There is an air of change in the box (lilac), I think I’m ready to take on the new challenge.
When Elena convinced me to open the blog to tell the life of a crazy bookseller and her lilac box, I immediately thought I was not up to it, that I would not be constant and that it would be difficult to follow everything.
Instead, at least in the first month, it was not like this: I started to tell about books, to write about fellow booksellers around the boot, collecting interviews for a new column to give voice to the #glieditoridellaportaaccanto (yes, it’s true, it was August and I was at home from work with more free time to write); but then what I expected happened.
I resumed working at full speed in the bookstore with author meetings, evening courses, workshops for children in the program, but also outside with my new adventure of #libraiaonstage al Cafè Bandini (no, it is not Stefano Accorsi’s idea, but rather of his friend the poet Vincenzo Costantino who believes we can talk about books even at midnight during a show by artists with a capital A).
I’m writing a story (I’ll tell you more soon, now I’m thrown headlong into it); in short, slowly even the articles to be written have run aground, piled on top of each other like the bills I have on my desk.
I could tell you the same excuse I gave myself: Cri, you work alone, you can’t expect too much from yourself!
Maybe that’s the way it is or maybe, much more likely, I’m just starting to feel the pinch, to be tired, not to keep up with everything because I no longer have my head.
I have to take a deep breath and kick off the change that has been settling in my head for some time now. I think I took the first step in this direction last Friday when I started emptying all the shelves and filling boxes of books to return, to give a new face to my lilac box, to continue collaborations that are working, to start new ones and to close others instead that have now become unsustainable for me.
I have to be honest with you and also with myself, it is not an easy time for my reality and only I can try to give it oxygen. Better have the courage to change before it’s too late.
No alarmism, I have no intention of closing, or at least, not for the moment.
I just have to better calibrate the shot, the choices, I have to learn to say no. I have to learn to think as a person who is not only living her childhood dream, but who must ensure that this is economically sustainable, it is still my small business.
We will continue with our writing courses held by Ivano Porpora, reading courses with Fernando Coratelli and Luigi Carrozzo, reading groups with Federico Tavola, meetings with the author and soon we will start again with photography.
Message to readers : I am the crazy bookseller of all time, we will continue to talk about books, to discuss and to choose beautiful things to read. The selection of my shelves will change, mine, pass me the technical term, ready warehouse made up of publishers with whom I collaborate; you can, as you have been doing for 5 years now, book the book you need which – if available – will arrive in 24/48 hours.
You will continue to find reading tips in the books.
Message to the editors : in recent years I have lost count of all the meetings with the author organized in bookstores, but they certainly exceed a hundred per year . I will continue to organize them because in my opinion they are an integral part of the service offered to readers. However, I have no intention of making the supply of books for the meeting a source of problems.
Are we organizing the event together? The books must be supplied without any problem and above all without the bookstore having to pay for them first. The publishing industry has so many players that it has become a sort of wireless telephone, with the risk of misunderstanding the initial message: I need books for a presentation .
A practical example: to fulfill a request for books per event, my supplier needs 10 working days, I repeat, 10 working days to receive the book (even when the publisher, supplier and bookshop are in many cases in the same city: Milan).
Do you know why? Because it is not possible to separate the supply request per event from the standard supply request.
I am obviously on the other side of the supply chain and I would be curious to understand with you how it is possible, mine is an open question, which I know is shared by many other colleagues of mine:
If we have an event, is it not possible to manage the request in a different way? Is it not possible to ask for copies, make the meeting, return what is left and pay for what is sold?
Mine wants to be a loud question, which maybe will give rise to a comparison that I hope constructive.
Returning to us, offer me all the meetings you want, I am happy to make them, I just ask you to be sure that the bookshop can have the title without any problem and without paying for it before the event.
You have been patient to read the article to the end and to thank you here is my advice for reading today (book that led me to think about what I wrote above).
Only Hand Baggage by Gabriele Romagnoli published by Feltrinelli.
If my life were hand luggage I would have to select and choose what to take with me, optimize, discard, bring what I cannot do without.
I’m also applying it to my lilac box, actually a little bigger than a carry-on bag.
The time has come for me to choose …
“In every instant, even now, even around you, loves flourish, patrimonies crumble, essential existences are canceled and at the same time other passions are kindled, new fortunes grow, splendid lives blossom. And we go on.” (Hand Baggage Only – G. Romagnoli)