After two years of supplying ShelfTalker readers with odd insights into my bookselling life, quirky questions to contemplate, photo tours of bookstores, and the occasional book-related craft project, I am handing over the blogging reins and taking a backseat to two other more-than-capable booksellers.
The decision to make this change has been a long time coming for me. About six months into writing this blog I began to question my own sanity. I’d come home from a long day at the bookstore to sit down in front of the computer and try to compose blog posts, all the while thinking that this was the time I was "supposed" to be spending on my as-yet-unfinished book. A few hours later I’d crawl into bed and Gareth would shake his head at me, his look saying what we both knew: I couldn’t keep this up. I told him (and everyone who said, "How do you find the time?") that I felt I had to stick with it for a year. I didn’t want to give the appearance of someone who jumped in and out of things, and besides? The blog was gaining steam. People were contacting me all the time to tell me how much they were enjoying it. I had things I wanted to say. Fun topics I wanted to explore. True, I had almost zero time to devote to them, but still…? I could do this for a year, I said.
And then somehow that one-year commitment became two, and with it came lots of great things, like connecting with so many of you! But now if you ask me about the timing of anything that’s happened to me in the past two years I draw a blank. The past two years feel like one big blur to me — a sign that I’ve been doing WAY, WAY too much and that something’s got to give.
SO, let the giving begin. Starting next week, PW will be giving you the voices of not one but TWO talented and very entertaining booksellers. Your new ShelfTalker bloggers will be Elizabeth Bluemle and Josie Leavitt of the The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont (see my post about their store from March 2008). I feel certain you’re going to enjoy and appreciate their intelligent insights into the book business, their infectious enthusiasm for books, and their creative ideas about… everything. Elizabeth and Josie have been trusted and well-respected colleagues of mine for many years, so I assure you that I’m leaving you in EXCELLENT hands. I’m looking forward to seeing what things they post in this new phase of life for ShelfTalker — a phase during which I too get to sit back, read, and learn a thing or two!
As for my role here, I will continue to offer up occasional posts for the next few weeks but sometime thereafter will assume the intermittent role of "guest blogger." (Hopefully a much more relaxed and happy guest blogger, at that.) There are still SO many things that I want to say, share, ask, explore with you, entertain you with, and that will still happen, just on a less frequent or consistent basis — and hopefully in part through my book(s)!
Before I hang up my "blog owner" hat, though, I want to do two things. The first is to ask you to share what it is you’ve liked about this blog, so that Josie and Elizabeth will have some idea of what they might want to think about continuing or exploring in greater detail here. Tell us why it is you’ve come back for more and/or tell me what things you’d have liked to see me do differently. (Seriously. I want to know.) If you’d prefer not to post your thoughts on these things in the comments field where the whole world can see them, e-mail me. My address is ShelfTalker (at) Gmail (dot) com.
The second and most important thing I want to do is thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the time and attention you’ve paid to my blog over the past two years. As an (overly) busy person, I know how much competition there is for any one person’s time and attention nowadays, and I’m overwhelmed by the fact that so many of you have thought that my little missives were worth the expenditure of those two things. I don’t think that, as a reader, I ever realized what a privilege and HONOR it is for a writer to have an audience. As a blogger, though, I’ve experienced that honor first-hand, and it humbles me. Again, thank you for that. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
And please tune in next Monday, when you’ll officially "meet" Josie and Elizabeth, who are very much looking forward to blogging for you. Onward, ShelfTalker readers!