Joyce Hinnefeld


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Independent Booksellers in Atlantic City

Stranger Here Below is showing up in bookstores--very exciting.

And yesterday I got to talk about the book in a room full of independent booksellers, at the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association meeting in Atlantic City, NJ, which was a blast. The meeting was in the Trump Marina, and I stayed there Monday night; may I just say that I find casinos SO WEIRD. The one place in the U.S. that still leaves your clothes reeking of cigarette smoke when you leave.

I love talking with independent booksellers, who always have interesting stories about books and writers, and usually about their own lives. I had a brief conversation with someone I found really inspiring--Jonah Zimiles, the father of an autistic son who owns Words in Maplewood, NJ, a bookstore that employs and reaches out to people with autism:

Even in a bad economy and in the midst of dire predictions about the future of the book, these people find a way to keep on doing what they love: selling books. Even though Adam Gopnik accused all of us writers in the room (himself included) of pandering to the crowd in our effusive praise of the independents at yesterday’s lunch, I think every writer was sincere in his or her praise. Without these people, we’d never reach the readers we depend on to read, and talk about, our work.

And a note to any of you booksellers at yesterday’s lunch: Sorry about the mix-up with copies of Stranger Here Below, which somehow never made it to the meeting, and so did not end up in your big bag of new books. But good news: thanks to Eileen Dengler and the wonderful people at Unbridled Books, copies will be mailed to all the booksellers who were at the Movable Feast. So a copy should land on your doorstep soon. Hope you like it! And good luck with that two-minute pitch; when you come up with a good one, please share it with me!

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