Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Ten Years of Books

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
This June will mark the TEN YEAR anniversary of Birchbark Books.  I just spent a rainy morning in the bookstore.  It feels like a hundred years and no time at all; it feels like the most unlikely place in the world and the most inevitable; it feels like everywhere in the world and it feels like home.   

The story of our store is on the website -- how we leased the space and took thirteen layers of floor and dentist office equipment.  Check it!

We started out with books culled from BOOKMAN, our local book distributor.  Bookman was absorbed by Ingram and its funky/lovely warehouse turned into Lofts.  Ten years ago, I went there with a shopping cart and loaded the cart, hand picking the likely titles from dim piles, riding up and down a freight elevator, checking out at the end with Bookman clerks including one who was and became the terrific writer Kate DiCamillo.  We put the books on the shelves and tried to figure out how to sell them.  We weren't very good at it.   Denny Magers of Magers and Quinn let me buy some books from him.  I set out books from my own library -- at the time we had a used/new mixture.   

Thank god I kept my day job and the asema that was placed in the walls kept on attracting people who understood that the art of bookselling is unlike any other business.  It is a way of life.  It is an odd and mundane passion.

Books must contain mysteriously the whole of human experience. -- yet sometimes one can hardly believe that there remains yet a new book to be written.  

I just fell in love all over with a big stack of books that have never been written before.  (The Farmer's Daughter by Jim Harrison, and More Remarkable Trees, and everything by Ha Jin). Or books I haven't read yet. (Bleak House)  Or books that made me laugh until I got sick.  (Awkward Family Photos).

I'll write more all summer about bookstore life.  I am just absorbing the fact that we are still here.  Thank you to our devoted customers and delighted newcomers!  Thank you tribal schools and tribal colleges, thank you local schools and teachers.  Thank you everyone who has passed through the blue door.

Louise Erdrich

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Aubrey/Maturin green Zombies photography Michael Jackson Wastepaper Gryphon Press health care reform cafe closing More Remarkable Trees incarnation The Wealth of Nature monkey in a dryer Climate Change peculiar touches of green and gold Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive leaves and snow Peak Oil post holiday Jim Harrison Interview Greenland Ojibwemowin Kenwood Gardens Alice Munro cafe twins The Porcupine Year spring how good looking you are The Game of Silence Too Much Happiness anniversary Women and Trees language revitalization sweden Kabul Birchbark Books Minnesota solstice, Thomas King Mohamed's Ghosts Unnatural Disasters devoted customers the most romantic city in the world Let's Take the Long Way Home Vic Glover bill mckibben William Trevor Islam post holiday reads ependent Remarkable Trees mississippi Gary Clement Czech Writer show your love Aza ptsd Kate DiCamillo tree books H2Oil Fireworks Philip Roth france The Birchbark House Education favorite dog Light in August S.C. Gwynne Bohumil Hrabal School Gardens friends north dakota Nero Keystone XL Ojibwe 2666 Easter Island Anishinabemowin Dogs The Round House buffalo Ha Jin Gail Caldwell Stephen Salisbury Bleak House adventure This Green World thank you friends The Ojibwe Video trees Beth Dooley book and dinner club Book Review Milkweed Press Magers and Quinn 350.org Up Late Again The Farmer's Daughter Bill Moyers Journal Botany Wolf Hall Master Butchers Singing Club plants Rare Books customers Nemesis NACDI:All My Relations Crushing Books aquifer Small Bookstores as Commons neighborhood Anton Treuer Minneapolis Dartmouth birchbark house series World on the Edge Guthrie Theater Collective Denial Anishinabe Patrick O'Brian The Blue Sky knowledge Native Arts The Royal Prussian Library Catalyst Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge pilgrims Victory Gardens favorite tree Emily Johnson Tree Houses Too Loud A Solitude japan Louise President Obama favorite book joy Keepers of the Trees Wendy Makoons Geniusz Brown Dog ireland Canada gardens china graphix germany British Navy Peak Water Alan Weisman State Troopers thanks city of books Chickadee Population Pembina Empire of the Summer Moon Ice Green Team Tar Sands National Book Award Roberto Bolano Hillary Clinton euphoria Chitra Divakaruni Love Native People Poetry E.L. Doctorow Afghanistan Makoons Mankato Powwow The Transition Handbook fresh water gratitude local economy italy support Hilary Mantel boarding school The Resilient Gardener coyote

Archive