I guess, in truth, it's hard for me to know or say if owners of independent bookstores are any worse off than adjunct faculty, the fifteen million without work, or anyone else in this economy staring at a double dip that does indeed have the fancy ice creams on sale at our local American-owned Ingles (which means they are priced just a bit over regular Wal-mart prices). It could indeed be better not to own anything brick and mortar unless it is one of those magically affluent recession-proof places. But do those mirages exist?
Well, I guess it's still fun to browse and blow coin on books on any given Saturday. . . and so I offer:
READER-CONSUMER, ACTIVATE! SHAPE OF A BOOK BUYER!
PS--What I wrote below in February, 2010 seems connected to the here and now of book, but of course, the actual holiday proved only to be a false rumor and thus not part of our shared mythology:
Yes, it is true. February is national "Shelve Your Indy Novel in the Superbookstore" month. This means that sneaking into a local big-box store known for housing book product and in clandestine fashion placing your independently produced novel on the shelf, with sticker price affixed, is the thing to do. No dark glasses, trenchcoat, or other disguise is required; a hidden camera might make things more interesting, but of course, the store most likely already provides those. Alphabetical order is expected, but the organizers of this month's theme have not yet arranged to check up on folks. I'm assuming this means it can also be "Pretend Your Last Name Begins with a Q Even if it Begins with an X" month.
Reminder: It is absolutely NOT national "Sneak Strong Coffee for Free in the Superbookstore Cafe" month, and as per usual, shoplifters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Ah, humanity, and the way of all fiction. . .
PPS--There are so many new authors these days that my dream of being snug against and sold because I'm mistaken for Kundera is nowhere near 2011's reality. Not only is my title most likely not in your store, but at any store with a decent selection of K and then Us, there are now a half dozen fine books standing between us. I'm sure this is not quite as troubling to Milan. . .