This is a big week all around, and not just for the the bookshop. It’s the first week I’ve had new books in the store. (Some really good ones too! You should come check them out!) It’s the first time I’m muddling through buying new books and what will sell best from the store. (Any requests? Suggestions? Bueller? Bueller?) At the end of the week will be a historic inauguration of the 45th president, during and after which there will be many, many protests. Hopefully peaceful gatherings without incident.
I strive here at The Neverending Bookshop to be neutral. As a business owner it is smart business, so to speak, to stay neutral. As a bookseller and bookstore owner, I do not believe in censorship of any kind. I do not believe in banning books, even if they contain material I personally greatly disagree with. Books serve as a vessel to open minds, to expose readers to ideas and thoughts and worlds they might not have considered before they cracked the book’s spine. Who am I to decide what book will change someone’s perception of the world?
I do, however, believe in peaceful protest and calling out injustices. I am someone who doesn’t speak up very well. It is not something that comes easily to me. I don’t think I’m timid or meek, just socially awkward and introverted. I don’t like big crowds partially because they make me claustrophobic and anxious and partially because it actually is painful for me to walk slowly or at someone else’s fast pace. I am easily knocked off balance.
All of these reasons are why I will not be walking with the peaceful march in Seattle. I will be at the bookshop that day, doing what I do best. Selling books in the hopes they will broaden minds, create new ideas, alter someone’s opinion. I’ll be playing protest songs because I, personally, do not agree with much of the incoming administration and policies. I usually play music I hope will make browsing at the bookshop pleasant and an enjoyable experience. This is a small way of protesting, it’s my way of staying in solidarity with the morals and ethics I grew up with and still believe in. And with the people who can get out and march. The store will be open both January 20 and 21, despite the call to strike and close businesses on Inauguration Day. I’ll be open and selling books and sticking it to the “man” by being a woman entrepreneur, a breastfeeding mother who feeds her son in her place of business, a well-read bookseller who tries to call out injustice when observed.
I hope you all will be safe this coming week and weekend. Spread love when you can. Read books that challenge your ideals. Read books that expose you to new worlds, real or not. Read. Read. Read.