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

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

Archive