Before I made books, I sold books. There may come a day when no one buys the books I make anymore, and, if anyone will hire me, I will probably try to go back to selling books again. I loved selling books. I love the way a new box of books smells when you crack the tape open. I loved the pace of working in a store (there was always something to do, but the interruptions were nice). I loved the people I worked with.

One year ago, a new independent bookstore opened in downtown Ann Arbor. It was a risky thing to do, even in a town that’s often cited as being one of the most literate. Even though lately it’s felt like we have become a little less breathless about it, it’s still a time where we need to defend the book (the simple, already technologically advanced book). In an odd turn of events, we also need to defend the store. Kurt Vonnegut wrote once about us being social animals. It’s a brilliant essay which I will not attempt to recap here, but, ahem, in summary he basically reminds us we need to go out and fart around with other people. Our phones and social networking whatnots have made us connected in one way, but they don’t tend to nurture our mirror neurons. And so enters this new bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor. It’s been one year, and their doors are open, and we can wander in from time to time and buy books to read. It’s delightful.

The fun thing about an independent bookstore is that you often can find books that you wouldn’t necessarily find easily through an online algorithm. The fun thing about Literati’s one year anniversary is that they asked us to help celebrate it. Phil and I knocked our heads together and decided we would like to talk about some books we love and why we love them. This can turn into a rather long list, so we thought we would talk about some books that aren’t exactly hard to find, but don’t exactly have a movie tie-in and plush toys surrounding them, either. The point is that these are books you can stumble upon on the shelf of your local bookstore– and that’s how we’d like to celebrate ours. The rest of the weekend will also be a celebration of reading for the store, but Friday night, March 28th at 7pm, will be a small celebration of reading kids books (our wheelhouse). Come by if you can! We’re pretty excited about it. We’ll also sign books and answer any questions you might have for us.

Hooray, books!

Deep Cuts with Philip and Erin Stead
A night to celebrate little known children’s books that will make you laugh, cry, or scratch your head and wonder “Why?”

Friday, March 28, 2014
7 p.m.
Literati Bookstore
124 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Downtown on a Friday night! Click here for parking information.