Milwaukee-area book lovers are still drying their tears over the demise of Harry W. Schwartz Booksellers, in business for eighty plus years and a mainstay of literary Milwaukee. Schwartz just about invented the concept of the author visit and its commitment to giving back in the community was legendary.
But life has to go on, doors close and windows open. Two of the Schwartz locations have been reborn and will operate as independent book shops. These new shops promise to take up the mantle of bookshop as literary centers of the community. May they both enjoy many years of success!
Boswell Book Company has opened at 2599 N. Downer Ave. in Milwaukee. The main website is not up and running yet, but the shop has two blogs detailing upcoming events and goings on. Check out The Boswellians and Boswell and Books.
It's SO important to celebrate and patronize independent booksellers. There is an individuality and flavor at an independent shop that is totally lacking at a chain bookstore. Why not make an outing of it? Make an effort to hit an author visit at these shops, combine it with dinner out, and voila--a fun evening in the city.
The best blog writing immerses the reader in day-to-day sights and sounds of the writer's life. Done well, it's a personal view of life with an immediacy that can't be matched by a book or magazine article. In effect, it's a whole new kind of journalism.
Some samples of the choices:
Sacred Destinations approaches travel from a spiritual perspective. The writer has an advanced degree in religious history and focuses on travel destinations with religious appeal.
Girl Solo in Arabia--Carolin McIntyre has spent over 30 years exploring and learning about Asia. Herein her adventures in the Near East.
My Marrakesh is my personal favorite. She presents all the ups and downs of an American ex-pat family living in Morocco. The writer has a deep interest in textile and adornment and frequently focuses on lifestyle issues.
This is definitely an area of literature where I need to spend a bit more time. Poetry usually offers a bit of a challenge. But the rewards are many--new images to think about, new slants of thought in general.