Jan Gardner writes the Word on the Street column for BostonGlobe.com and in a January edition stated that A Vacationer’s Guide to Rural New England Bookstores was “…a good one to keep in the glove compartment.” I really enjoyed seeing that comment because it goes right to the heart of how and why the guide book came to be. I wrote it with the notion that a book shop visitor would keep it with them as a handy guide, regardless of where they end up in New England. What better place than in the globe box? If it’s handy, you can thumb through it and find the independent full-service, or used and rare book shop nearby.
You can read Jan’s full commentary at BostonGlobe.com. She also points out that the writing in the guide book is “folksy.” When I read that, it occurred to me, again, that I intended it to be casual and conversational, rather than clinical and analytical. I read a lot of guide books and they tend to be informative, but somewhat dry to read. I deliberately tried to avoid that. I’m glad that Jan felt it was “folksy.” The folksy part comes from sharing bits of information that go beyond whether certain types of books are on hand.
If famous authors have a preference for a shop, (Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury) or the owner has rearranged the shop to accommodate music recitals, (Pleasant Street Books in Woodstock), I like to share that information. While admittedly, that’s “folksy,” it’s my feeling that it helps readers decide it’s the kind of place they should visit.
Coincidentally, the Crow Bookshop in Burlington VT was highlighted in the same column as my guide book. Later that month I received a note that the shop was stocking my guide book. That’s what a writer loves to hear. The book was on another shelf. It keeps us going. Thanks to Jan and Thanks to the Crow Bookshop.