Round-Up: Indepedent Bookstore Day, Apple’s iBooks shuts down in China, and Warsan Shire


From the celebration of Independent Bookstore Day to a closer look at the poet behind Beyonce’s Lemonade, here’s the latest literary news:

  • Saturday was 2016’s Independent Bookstore Day. Indie bookstores all across America participated in this year’s festivities. Last year’s Indie Bookstore Day was a huge success, resulting in a 70 percent increase in book sales at small bookstores. This year is the holiday’s second year; the people running the event hope to expand to more independent bookstores in years to come. Independent Bookstore Day program director Samantha Schoech told Publisher’s Weekly, “We are figuring out ways for smaller, slightly more geographically isolated stores to participate.”
  • The release of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade has shone a great spotlight on poet Warsan Shire, whose poetry is featured as spoken-word interludes throughout the film. Beyoncé reads from several of Shire’s poems, including “Dear Moon,” “Warsan Versus Melancholy,” “How to Wear Your Mother’s Lipstick,” “The Unbearable Weight of Staying,” “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” and “Nail Technician as Palm Reader.” The twenty-seven-year-old poet was named the 2014 Young Poet Laureate; the New York Times reports that “she is already known to many as a compelling voice on black womanhood and the African diaspora.”

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice

find a job you loveIn 2005, Steve Jobs gave a now-famous graduation speech at Stanford University. “You’ve got to find what you love,” he said.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

“Yes! This is the Truth about careering!” Said everyone, ever.

Or okay, most of us. Who read or heard it.
And who also are privileged enough to have lives in which such an admonition has any chance of being follow-able.

Oh darn.Continue Reading

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2012
288 pages

What: a book about books
And: their simultaneous demise and triumph
And, obviously: immortality

Who: Clay Jannon, night shift clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
And: his quest to understand Mr. Penumbra’s bizarre and cultish dealings
And: his desire to impress his love interest Kat, an ambitious data visualization specialist at Google

Continue Reading