thank you

November 24, 2015 § 7 Comments

nancy botta picture of our shop

I’ve been a hot dog vendor, a shoe salesperson, a middle-school teacher, and a catholic school principal, but owning a bookstore has given me moments with the most eclectic tribe of humans of all.

There’s the crime scene cleaner who talked to me about the delicate line between detachment and sensitivity while I rang up her pile of fantasy books,

and the human statue who paints himself silver by day and writes poetry by night,

and the teen girl who builds wells in Uganda every summer and keeps a journal in her back pocket.

There’s the molecular gastronomist who began her career as an ice-cream tester (gah!),

the organic farmer who lives in a school bus and donates her harvest to a food kitchen,

the six-year old botany expert who arrives each month to buy the latest plant book,

and the bingo manager who fights for housing equality.

There’s the Iraq soldier without arms who still believes the world is ‘awesome’ and before he goes to college next year he wants to read one book every week,

and the father who resolved in 2015 to read to his children every night and hasn’t missed a night yet.

There’s the 14-year old playwright who had her script about a transgender teen accepted by a local theater,

and the grandfather who brings his six grandchildren into the bookstore each year and gives each one a book bag to fill with books of their choice,

and the locomotive engineer who doesn’t wear a watch.

There’s the eleven-year old who organized a youth empowerment book club,

the soil conservationist who fell in love with a snail farmer,

and a photographer who films sea creatures I’ve never heard of,

and the twenty-two year old man, who chose to communicate only through writing for 365 days and when we met, he was on day 224 and feeling like his entire mind and body had changed—in a sacred way.

There’s the child who sat by me for an entire hour and told me about the rare birds she’d seen in Puerto Rico and how someday she’ll be an ornithologist,

and the clown who struggled to be taken seriously,

and the firefighter who worked at ground-zero for three months and read Emily Dickinson every night she was there…

so many stories…

and I am beyond grateful for every single one of them, and each of you. Your words matter more than you know. Thank you from the depths of my heart for walking into our tiny bookstore and believing in books and making the world we work and play in a little less chaotic and a little more beautiful.

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§ 7 Responses to thank you

  • Lovely. And huge hearts to you, for creating such a necessary, living, giving space.


  • Judy Duncan says:

    Anna, you connect with the people in your book store and tell each story in a warm an generous manner. hugs, jrd


  • annaquinn56 says:

    thank you, Julie! As soon as I posted this piece, I started of thinking of a hundred more “and there’s” !!! Like: and there are the phenomenal author/writing teacher people, like YOU who inspire the words to fly, soar, trickle, gush, surge out of the bodies minds and hearts. Thank you!


  • I just plain love this. Thank you for reminding me of all the myriad, wonderful, quiet people there are in this world. All the readers and thinkers that surround us, unknown, until writers like you bring them to us.


  • Amanda Funaro says:

    Thank you Anna for your words. This and the next – or is it previous – post have me literally in tears. My heart keeps telling me that we ALL have a story to tell. That the thing that makes us truly human and connected is our ability to relate our story to others. There is a little shell inside my heart that wants to capture stories so they never get lost, so that others can be inspired.

    I’m terrified of the “red pen”! I love to write and to read and never feel more vulnerable than when my thoughts are in print. I’ll be making my way to your door sooner than later.


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