Monthly Archives: July 2013

First Friday featuring Melissa Kenney



Friday, March 7th, 6pm-9pm

For the next First Friday in Manayunk, join us for Journeys : an opening reception featuring the paper art of Melissa Kenney.  This encore show will feature artwork  inspired by The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, and The Dark Tower.  Melissa’s art will be available for purchase in the shop during the month of March

Bio: Melissa Kenney is a graduate of Edinboro University with a BFA in Drawing and Wood Furniture. Her work is inspired by narrative and draws imagery from experiences in her life and stories she’s read. This show draws inspiration from three epic journeys and presents their themes and symbolism in a graphic minimalist style using a paper cutout technique.

Three Years!

joyceI am so happy to be celebrating the shop’s three year anniversary!  I can’t believe it.  When I started the journey of starting my own bookstore, in a crumbling economy and competing with the burgeoning e-reader scene, many people – including me – wondered if I was crazy.  I can attest to the fact, that yes, I am a bit crazy, but mostly determined and passionate about getting real, beautiful books into people’s hands.

It all started with a simple question “Why Not?”  We had just moved to Manayunk and thought a bookstore was needed in the neighborhood.  Well, why not do it ourselves?  And off we went.  Well, it wasn’t quite that simple.  Over the course of many months we laid the groundwork to make it happen.  (And, as business owners can never rest on their laurels – we strive to improve our business year after year and adapt to your needs.) We fortuitously stumbled into the perfect space in May – and officially opened our doors on July 17th, 2010.

This journey has been the most rewarding and hardest thing I have ever accomplished to date – and continues to be so.  Now, that little Zelda has entered our lives, she’ll probably take over that honor – but this experience won’t be far behind.   To be frank – it is hard to run a small independent shop.  We all know that online competition is very real and deep discounting hurts small business.  But, we also know the benefits of shopping small:  putting money back into the local economy, helping to create and sustain a vibrant community, and enjoying the one-of-a kind experience that only a small business can provide.

Right now I just can’t imagine doing anything else.  I love getting into the quiet shop in the morning, turning on the computer, the lights, and seeing the rows of books waiting for the right person to pick them up and take them home.  I love reading; I love the feel of a book in my hands.  I love old tomes, sweet with lignin.  I love crisp, newly released titles – little gifts waiting to be pulled open and enjoyed.  I love getting to know what drives authors to write, how poets are inspired day after day.  I love recommending books to people, sharing book after book with countless individuals who appreciate and love something as much as I do.  Is it clear enough?  I LOVE what I do, and you are the integral part in making what I do possible.

You, my dear customer/friend/family/supporter, are what keep us going.  You are the reason we are still here after three years.  And your support is necessary for us to remain.  Is that too much pressure?  I hope not.  I hope that we can continue to quench your literary thirsts, and be a space that is a haven from your everyday stresses.  I will continue to provide you with wonderful used and new books, a special and quirky selection that I love hand-picking to grace our shelves.  I will continue to provide you with a space to meet other like-minded folks, or chat with a stranger that will most likely become a friend.  I will keep scheduling events so that you can meet local artists and authors, discuss writing with seasoned pros, share your own work in a supportive space, and meet new up-and-coming authors who want to share their work with you.

Thank you.  Thank you for everything.  When I hear that our shop is a wonderful and special part of your life; that means the world to me.  I hope that all book lovers can find a bit of home in the shop.  We are here to welcome you with books and books, and a smile.   I hope to see you soon.

Come celebrate with us!  We are hosting a celebratory Salon featuring local authors, artists, and musicians on Friday, July 26th, starting at 7pm.  BYOB.

Meet Short Story Writers Ben Stroud and Marie-Helene Bertino

Meet Short Story Writers Ben Stroud and Marie-Helene Bertino  Wednesday, July 31st, 7pm – 9pm

Please join us in welcoming Ben Stroud and Marie-Helene Bertino to the shop.  These two remarkable authors will be promoting their award winning collections – Byzantium (Graywolf Press) and Safe as Houses (University of Iowa Press).

They will be reading from their short story collections, share insights on the writing process, and sign copies of their books. The books will be available for purchase in the shop, and we are now taking pre-orders.

byzantiumBen Stroud’s story collection Byzantium won the 2012 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Fiction Prize and was selected as a Publisher’s Weekly Best Summer Book for 2013. Ben’s stories have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, One Story, Electric Literature, Boston Review, and The American Scholar, among other places, and have been anthologized in New Stories from the South and Best American Mystery Stories. Originally from Texas, he holds a BA in English and History from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in Fiction and PhD in Twentieth-Century American Literature from the University of Michigan. He has received residencies from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in the US and Germany. Currently, Ben is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Toledo.
Visit his website here:

SafeAsHouses_Cover_600Marie-Helene Bertino’s collection of short stories SAFE AS HOUSES received The 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award, judged by Jim Shepard, and was published in October of 2012. It has been long listed for The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and The Story Prize, and was included in Top Ten Books of 2012 by Sean Carman at Huffington Post Books, The Library Journal and Largehearted Boy. She received the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and a Pushcart Special Mention in 2011. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Pushcart Prize Anthology XXXIII, North American Review, Mississippi Review, Inkwell, The Indiana Review, American Short Fiction, Five Chapters, West Branch, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Storyville, The Common and Mississippi Review’s Anthology 30. Visit her website here:

Three Years! Celebrate with us during our July Salon!

11 Zelda

Friday, July 26th, 7pm-10pm

We are celebrating 3 years in business! YOU have helped us reach this point and we appreciate your continuing support to keep us here. So – let’s get to the fun part!

Our anniversary salon will feature some of our nearest and dearest. 
Readings by:
Andrew Ervin author of Extraordinary Renditions
Kirsten Kaschock author of Sleight & A Beautiful Name for a Girl 
Performances by:
Artist/Playboy Jeremy E. Tenenbaum 
& Sidewalk Atlas (solo set)

Refreshments will be provided and please feel free to BYOB. Raffles & special offers forthcoming. 

Wine Tasting & Book Signing with Clark Smith

9780520275195Sunday, July 21st, 1130am- 130pm

Clark Smith, a “winemaker’s winemaker,” will be in the shop on Sunday, July 21st from 1130am-130pm to promote his new book Postmodern Winemaking.

Clark will bring bottle of wine to share with the (thirsty) audience and sign copies of his (engaging, humorous, and erudite) book, Postmodern Winemaking. Not to leave it at that – bring your guitar, drum, empty wine bottle/instrument of choice, and join us for an impromptu jam led by this entertaining Renaissance man. Yes, we can pack this much fun in during a summer afternoon!

About the Book:
Smith, a leading innovator in red wine production techniques, explains how traditional enological education has led many winemakers astray—enabling them to create competent, consistent wines while putting exceptional wines of structure and mystery beyond their grasp. Great wines, he claims, demand a personal and creative engagement with many elements of the process. His lively exploration of the facets of postmodern winemaking, together with profiles of some of its practitioners, is both entertaining and enlightening.

More info about Clark Smith here.

First Friday in July – Featuring Artist Jason Heritage


First Friday in Manayunk : July 5th, 6pm-10pm

For the next First Friday in Manayunk, join us for an opening reception featuring the stunning and gorgeous photography of Jason Heritage.  Jason is a local artist and just exhibited his work at the Manayunk Arts Festival. Jason’s art will be available for purchase in the shop during the month of July.

Bio: Jason Heritage is a landscape & panoramic photographer based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His passion for outdoor photography and the National Parks was sparked during a post college graduation road trip across southwestern United States.

Today, Jason maps out photography trips around the country, working toward his goal to visit all of the national parks.

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