I love to read just about anything.
My specialities are nineteenth century literature (I have to use that MA somehow!) and Los Angeles literature (you can check out my book Read Me, Los Angeles for lots of lists and insight), with a strong dash of Madeleine L’Engle thrown in (and a Substack newsletter about her books to boot). That doesn’t mean it’s all I know or care about!
In the midst of the pandemic, I’ve hunkered down with a lot of what I call “comfort reading,” spending most of my evenings with a romance novel, a YA novel, or fantasy. Of course, many of the books I’m reading combine all three.
I am passionate about young readers for a lot of reasons. I think reading is a transformative act, showing us who we are and who we could be and illuminating the humanity of others. While I mostly read fiction, I find plenty of that in poetry and nonfiction as well. When readers, young or old, find characters who have essential things in common with them, it can reveal new possibilities; and when readers read about those who are different from them in those same essential ways, it shows that despite many external differences, the beating heart of another is not so different after all.
While I will carry books for all ages and stages of readers, and will work to have offerings in other languages than English (all depending on publisher availability), I will especially focus on kids’ books. Studies show that kids who have books in the home are at an educational advantage, and I want to help bring access to books to neighborhoods that don’t have their own bookstore, to help make that easier.
Two things: a mobile bookstore and a book collection consultant.
What’s a mobile bookstore? It is a bookstore on wheels. I’m looking at the same kind of truck that food trucks most commonly use, which will allow for individual or family browsing, as well as a service window for anyone who knows exactly what they want or are picking up an already-placed order.
Why a mobile bookstore instead of a brick-and-mortar? A lot of reasons! I was having a hard time picking a single neighborhood in Los Angeles for a bookstore. I don’t want to infringe on any of the existent indie bookstores in LA – most of which are owned or managed or otherwise staffed by friends – and I want folks to have easy access to bookstores. That led me to decide on a mobile model that can go into different neighborhoods on a daily basis, and can be part of community functions. It also will allow for a quicker launch than acquiring a retail space.
What is a book collection consultant? I have years of experience with putting together libraries for private enterprises (hotels, coffee shops, etc.) and want to help both other businesses who want to include a book component. With some previous clients, that has been books for a hotel room or a collection for a hotel library, for others, it has been assisting other retailers in introducing book elements tailored to their clientele. I also love putting together home libraries. While I can make an attractive, color-coordinated collection if that’s what you need, I am best used to create a library that reflects your interests and may impress visitors to your home, or in this time of COVID, may impress folks who see your bookshelves on Zoom.