Long time, no blog. Sorry about that. To say we have been busy at The Conundrum is an understatement. The first four months of the year have been an absolute whirlwind, and May is going to be even busier. So what have we been up to? Well, right after the first of the year we bought the building in which the bookstore is housed. You might think that would make things easier but really it just opened up a whole can of worms. I mean if you own the building you CAN expand, or put up a fence for your dog, or put in that bookstore garden you have been wanting – right? Well, sure, if you know what you want. But suddenly, when you actually have the ability to do such things, the pressure is too huge to actually move and do ANYTHING. So even though for years I said “If only” and dreamed of the day we owned the building we now own it and I feel even further away than ever from actually making any changes. C’est la vie. Tomorrow is another day, and all that jazz.
But really, we haven’t had the time to make any changes anyway. While the in-store business is doing better than ever, we have also massively expanded our out-of-the shop book sales. This year, we were honored to be asked to provide the book sales for so many awesome events. It is hard to even imagine but already in the first four months of the year we have had pop-up bookshops at The Writers and Readers Symposium, The Natchez Literary and Cinema Festival, Vintage Market Days in Amite, The Louisiana State Garden Clubs’ Annual Convention, and The Market in The Mill in New Roads. That’s a lot of books to crate up and move (thanks Rob)!
What does May hold that can be busier than that you “may” wonder? Well, we will start off with a book signing on May 3 celebrating the launch of the new book “A Blind Man and His Monkey” by R.D.Roldan. That’s right! Grace Church’s Fr. Roldan has written his first novel. Come help us celebrate!
The very next day, Saturday May 4, 2019 we will be back in Parker Park for the third annual West Feliciana Children’s Book Festival. Six children’s authors will share their books with us through Storytime and craft projects. The cheerleaders will be back to paint those adorable little faces. The sidewalk chalk art contest will return to color our town for a day with bookish art ; and many other community partners will be there to foster and celebrate a love for books in our smallest book fans.
Move forward a few days and we have another new book to celebrate. This one is the fabulous literary guide to “Louisiana Poets” by Catharine Savage Brosman who you may remember from her appearances at The Writers and Readers Symposium, and St Francisville’s own Olivia McNeely Pass. This book provides a guide for readers to discover, savor, and celebrate poets who have been inspired in and by the Pelican State. The book launch party and signing will be held at the bookshop on the evening of May 16, 2019.
On Saturday May 25 we will host our first “Signings on Saturdays”, a new event where once a month we will invite authors to spend time in the shop on Saturday afternoons to introduce new authors, or authors new to this area, to our readers. Featured at the May 25 event will be local author Rosie Politz and visiting Florida author Roger Johns.
Then, the wait is over. May 31 and June 1st we will blow it out at the Sixth Annual Walker Percy Weekend. In case you haven’t heard, David Brooks, JD Vance, Walter Isaacson, Rod Dreher, Anne Snyder and Tom Key will all be presenting this year! I hope you got your tickets to the lectures early because we sold out more than 6 weeks before the event! But if you just want to come rub shoulders with the literati and/ or enjoy a fabulous party or three, some bourbon drinks, or a whole bunch of crawfish – YOU ARE IN LUCK! Social event tickets are still available online at www.walkerpercyweekend.org.
Believe it or not we have one more big book launch celebration in the works for early June sports fans out there will love (no details yet but will announce once dates are set) .
And then…..Sleep.Then I will need sleep – lots of it, and maybe I will start thinking about that fence for my dog, or maybe a garden, or a fence, or better office and storage space so I can re-purpose that room as more bookshop space, or all of the above. Ah well, to