"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life."
To the parent of multiple children, the end of summer is always a mixed blessing. When school is out I'm happy for my kids to experience all the free time, but as we inch towards August, I find I'm more excited than they are for the return to school and structure.
Back to school at the store means offering shiny new notebooks, pencils, erasers, lunch boxes, and more to motivate kids to hit the books, as well as big fall releases from bestselling authors like What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (don't forget to pre-order your signed copy while they last!).
September is full of special events too. We'll welcome several remarkable authors including bestselling writer Joyce Maynard, host a poetry reading featuring some local all-stars, and present our annual Random House reading recommendation night with expert sales reps David Glenn and Katie Mehan. There's also a special event that's near and dear to my heart because of my own cultural heritage. Lithuanian photographer Jonas Kulikauskas, author of Yosemite People, will be at the store on Saturday, September 23rd. We'll display his black-and-white images of those who live and work at Yosemite throughout the afternoon. The photos move from the overwhelming majesty of nature to the intimate moments of human life and we're the only bookstore to host him.
Getting back into the fall swing of things means we're also busy brainstorming new ways to have fun in the store. One of them is starting our own "Mercer Island Reads" program, and we'd love your input. We see this as a way to deepen our engagement in literature through reading and discussion and bring us together as a community. Can you imagine if all of Islanders read the same book at the same time? We welcome your thoughts in person, by email, or through social media.
Finally, we'd like to extends our deepest sympathies to the families and communities impacted by the devastating hurricane and floods in Texas and Louisiana, especially our fellow independent bookstores like Becker's Books, Kaboom Books, Brazos Bookstore, Blue Willow Bookshop, Murder by the Book, River Oaks Bookstore, The Lift, and more. You're in our thoughts and hearts.