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Phone: (250) 595-4232
Fax: (250) 595-1458
#111-1644 Hillside Ave.
Victoria, B.C. V8T 2C5
When I started my sabbatical in April, I had a definite set of plans and goals for my five months off: write a novel. Finish editing Black Feathers. Take some trips. Take up yoga. Read more. Return to work Tuesday, September 3.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve followed through on almost all of those plans. I finished the first draft of The Fallow Heart last month. My edits on Black Feathers are back with my editor, and the book will be out in the spring. I’ve discovered that reading in a pub on a sunny summer afternoon is really one of the most delightful things in the world. I’ve traveled to St John’s, Seattle, Portland and Tofino, and my son Xander and I are headed to New York next week.
A couple of them, though… Well, I never did take up yoga, though I do still plan to.
And — this is the gist of this note — I won’t be returning to work on Tuesday, September 3.
Or at all, really. (Though, see below.)
Yes, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I have decided to tender my resignation to Bolen Books, effective… well, I guess 4 months ago.
It seems strange, seeing it typed out like that.
It seems very strange to not be a bookseller anymore.
I’ve been a bookseller for more than twenty years; it’s how I identify myself. How I think of myself.
I suppose I’m going to have to shift that into past tense.
I’m a writer now.
Well, a writer and reviewer and commentator and speech-giver and teacher.
But yeah, I’m a writer now.
And that’s thrilling and terrifying and vertigo-inducing in the best of ways.
It’s what I’ve always dreamed of, and I am so excited about being able to make a go of it.
But I’m also really sad.
Bolen Books has been a part of my life for more than fifteen years. I’m saddened to be leaving (and it took a good deal of soul-searching and, finally, closing my eyes and leaping, to get to this point). Mel Bolen hired me when I needed a job, and coming to work for Bolen Books was like being welcomed into the family. Samantha Bolen (the store’s owner) has been one of my biggest supporters for a huge chunk of my adult life; she was there for me when I was adrift, when I became a dad, when I started reviewing, when I published my first book, through the good times and the bad. I can’t imagine a more supportive… well, boss really doesn’t cut it, does it? And Colin Holt, the store’s general manager, has been a rock in a stormy sea, exactly the person you want having your back (in oh so many different situations). Mio fratello.
I’m going to miss working with them — and with all of my fellow booksellers — every day.
And I’m going to miss all of you, Bolen Books’ dedicated and loyal customers. Whether it was seeing you at one of our events, or helping you find that perfect book, you brightened my days and kept me on my toes.
Wow… I’m going to miss it so much.
All that being said, you haven’t seen the last of me. I’m still going to be in the store every second week, picking titles to talk about on CFAX (I’m thinking they should start calling me Bookseller Emeritus, but we’ll see). And I expect to be behind the tills and on the floor come the Christmas season.
But that everyday thing. That community. All of you.
Oh, yes. I’m going to miss that. And you. So very much.
I guess all that remains is this: thank you. Thank you. Just… thanks.
Despite some transportation mishaps and a sprint to the finish, our own Robert Wiersema (read, me) appeared on CFAX 1070 this morning to talk books with Pamela McCall.
He talked about:
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (better known as JK Rowling)
Our new copies of this title should be in shortly – please call the store to reserve yours today!
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beaukes
The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler
Lost Girls by Robert Kokler
Earlier this morning, our very own Robert Wiersema (yup, me) skipped down to Broad Street to talk books with Pamela McCall on CFAX 1070. He talked about:
Watchmen (Alan Moore) and Before Watchmen (4 volumes, various) – the comic fan community was in an uproar a year and a half ago when it was announced that DC was going going to be publishing a handful of limited run prequel series (serieses?) to Alan Moore‘s seminal graphic novel Watchmen (which, along with Frank Miller‘s The Dark Knight Returns and Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman, marked a renaissance and rebirth for the comics industry in the early 1980s, and created a sea change in how comics are written and read: they’re not just for kids anymore, and they haven’t been for a long time). Despite Moore’s refusal to be involved (and his complete severing of his relationship with DC), the Before Watchmen series (serieses?) are actually better than anyone had a right to expect, and form a pleasurable backstory to a truly epochal comic. No, they’re not Watchmen, but nothing is — they are, however, good reads in their own right, and they’re being collected now into four hardcover volumes: 2 are available now, 2 will be published next week. Definitely worth seeking out.
And if you haven’t read Watchmen, you definitely should – it’ll blow your mind in all the right ways.
My Life in Black and White – Kim Izzo – Noir conventions with a time travelling twist, all from the female perspective.
The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker – a golem and a jinni become friends in turn of the century New York. No, that’s not the beginning of a joke, it’s the premise of a stunning new book, a perfect blend of historical novel and fable.
The Humans – Matt Haig – What can an alien possessing a human body teach us about being human? Quite a lot, it seems…
On a grey, drizzly morning, our very own Robert Wiersema (read: me) ventured down to the CFAX studios to talk about books.
He talked about:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Craft Beer Revolution – Joe Wiebe
And remember our event with Joe and SaltSpring Island Brewing at the Beagle Pub, Friday July 5 at 6 pm!
Cooked – Michael Pollan