This whole Star Sisters process has been rather awesome - except for the sleepless nights caused by anxiety over every little detail that goes into making a book. But hey, I'm a mama, I have a lot of experience functioning in a state of exhaustion. One of the single best moments in this whole journey, however, happened on Friday morning when I saw my book on the shelves at my favorite local book store, Wellesley Books.
I love book stores. Not the kind with Starbucks inside, I find those way too overwhelming despite the fact that I do enjoy a good magazine display featuring every home decor magazine known to man. I'm talking about independent book stores, the ones that have their own unique smell, well worn oriental rugs, and the owner's dog sleeping in the corner. I LOVE those kind of places. Yes, I sell my books on Amazon. And I think the ability to get a case of diapers, a pack of fresh onesies, and a great children's chapter book shipped to my doorstep for no additional charge is one of the best things to happen to parents in the past gazillion years. But the excitement that I felt seeing Star Sisters and the Royal Wedding available on my computer screen did not hold a candle to the insane joy and pride I felt seeing it on the shelves. It just didn't.
If you feel the same way about book stores, you have to read the The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It tells the story of the most endearingly grumpy bookseller you'll ever come across, AJ Fikry. Fikry owns Island Books, a book store located on a fictious island that reminded me of Martha's Vineyard. Fikry is set in his cranky and lonely ways when an abandoned baby left in his store turns Fikry's life upside down. The book is good, but what makes it great are the letters that begin every chapter in which Fikry writes his personal thoughts about the books that have impacted his life (the one that starts the final chapter made me sob). This book oozes a love of literature. It's what I wish every English class had been about - the way books make you think about life. My only complaint is that the child in the book is just way too perfect. She's the most mature toddler you'll probably never meet. But I guess that's the beauty of fiction - we can all dream that our children would be content to spend hours leafing through picture books while we browse the shelves!