Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Joys and Agonies of Bookstores

It's a funny thing walking through a bookstore when you're a writer trying to get published. The part of me that loves stories and books and reading and language breathes it in and gets lost and can't get enough. The part of me that wants to be published and collects rejection notices and keeps struggling to be better looks at it all and says, "What's the point?" It can be overwhelming, and that's just the stuff that's been published.

This is especially true when I visit Powell's here in Portland. Powell's isn't called "The City of Books" for nothing. It takes up something like a couple of city blocks and at least 3 stories crammed floor to ceiling with every kind of book imaginable - new books, used books, trashy books, classics, books in other languages, rare books - you name it. When I was in my twenties I'd go there and hang out in their coffee shop on a Saturday night and it would be packed with other booklovers like me and I thought to myself, "I have found my people."

But on my last visit, knowing my own writing was in the hands of agents yet again, and that a rejection notice was most likely in my future, I had a bit of an anxiety attack. So many great books - who reads them all? How does one ever get noticed over the others? What makes me think I have something so worth saying that people will pay money for it?

I know I'm not alone in this two-sided relationship with bookstores. I wonder what other writers do to overcome that feeling.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts