We want to publish a collection of stories and poems that all take place in the same used bookstore. This collection is a love letter to used bookstores; everything that you love about them is here: books, the sense of wonder and discovery, the cozy clutter, idiosyncratic book lovers, more books and the feeling that you are in a magic haven buttressed against the cruelties of the world.
In 2017, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa was working on an epic poem and part of it took place at Classics Bookstore. Independently, Eric Maywar was working on some flash fiction that also took place at Classics Bookstore. They bumped into each other (at Classics) and decided to collaborate on a collection of poems and stories that all take place at their favorite bookstore.
We thought a collection of excellent work with a shared setting—and a shared love of bookstores and the people in them—might be a worthy project. We reached out to some of our favorite writers and artists to make it happen.
If you ever wanted to pull a book from the bookshelf and open a hidden passage way
or if you ever wanted the bookseller to lock you in the bookstore overnight, this collection is for you.
There is a story about the five greatest bookstores of all time, another about a woman who brings her date to a bookshop to see how he handles himself around books, and another about the ghosts of books burnt in book burnings. There is a play about the most annoying customer in the world, a story about what books do when you aren’t looking, a story about the bookseller and the troll, and a story about a boy who rode on the tops of trains and what that meant.
Our schedule is simple. The collection has been assembled and the cover art is finished. Once the Kickstarter is over, and the final design is approved, we will be able to go to print. All money will go to printing ($1000 for the first run), graphic design ($500) and to our artists and writers ($1250).
I promised some opening paragraphs so you can sample the writing. WARNING: these are only the opening paragraphs, a teaser for the rest of the collection. I hope you enjoy reading them--and thank you for your support!
"The Infinite Collection of Unfinished Stories" by Eric Maywar
Everybody wants to pull a book in a bookstore and discover a secret passageway.
"The Last Bohemian of Avenue A" (excerpt) by Yusef Komuyakaa
I bet you don’t know why Duncan plays up-tempo always, some glow in the bell, some jive in the know? Well, if you played a shiny bugle in an army band for four years blowing only reveille & taps, you’d also second line on trumpet till a gravedigger’s soul came home to roost on a broken weathervane.
"Three Tests for Evaluating a First Date" by Eric Maywar
They argued about time travel for the entire 15-minute drive. Cole argued that time travel would have to be consistent because the universe is fixed. Somebody could travel back in time to attempt to change something only to find that their time travel had already happened and was essential to things turning out the way they did—like in Terminator 1 or Harry Potter. He also argued that time travel would only happen through the application of physics. Samantha argued that time travel could change the past like Back to the Future or Hot Tub Time Machine. She also argued that time travel would happen through mental discipline, not physics, that a person could train herself, through sheer force of will, to travel through time. Cole said that was ridiculous, but whatever. The only thing they agreed on it that a time traveler should avoid meeting his or her former self; nothing good could come of that.
"Elmore" by Jeff Edelstein
The old man wasn’t moving. That much was clear. He had parked himself one of those step stools everyone uses as regular stools, and he was reading. Reading! In a bookstore.
"Consider This" by Doc Long
Cross country in California Cross latitudes and longitudes The attitudes vicissitudes A long way from Classic Books in downtown Trenton A twenty-two year old man was shot dead seven times Shot into infinity oblivion Seven times into eternity
"The Secret Lives of Books" by Eric Maywar
I like to go out on weekends to the used bookstore on Lafayette to watch the books breathe. Few people know that books can breathe, but then again people are never as smart as they think.
Risks and challenges
The risks are minimal. The worst thing i can think of happening is if the publisher deadline slips and things are produced later than we anticipate. But we have built a lot of extra time into the schedule to allow for this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)