Friday, April 17, 2009

Democracy in Action

The Northshire is the bookstore you want nearby. It is well stocked and well-lit, and bustling with salespeople who not only read books but seem genuinely happy to be there. It has a cafĂ©, a good selection of cards, music and gifts, and even used books—which makes me happy because used books answer the call of serendipity better than new books do. The store also has a history of supporting local authors. I spoke there about a book I co-wrote, and my husband read from his novel The Persistence of Memory (which is one you absolutely should read if you’ve yet to…)

I headed up to the Northshire to ask Chris Morrow, son of the original owners and now General Manager, about the Espresso Book Machine. I had all sorts of ideas about how I could promote the book and their program, but I also wanted something from him that was harder to articulate. So I kept asking questions. Such as: Would they display the book? Yes—they always do that. Would they sponsor a reading? Of course, they do that too. What I really wanted was this: some kind of affirmation that I was a “real” writer as opposed to someone, you know, who just wanted to see their name in print. I mean, I had three contracts with major publishers in my twenties. I once went on a cross-country book tour where I wore suits specially bought from Barney’s NY and learned to force a smile for the camera. I’ve always worked hard, played by the rules, trusted in the wisdom of conventional media companies. Doesn’t that count for something?

Whoa, honey. No special status here. Democratic is democratic. Either I go with it or I don’t.


  1. I finally made it over for a visit, and everything is as beautiful as I suspected it would be. Can't wait to read more of your adventures . . . and of course, can't wait to read That Book!


  2. You're a sweetheart, Catherine! And as for That Book (as opposed to This Book) you'll be the first to know!

  3. Judy-I love your blog and your story about your Book. I'd love to hear more about how writers can use the Espresso Book Machine to self publish, if that is what you are indeed suggesting. It sounds revolutionary! Your friend from down South, Wendy