems, or just come and relax and listen to local poets.
The event is free and open to the public; All ages welcome!
I read a lot. I tend to have at least two books on the go at once, sometimes three or four, and flip between them haphazardly. My tastes are fairly wide, and I consider myself pretty well-read.
Or I did, until I started working at the Book House.
I was always notionally aware that were an awful lot of books in the world. The last person who could make a reasonable claim to have read all the books that were available to read in the world was probably Benjamin Franklin; the sheer volume of works being published have overtaken the amount that any one person could read in a lifetime a long, long time ago.
Consider this. I’m 40 years old at the time of writing. I could reasonably expect to live another forty years, lifestyle withstanding. That’s 14,600 days of life left (we’ll not count leap years). If I could read one book a day, every day, for the rest of life, that’s just under 15,000 books I could read.
That’s about 1/4 of the books we have catalogued online at the store. And under one tenth of the books we actually have on the shelves. What we have in the store, of course, is a small fraction of the books currently in print. Which, in turn, is only a small fraction of the books that are out there, in print or out of print.
Even though our store only has a ‘mere’ fraction of the books in the world, they’re still a very physical reminder that there an awful lot of books available. New visitors tend to boggle at the shelves and shelves of volumes, reaching from floor to ceiling, covering every wall (and often expanding out and claiming floor space). These are books that, in a very real sense, are sitting there waiting for you to pick them up and read them, like a polite reminder that you had something you were meant to be doing.
And working in such a place, of course, means you’re confronted with all these expectant books every single day. It’s slightly unnerving. It makes me want to complain to the management. Not the management of the store, but the management of Life, the Universe, and Everything. I feel like I should get a couple more centuries to make some headway on all these stories. Were there a Heaven, I would expect it to have very full bookshelves. I would find it hard to consider it heaven if it didn’t.
In more reasonable, down to earth terms, I’m not trying to read one book a day every day for the rest of my life. I have signed up for a challenge of 75 books by the end of the year at Goodreads. This seemed a reasonable figure to try, and so far I’m not so terribly behind on my schedule.
I’m certainly not lacking for suggestions for what to read while I’m working at the store, and the books are coughing politely, tempting me to take them home.
Happy birthday to Tom Wolfe, prolific American author probably best known for The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. He celebrates his 82nd birthday today, and is still writing. Many happy returns, Tom!
Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere will be please to hear that that a date has been announced for the upcoming radio series. Starring names such as James McEvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Christopher Lee, the first episode will be airing at 6pm GMT (12pm Central) on March 16th on BBC Radio 4. Most of you probably aren’t in the UK, but you can listen to the show live on Radio 4′s website worldwide.
Clearance Bag Deal! We are marking lots of our regular store stock down to clearance prices and our bargain tables are filling up! Come browse expanded selection of bargain books. Fill a bag for $10.00.
Also, we’re offering 20% off online orders through the month of March. Use Coupon Code: SPRING13