This is my favourite bookstore and bookseller in the world. Bar none.
I used to get to Seattle every six months or so, and whenever I visited I always made it a priority to stop in BLMF and ask its keeper what he’d been reading lately. He possessed an inexhaustible memory, a comfortable lack of snobbery, and impeccable taste. The first book he recommended to me, upon listening gravely to my litany of at-the-moment authors (Barbara Kingsolver, James Clavell, Maeve Binchy, Neil Gaiman, Charles DeLint, Anthony Bourdain) was Tipping the Velvet. He also later landed me with Geek Love, Anno Dracula, half the Aubreyad, and more modern Literature-with-a-capital-L than I could carry home.
The next-to-last time I dropped in, I asked if he had any P. G. Wodehouse.
"I have zero Wodehouse," he said, "and here’s why…"
Turned out that some fiend had taken to creeping in every month or so expressly to inquire of any Wodehouse and, once led to the volumes, to buy it all. ALL. Didn’t matter the condition, the edition, or whether he had another just like it in his possession; the villain bought every single P. G. Wodehouse in stock, every single time.
Was he a fan more comprehensive, more truly fanatical than any other I’d heard of, let alone known? Was he virulently anti-Wodehouse, only purchasing the books to keep their wry poison from infecting the impressionable masses? The world may never know.
I didn’t get any Wodehouse then, and I didn’t really feel the lack. I found plenty of other treasures that trip. But here’s one reason why BLMF and its proprietor are my favourite of their kind: that was two years ago, you see. Maybe three. In all that interim, I never planted foot in that bookshop. Never called. Never wrote. And I’m one face out of hundreds of thousands, dear reader; one reader he saw twice a year for three years, then not again for another three.
But I walked in the shop last Friday. Nodded hello.
"Can I help you find anything?" he asked, lifting his head from the phone.
"No, I’m good," I said.
"Wait—hold on a second." He set the phone down, walked ‘round the towers of books balanced precariously on the desk, on the floor, and atop other, only slightly less precarious towers. He jerked his head conspiratorially toward the far end of the shop, led me carefully to a shelf way in the back, removed a tattered stack of mass market paperbacks and motioned me closer to see what they’d been hiding.
Fifteen pristine Wodehouses: crisp, heavy, and—
“Hardcover,” he said, and waggled his eyebrows.
Reader, I bought them all.
File under: Why I Love Independent Book Stores.
|—||Lindsey Boldt, “Self-Care for Poets, Part I (How To Be a Better Sacred Monster),” published in Drunken Boat|
Just remember. There is no such thing as a fake geek girl.
There are only fake geek boys.
Science fiction was invented by a woman.
Specifically a teenage girl. You know, someone who would be a part of the demographic that some of these boys are violently rejecting.
yo mary shelley wrote frankenstein in 1818 and isaac asimov was born in 1920 so you kinda get my point
Hello, I have two new poems up at Pinwheel, which is like the dumbest thing ever. Also there are poems from Mark Leidner, Natalie Eilbert, Amy King, Sampson Starkweather, Carrie Lorrig, and other people I’ve thanked in an acknowledgements section before. I don’t understand why I’m in here, but I will take it.
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" so i just carved the entire text of howl into your placemats bye
|—||Richard Russo (b. 7/15/1949), Nobody’s Fool|
|—||Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg|
Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breath in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.
Math, with his beautiful, universal structure, and Emotion, with her gripping intensity, had just one child. They named her Music.
This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" probably nothing but there’s no reason to be a graduated cylinder of piss about it
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" /offended by your tone, pablo neruda descends from the heavens/ /with a few lines of poetry, he seduces your girlfriend/ /then there is a flash of light and the strumming of a thousand acoustic guitars/ /pablo is gone/
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" dude, panic at the disco titles don’t write themselves
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" get my mfa in creative writing. i know it sounds crazy, but i’ve always wanted to become part of the fire nation. yes. yeah an mfa. a master of the flammable arts. in writing. wait what do you mean that’s not how it