Monday, March 27, 2017

Paul Ingraham, Bookseller Extraordinaire

Paul Ingraham, Bookseller Extraordinaire from Prairie Lights.  
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Regular readers of The Indie Bob Spot know that this blog is dedicated to the support and recognition of the many fine independent bookstores across this country.  Rarely have I ever written about anything else.  But I am compelled to share with you in this entry a few words about Paul Ingraham, a long-time bookseller and book buyer for Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, IA

Paul speaks at his retirement open house.
Audience members always react to his humor.  
I continue to stress the importance of bookstores in the fabric of our country's culture.  I also know that I'm preaching to the choir since many of you understand this.  But I also want to remind you (and myself) that these bookstores, from the very smallest to the giants would be nothing without the tireless and passionate efforts of booksellers across the country.  Paul is one of those booksellers who is now retiring after many years of service at Prairie Lights.  Of course, he brings that bookselling passion to the table that so many others also have.  But its more than just that.  I'm convinced that if he could give weekly 15 minute talks like the one at his retirement reception, his legion of followers would become throngs (it might be worth joining his bookclub for this!).  Where else could one hear about Canadian authors who write about Jewish Cowboys in Canada and the such!

But above all, you'll find a person in possession of a sharp wit, creative, demonstrative, and an interesting (this is understated) and fascinating person.  And despite all these talents, he remains a humble person who can converse with some of the country's most renowned authors or a common bookstore customer who likes to visit and blog about bookstores.  How lucky they are at Prairie Lights, to have you as one of their leaders in a community of readers.  Congratulations on your retirement but we'll all still enjoy bumping into you at Prairie Lights.  Go to an indie and thank a bookseller.  Bonsoir.  

If you ever get a chance to meet Paul, do it.  All you have to do is ask him about some of his favorite books and he'll take it from there!

The next time you visit Prairie Lights, go upstairs to see all of Paul's bookclub recommendations over the years.  These are just a few of those.  I can guarantee that you will find a fantastic book among these choices.  

Jan W., one of the co-owners at Prairie Lights with Paul.  

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