Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Footnotes About The Journey & Ron Rice

Ron Rice takes a look at one of my travel journals of all the other bookstores I've visited along my journey.   The journal he's looking at documents the visits to stores not in MY BOOKSTORE.  
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I thought I would add a few more thoughts about my journey that some of the regular readers of The Indie Bob Spot might enjoy.  To be clear, I've completed the journey of the hardback edition of MY BOOKSTORE, which came out in 2012.  I didn't discover this book though until about 2013 or 2014.  There has been a recent release of MY BOOKSTORE in paperback this past spring of 2017.  The paperback edition includes a handful of newly featured independent bookstores, some of which I have already visited and some of which I haven't (but will, hopefully!).  As I have mentioned previously, the hardback version includes 81 bookstores, however, three have been closed and I was unable to visit them.  The three that have closed are:  The Capitola Book Cafe, Capitola, CA;  Chester County Book & Music Co, West Chester, PA; Next Chapter Bookstore, Mequon, WI.  As sad as this is, I have taken GREAT hope from the many new bookstores I've discovered all across the country and I think some of the dire predictions for independent bookstores are not only premature but are, on the whole, totally unfounded.  I've done the field work that the prognosticators and pundits have not.  

Ron Rice on the left, his journey was 30+ years to put this book together.  

This journey began for me about 3 1/2 years ago, in 2014.  And although it has only taken me a relatively short time to do this, the gentleman who brought this publication to print devoted 30+ years of his life to cultivating the final product that became, MY BOOKSTORE.  I've communicated with Ron Rice off and on for these past 3 1/2 years and on my recent trip to the east coast I finally had the pleasure of meeting him in person.  I don't know who was more enthusiastic about this, him or me!  Obviously, even though we have talked it was great to finally meet him and he filled in some of the blanks for me about the book as well as the recent paperback edition.  The biggest thing I took from him was the fact that it did take him those 30+ years to establish relationships with these bookstores, their owners, and their booksellers.  To me, that's the true journey and a big part of the story about the book.  And Ron's journey and work also includes countless other bookstores and their owners who aren't featured in the book.  As he once told me, for every bookstore that made the book he could've featured 5 more.  

So what now?  I finished one chapter so now I continue with another, ongoing chapter.  There is no timeline, there is no set destination.  So my journey continues to other deserving independent bookstores and the wonderful people who work there.  I would also like to revisit many where I've met some of the nicest people anywhere, they are all so enjoyable to visit with.   If any want to follow what I do, great.  If not, it doesn't matter.  The fun I have seeing bookstores and meeting the people who work there is priceless.  Thanks for following and now, let's get on to the next bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.         

I finally met him!

This looks like a team that just won a championship!  Well, in a way, it is.  Alert readers may notice the celebrity seated in front.  Yes, that's my mom.  Standing in back L-R, John M. from Mainpoint Books, yours truly, Ron Rice, Ron's son Jake, and Max M. from Mainpoint Books.  

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