Yeah, Green Apple Books is not known for our regular author appearances. We tried it a few years back, but realized that there's just no room. Plus with the noise from the registers and the phones and the intercom system....just didn't work. But with the recent creation of The Philosophy Room upstairs, we realized we had a quiet space that might work for smaller events. Intimate. Not more than, say 15 people. 20 at most. If we land a David Sedaris event, it probably won't be in The Philosophy Room.
We decided to start doing some readings and call it The Sideroom Series. We kicked it off last Saturday with Brad Warner. Last night we hosted Dashiell Hammett expert Don Herron. This coming Thursday night (April 2), we have Peter Rock coming in to read his latest. Details here. Our hope is to do an event a week, though we don't have any more scheduled at the moment. If you don't get our email newsletter, you should, it's one of the better bookstore newsletters, and we don't pester you about it. You could sign up here if you were inclined. I leave you with a essay on "Why I Read" that Peter Rock wrote for our newsletter.
In Yasunari Kawata’s story, “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket,” our adult narrator follows a group of children out capturing insects. (“Each day, with cardboard, paper, brush, scissors, pen-knife and glue, the children made new lanterns out of their hearts and minds.”) A boy, offering what he thinks is a grasshopper to a girl, stands close to her. Our narrator witnesses what they do not: “The boy’s lantern, which he held up alongside the girl’s insect cage, inscribed his name, cut out in the green papered aperture, onto her white cotton kimono. The girl’s lantern, which dangled loosely from her wrist, did not project its pattern so clearly, but still one could make out, in a trembling patch of red on the boy’s waist, the name ‘Kiyoko.’”
When I read these words, when I was caught in this moment, I cried. This was even before the narrator infuses what he’s seen into a crushing meditation; I think it was simply the way he looked on, in and out of the world he described (“Wide-eyed, I loitered near them.”), and the straight wonder of his description. This was just the other day; I was on an airplane, flying between Salt Lake City and Portland. Tears running down my face, I was overcome.