Sunday, January 27, 2008
The Best Bookstore in the World (part 1)...
This week we're chatting about our very favorite bookstores. Because even though we live in a wifi world, where Amazon is only a click away, we debut authors LOVE our bookstores. Big and small, dusty and shining, they come in all shapes and sizes...
Today, Courtney Sheinmel, author of My So Called Family, shares her personal fave.
Yep! See, the mother of one of my sister’s closest friends from high school, Caitlin, worked at The Corner Bookstore in Manhattan, which is famous for being the model for The Shop Around the Corner in the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” It was also the bookstore in the movie “The Prince of Tides,” in a pivotal scene when Nick Nolte figured out that his sister was living a double life.
Naturally, Caitlin was a big book person herself, and at some point, I told her about a book I had just finished – Ithaka, by Sarah Saffian. It was a memoir about an adoptee who had been found by her birthparents, and I thought it was wonderful. It had the added distinction of being written by a woman who had graduated from the same high school that Caitlin, my sister and I went to.
Caitlin told her mom, Vikki, about the book. Then, a few weeks later, Sarah Saffian happened to go into The Corner Bookstore. She introduced herself to Vikki, who remembered that I had loved the book. Vikki asked Sarah Saffian to sign a copy for me. I still have it – it is dated December 23, 1998: For Courtney, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Warmly, Sarah Saffian. I was so excited when Caitlin came over and brought me the book. I couldn’t believe her mom had remembered. It was just the nicest thing. I keep Ithaka on my shelf of signed books.
Years later, my sister called to tell me that Caitlin’s mother had passed away. I didn’t know her well, but I think about her whenever I glance over at my bookshelf and see Ithaka, and some other times too, for no explicable reason. Caitlin is now a writer herself – in addition to countless articles, she co-authored a book called The Best Things to Do in New York (which was very well-received and even reviewed as an “inspiration digest”), and she’s currently at work on her next book. I called Caitlin to ask if I could write about her mom, and she said I could. She also told me something very cool – her brother is now working at The Corner Bookstore.
Yeah, see... these are the kinds of special, personal, real things that happen in those awesome indies, where people actually know one another. Don't you love bookstore people? So great!
And to you, our readers... we pose the same question... what's *your* favorite bookstore?