Come to the Forgotten Borough Book Party!

forgotten-borough-cover.jpgI was thrilled when Nicole Steinberg asked me, close to two years ago, if I would be interested in participating in an anthology of essays by writers living in Queens (or who had lived here in the past); I brainstormed some fancy literary ideas on what I would write about, and then reality came crawling out of the woodwork to set me straight. If you want to find out what I mean by that, you should pick up Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens—but I’m amng the least of the attractions in a collection that gives you original writing by Julia Alvarez, Marcy Dermansky, Victor LaValle, Arthur Nersesian, Jill Eisenstadt, and a bunch of other writers besides.

You will find many of us at LIC Bar in Long Island City Saturday, February 26, from 6 to 8 p.m., for the official Forgotten Borough release party. Nicole Cooley will join Dermansky and Nersesian in reading from their contributions, and I’m sure the rest of us who are there will be happy to sign books, too. If you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP that way, but really we’ll be delighted to see you without any advance warning, of course. If you can’t make it that night, don’t worry: Nicole assures me that other events are being planned around Queens throughout the spring. (I’ve volunteered to read at one of them, and if that comes to fruition I’ll be sure to let you know!)

24 February 2011 | events |

Indie Bookselling Love on Twitter’s Homepage

A few days back, my friend Rebecca Joines Schinsky (The Book Lady’s Blog) wrote a post about how the bankruptcy of Borders underscores the fact that “where we buy our books matters, and it’s time we started acting like it.” Inspired by her remarks, I suggested on Twitter that we should all visit a bookstore over the holiday weekend and buy a book—then, on Saturday, I went to two bookstores. I started at one of the Borders locations in Manhattan that will be closing down due to the bankruptcy proceedings (liquidation sale!), and picked up some business books that I’d been meaning to read, plus a few other things, then I swung by Posman Books in Grand Central Terminal, where I found two new releases from NYRB Classics that looked fascinating, then got a tip on what bookseller Stacey Agdern assures me is a great romance novel. I took everything home and started reading.

Last night, I mentioned that I’d gone shopping, and explained why:

I bought books from an independent bookseller this weekend, because 'If you like it, you should put a ring on it' is good economic theory.

So far, more than 200 people have retweeted that sentence—along with I don’t know how many others who abridged it slightly—which gave me an opportunity to encourage people to shop at a bookstore today if they haven’t been out already this weekend, and add to my list of bookstores with Twitter accounts. Sure, I’m a bit giddy at the latest iteration of “Internet famous,” but mostly I’m psyched that something I said resonated with enough people that the message was elevated to a whole new platform. And I’m hoping that a lot of bookstores will see more business in the days to come… not just because of what I said, but because of what many other people just as passionate about books and bookstores as I am are saying.

21 February 2011 | uncategorized |

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