To ring in the New Year, we’re setting up our Flying Pig table with books designed to inspire resolutions. Oh, sure, we’ll have an obligatory healthy eating guide or two, but the focus will be on creative pursuits: books on writing, drawing, watercolor, comedy. So many people have secret (or semi-secret) back-burner passions, and the New Year is a terrific time to bring them to the forefront.
Of course, we’re also thinking about our own resolutions. Not just personal goals, but plans for the bookstore. Although a certain amount of winging it defines the Flying Pig approach, we do like to map out our year in hopes both pragmatic and poetic. These range from annual resolutions like, “Do more publisher orders” and “Claim co-op” (which are the bookstore equivalent of “Lose weight” and “Eat more veggies”) to specific visions of events (increasing our Tuesday Tastings and Sneak Peek Suppers series) to plans for expanding our customer base.
It should be a good year for resolutions. 2012 is full of anniversaries, achievements and oddities. It’s a leap year (so we’re tempted to host a frog-jumping contest and celebrate Mark Twain). The world’s first Winter Youth Olympics will take place later this month in Innsbruck, and London will host the Summer Olympics (for the third time). Queen Elizabeth will have been on the throne for 60 years on February 6. Books set in 2012 are listed in Wikipedia. Apparently, sunspot activity will peak in 2012, so don’t get too attached to your GPS systems and electronics. A NASA probe (the ‘New Horizons’) is expected to arrive close to Pluto for the first time sometime in the coming year. 2012 has also been designated Alan Turing Year; this might be a fine time to check out Chelsea House’s Alan Turing: Computing Genius and Wartime Code Breaker (Makers of Modern Science series), by Harry Henderson (9780816061754).
If you’re the type to ponder the Mayan calendar and global spiritual transformation, take a gander at the so-called “2012 phenomenon.” The world might end, or it may mark the beginning of a brand new era. Either way, we’re intrigued.
2012 is also the Year of the Dragon, an auspicious augur of success and happiness for everyone. Wahoo!
It is also, perhaps most importantly for ShelfTalker readers, the Year of the Picture Book, so designated by New England Children’s Booksellers at a conference in 2010, and enthusiastically embraced by the Association of Booksellers for Children. Expect to see some great initiatives this coming year on behalf of that most delicious and irreplaceable art form.
One of my personal book resolutions is to read at least one picture book a day, and find meaningful ways to highlight the best of the best, both old and new, in honor of The Year of the Picture Book. I’ll keep you posted on how this takes shape. One thing we’d like to do is celebrate a different picture book author/artist team each week all year long, both at the store and in this blog.
Another is to read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, one of those classics I’ve never picked up (and I’m one of about 134 people in the country never to have seen the show).
A third is to contribute more reviews to the NECBA Review Project! I love this semi-annual resource for MG and YA book recommendations and ratings from my colleagues, and want to get my reviews back up to pre-2011 levels.
What does 2012 mean to you? What book-related resolutions have you made, that you can share to inspire others?