Community bookselling is one of those things which, like adolescence, is hard to define with precision but is nonetheless unmistakably real.
A perfect example occurred last Thursday. It was 11:00 and my stellar assistant manager Karin Schott stepped out of the store to pick up the deposit bag from the bank. She dashed back in a few minutes later, announcing, “Hold on to your socks, we’re going to have a crowd in a minute. I’m going to do an impromptu read aloud.”
It turned out that a big group from the local University of Maine at Farmington’s Sweatt – Winter Child Care program was out walking the downtown that beautiful fall morning on a quest to search for the letter R. Karin had asked what they were doing and then immediately offered them a quick read-aloud at the bookstore. The obvious thing was to read Jon Agee’s Lion Lessons as it had lots of roaring. The next thing I knew, 30 excited 3- and 4-year-olds streamed into the store and piled into our read-aloud area also known as the Literature section. Karin is a terrific reader and the kids were captivated. They roared and pounced their way through Lion Lessons. I stepped in afterward and showed them ABC: The Alphabet from the Sky, and let them search for the R. The kids had a great time.
The day care folks thanked us many times. The next day the head of the center came back into the store with a wonderful thank you poster for Karin and bought a copy of both books. Community bookselling: intangible as a secret recipe, as real as any rock or tree, and as wonderful and irreplaceable as anything you can think of.
Go DDG, Kenny & Karin!