This weekend I had the pleasure of doing a book signing at a bookstore that is only a few blocks from where I grew up. The Fig Garden Bookstore in Fresno, California is a family owned mother-daughter business. There was a time not too long ago when folks thought independent bookstores like this were soon to become as extinct as the dinosaurs. Large chain bookstores and on-line retailing do, in fact, dominate the dispersal of the written word, but fortunately for all of us, the independents are still alive and in some cases thriving.
What is so great about the independent bookstore? I learned yesterday that the list is endless, but it boils down to the simple act of connecting, re-connecting, and staying connected to our fellow humans. Nobody is going to hug you, ask about your family, or tell stories about what you looked like in diapers when you order a book on Amazon. And I’m also talking about connecting at a much deeper level than looking at someone’s Facebook page.
At yesterday’s book signing, I was able to see old friends that I hadn’t seen in some cases for twenty or thirty years. I think we leave a part of us behind when we grew up, and a part of where we grew up follows us wherever we happen to go. I never dreamed that yesterday’s event would bring back together the past, present, and future in such a surreal way. I think about seventy-five people showed up, and most of them are regular customers at this little gem of a bookstore.
Sure, some folks just wanted to congratulate me and my family for releasing a book, which makes events like this heartfelt and fun. But something deeper happened, too. I connected with old friends who are at points in their lives or their loved ones lives where they really need Take Charge of Your Chronic Pain in their lives. My life’s work, that I left home to learn about and later practice, started giving back yesterday to the people that I once played with, laughed with, and prayed with in only a few short hours.
Thank you Fig Garden Bookstore.