The Tucson Festival of Books was canceled due to authors pulling out last minute amid concerns over COVID-19. However, the stories are published online for the journalist that wish to use these as clips.
It's walking through an aisle filled with books that bring back memories from an easier time.
I grew up reading because my mom said so. There was no grand prize for learning to read, no one goal to achieve. In fact, many of the prizes were a finished book with fun sequences to play out in my head.
These books, memories and family bonding came out of bookstores when I was younger. My mom was in love with Barnes & Noble because it was never ending and full of new books or new genres every time. She was also a Bookmans fanatic as well because the prices were unbeatable when Bookmans was at its peak.
But in retrospect, the best books came from the ones from the locally-owned store. The ones that hosted employees from all walks of life with one common love of reading. The ones that held locally-made knickknacks, bags and more.
These bookstores were the backbone of my childhood, but, in a bigger sense, for a lot of other kids as well.
These locally-owned bookstores like Antigone Books or The Book Stop, both on Fourth Avenue, are places where you can share your reading by donating a book so someone else can buy it for cheaper and enjoy the same story you did.
Or maybe it’s bookstores like Clues Unlimited, which sits on 3154 E. Fort Lowell Road, that kept kids involved. Clues Unlimited brands itself as a mystery bookstore, and it would be a shame if I was a whistleblower for how the store looks and operates.
These stores enable merchants that want to start selling and they’re forgiving if a product doesn’t take off. I bought a hat from Antigone Books about two years ago; it's still sturdy and hasn’t ripped — yet.
The bookstores also host weekly events, like Drag Story Hour at Antigone Books on March 7. The event is in collaboration with the Institute for LGBT Studies – University of Arizona.
They are also a place to create new events to host at your own place. A quick sit down in Antigone after an event will be a buzz, with talks of going back to someone’s place because they want to talk more about these issues.
It’s a beacon for open minds with bright ideas. They serve the customers that walk in everyday and they work to keep the lights on. Buy a book at a local bookstore next time and make a friend with the person who helped you check out.
Chances are they might just own the store.
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