Hello everyone, I’m Cristina, I’m 31 and last night at the Cafè Bandini I went on stage for the first time to read and recommend a book.

I already know, you are wondering: is that all? Did you need a post to tell?
The answer is yes.
Yes, because although my big face is now present everywhere worse than parsley, I am and remain an extremely shy girl; just think that when I register my “invitations to the bookstore from my cell phone” if my mother is in the shop I ask her out because I am ashamed to do it in front of her.

But let’s go in order, what is a bookseller doing on stage and not in the bookstore?
Soon said: 5 years ago (yes I have to take a very small step back) while I was renovating the shop that would become my library, my lilac box , the first people who looked out and asked me curious what I was doing were Laura and Enzo.
And Enzo is the Vincenzo Costantino of Who is without sin has no shit to tell (book born in the same month and year of opening of the library, ed), by Born to give up as soon as he left for Marcos y Marcos, and he is a Milanese poet much appreciated and known, even if for me it is never enough!
Am I biased because it’s a friend? No, listen to him here and then tell me if he’s not right.

The friendship between a bookseller and a poet who lives above the bookcase could only arise in this way, spontaneous, strong, almost physiological. In these 5 years we have known each other better, we toasted to new projects, we comforted each other in the less beautiful moments and we did several things together: with him I inaugurated the now traditional Caffè con Poeta . You buy Vincenzo’s books and if you have 5 minutes to stay in the bookshop, you can have a coffee all together. From these meetings friendships and collaborations were born, it seems obvious but it is not.
Here this is one of the many reasons that makes me believe in the power of bookstores as physical places.

Vincenzo now considers my bookshop his refuge and in turn refuge are his words, so, in the third season of the Cafè Bandini (which he created in collaboration with friends ofArci Ohibò ) told me that it was time to put his nose out of the lilac box, to cut out 5 minutes in which he and I would talk about books on stage, telling about a contemporary author and a classic or forgotten author.

My answer? No thanks, I can’t do it .
How not! Come on, you will see that it will be beautiful.

No no I can’t do it, anxiety, no no I can’t do it, anxiety no no I can’t do it was my mantra for the whole week before the evening.

But in the end I let myself be convinced, perhaps because in my heart I wanted to overcome this very strong limit of shyness, which always makes me choose to sit in a corner against the wall at dinners, to be as secluded as possible at events …
So yesterday, 7 October 2015, the bookseller overcame her “performance anxiety”.
I enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of a show, having dinner with the other guests of the evening, artists, musicians, actors, comedians and then me.
Asked by one of them: And what about you? What do you do? Do you sing? sounds?
Um, no to be honest, I’m a bookseller and I’m here to recommend a book.
Well yes, they thought that going on stage and telling books was cool and I think this positive reaction even among the insiders gave me some courage, although I kept repeating: no no no anxiety I can’t do it, no no no anxiety I can’t do it.
I went up on the same stage where a few minutes before they had performed: Vincenzo , Mell Morcone on the piano, Raffaele Kohler on trumpet, Germano Lanzoni with a piece that made us bend down with laughter, Micol Martinez and his voice, Giorgio Ganzerli with his Psycho Crime and an artist I had never had the pleasure of listening to live: Massaroni Pianos .
Then, here is my turn, the sofa ready for a chat with Vincenzo, who introduces me with the most beautiful words he could use, calling me a brave fool because these days to run a neighborhood bookshop you have to be a bit like that , brave and crazy.
I went up on stage fearing that the microphone could hear my heart coming out of my chest, but it didn’t, I started telling books as I usually do with library readers and then I let the words speak. of the author I chose for the evening and of which I told you this summer.
Merritt Tierce with Carne Viva by Sur Edizioni .

I chose a decidedly driven passage to read, but apparently I caught the attention, enough to convince people to buy the book after reading! I listened to Vincenzo talk about Carver and then, as it was for the final exams, once I passed, I felt emptied, happy and relieved without a contracted stomach.
So what to say, apparently in the next appointments of the Cafè Bandini, there will always be a lilac corner with the reading advice, I believe that my hands will continue to be frozen and my heart to gallop like never before, but perhaps this is also the Nice is not it?
I get excited and I am lucky enough to do it surrounded by friends. So a huge thank you to Vincenzo and Laura, and a giant thank you to Antonio, a constant, secluded, fundamental presence that without him most of the dreams I’m making would have remained in a drawer.
I can therefore say, dear friends of the lilac box, see you soon, see you around, but in this case see you again at the Cafè Bandini on October 21st. I’m going to think of a book to recommend!
Hi, I’m Cristina, I’m 31 and from today I have a little less performance anxiety.