Yesterday President Obama and his daughters stopped by my local independent bookstore One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. They bought some children’s books and, in doing so, supported a small business that serves as a beacon for readers in the DC metro area to engage with writers and the written word. They regularly host author talks and themed literary events. And they are the only store I know where you can pick up your next read, some decadent chocolates and fine wine.
The folks at One More Page have helped my readers as well. On several occasions over the past year sellers at my talks at book festivals have sold out. I had no complaints about that, but I did feel bad for the readers unable to get a signed copy of Butterfly in the Typewriter that day. Fortunately, I was able to refer them to One More Page and we got inscribed copies delivered to their homes. On one occasion it was for a former student of John Kennedy Toole.
This is the kind of service that most independent booksellers can offer and why I think it is important to support them. Like many authors, I am always happy to stop by my bookstore to sign or inscribe some books. After all, reading is more than consumption of a product. At its best it creates a connection between reader and author. The more personal I can make that connection, the better.
Of course, I am grateful for all the bookstores that have welcomed me this year, from New Orleans to Richmond. But I am especially happy for One More Page to get this much deserved recognition.
Read about the Obamas’ visit to One More Page here.