Window Display Announcing the Confirmation of Finding the True Remains of the Last Plantagenet, King Richard III
Chris Lynch and Leslie Goddard discuss their latest books,
When Hollywood Landed at Chicago's Midway Airport
Chicago's Sweet Candy History
The Clio's Chroniclers (The History Discussion Group) discussing A Covert Affair: The Adventures of Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS by Jennette Conant
In line with the subject of events and, especially, author signings I would like to include the following essay I wrote which appeared in the local paper The Oak Leaves:
What does your favorite author have to say?
By August P. Aleksy July 5, 2011
Having been a bookseller for almost 21 years, which is a relative short time to many of my colleagues, I have made several observations.
The first one I would like to relate is the missed opportunity that readers have experienced. This lost chance comes when you are buying a signed book without attending the author discussion that preceded the inscription. This could be at a bookstore, library, university or any other place when and where an author tells you about themselves, their writing, their education, their experiences, etc. that relates to making the book a reality.
I say “discussion” because the “media events” in which a celebrity only inscribes his name in his/her purported volume and doesn’t talk for any length of time to the purchaser, is something a real reader can miss.
The reader who acquires a book for the enjoyment of traveling in a world, an atmosphere, and meeting people that he/she wants to know more about is the person I am speaking to.
At an author discussion you can meet the source of your enjoyment and find out whom or what inspired them to write in such a way. You’ll be able to see the difference between a journeyman writer and the artist who weighs and measures every word so that it fits.
You’ll hear the stories behind the books that you’ve read. It gives you a greater appreciation of the author and the process that writing entails.
Signed books are fine things, but after you’ve been to one of our author events you come away with more than a signed volume. You come away with your own stories to tell and possibly a new and different perspective on the guest speaker’s books.
Also, there is another special thrilling experience. That is meeting a new author. You can say you bought their first published book, the first in a series, and all that. However, you met and listened to them as they spoke with all the enthusiasm of a novice. In some cases, you feel like you’ve made a new friend who speaks to you via their stories.
Speaking of friendship, many of our authors actually remember the names of those readers who frequent their appearances at the bookstore. And, you can say you met them when... .
Don’t miss this opportunity enhance the personal value of your newly purchased book and make a few literary friends too.
August P. Aleksy, an Oak Park resident, is the owner of Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W. Madison St., Forest Park. For a complete list of author events, go to centuriesandsleuths.com.