The lilac box is closed on Mondays!
Yes it’s true I have always maintained that when you do the work you love, it is a bit like not working and I still think so, but the rhythms of the last few years have made me resize things and so, I decided to stay closed ALL Monday and no longer just half a day.
Most have been sympathetic, however some find this wrong choice. (But how, do you complain about how difficult it is to run the business, about the money that is never enough and then close when someone would have surely stopped by to buy anyway?). Of course, with this in mind I should be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day because we want to talk about those who suffer from insomnia ? A night bookshop would be crazy.
Behind the box, however, there is only one person, who preferred to take a breather (but who is still following new projects), rather than get to cut into pieces the first passer-by who comes to ask: excuse me where do you buy the scratchers? Do you only have books here?
So actually, I’m only doing this for your safety!
After this very long introduction, I try to tell you about my lilac week, perhaps starting from the one just passed!
Monday 21 September: FREE DAY !!! Prepared articles for the blog, read books for presentations, met people for a very important new project that you will soon hear about.
I learned the art of dreaming.
Tuesday 22 September: Feltrinelli’s friends write me an email saying that it would be nice to be able to go to the bookshop with Gabriele Romagnoli who is in Milan and that he would like to have a chat with some booksellers. I had a great time, so at ease, that at a certain point I started showing photos of my cats; so just to make you understand the climate.
I do not describe the emotion of having been chosen and moreover of having been defined Libraia. I therefore prepared myself by reading his book: Solo Bagaglio a Mano (published by Feltrinelli) and the hours passed without my noticing it, a real caress. I’ll tell you, it also opened my eyes to some aspects of my life (Damn the power of books and those who don’t believe in it !!!). Here is what I meditated on: If we compared our life to a hand luggage, how many things would we really be able to let you in and take with us? Too often we believe we have a giant suitcase and so even the most useless things, the people who don’t do it for us, let them in anyway because we believe there is room for everything and everyone, instead it is not like that.
So on Tuesday I learned the art of Selection.
Wednesday 23 September: I have to be honest, I have not organized any meeting with the author, but I have, as usual, listened to your stories, which you tell me every time you cross the threshold of the library, and it was wonderful. I was supposed to host a meeting in the library for a new project with friends, but I completely forgot to notify all the participants and therefore, the meeting was skipped.
I learned the art of using reminders on the phone.
Thursday 24 September: I spent the morning and lunch in the company of Silvia (colleague bookseller) and Alessandro (who works for Sur edizioni). We talked about a million things, about a project at the moment of pure utopia that involves us all, in short, we dreamed high!
In the evening then I hosted a very young author, Marta Morotti , who published her first novel: The two halves of the world (Harlequin Monadori) and reading it I was amazed by its maturity and the story it managed to create, a twist that I did not expect and that made me see the other half of the world! At the presentation there were many, I was lucky enough to hear the incipit of the story read by the splendid voice of Adele Pellegatta.
I learned the art of getting excited out loud.
We arrive on Friday 25, where in order not to miss anything, I hosted two meetings in one day.
During the lunch break Cristina Caboni came by for a copy signing in the bookstore. The keeper of honey and bees (Garzanti) is the book he is promoting in recent weeks. I met an author of extraordinary simplicity who loves her work and her bees, we also discussed commonplaces that are often to be dispelled. At the meeting there was also a journalist from Il Sabbatico (a program that airs Saturdays on Rai news) with whom I had the opportunity to speak and evaluate future collaborations. Wait for me to follow you on twitter, yes I do too. Ah, actually I already follow your library.
I learned the art of simplicity.
In the evening he arrives, Massimo Vitali , a Bolognese author whom many of you met in June during our sleepless night, who returned to present his two works alone: L’amore non si dire – Se son Rose (both published by Fernandel). The meeting was fun, so much so that it continued with other friends at dinner where discussions came out that I don’t feel like reporting, because my growth was blocked already at the table! I laughed like never before.
I learned the art of laughter.
Saturday afternoon I managed to intercept Stefano Piedimonte , already in our country for another meeting and I asked him to come and tell us about his Miracle in the Library (Guanda). Simone Sarasso accompanied him (also a much appreciated author), we went for a coffee together, but after putting up the sign: I WILL BE BACK IMMEDIATELY … MAYBE! (Thanks Patrizio Zurru for the modification).
Simone returned to his family who claimed him and we instead kidnapped Piedimonte for a day together. We took him for lunch, from NaBi where they eat organic / vegan. He hasn’t unfriended me on facebook yet and blocked me on cellphone, so I guess he hasn’t eaten that badly. To my great surprise, Marco Missiroli and Maddalena Cazzaniga (the latter had never managed to pass from the lilac box) also participated in the meeting moderated by the very high pure Eva Massari , never more apt title!
I learned the art of miracles in the bookstore.
My week ends with Sunday afternoon in the company of Mattia Signorini and his wonderful novel: The fragile expectations . What about this little gem published by Marsilio? I am very happy to have hosted him even if it was a real hit and run because the only train available to get the author back to Rovigo was at 6.00 pm (of course we could have held him hostage, but he seems to me a good person, I didn’t feel it). As they say it was short but intense and I hope to be able to host it again soon. There were a lot of you, a customer even came from outside Milan and fate wanted my father, who was in the right bar at the right time, to answer his request for information on the bookstore. He replied: you are looking for my daughter’s library, come, I’ll take you.
After the meeting we had the opportunity to quickly exchange a few words, we took selfies that Mattia should take courses for the creativity he has to take pictures, and then we let him escape to the station not before he said to me:
You know, I wrote to you on facebook, but you never answered me.
But really? Impossible, I always answer, are you sure?
Yes, but never mind, I just wanted to come and see you.
(I went to check my message history and there was one of hers, followed by my reply)
Here it is, found. Yes it’s true, you wrote to me in March, but I replied to you late even though I was late. I answered you in June.
Cristina dear, mine was from March 2014 … your answer is from June 2015.
When it says the time zone!
I learned the art of waiting, which makes meetings more special!
Nothing happens by chance and even the titles we read always arrive at the right time.
What will the pages of these novels want to tell me?
Hand luggage only
The two halves of the world
The keeper of honey and bees
If they are roses
Love is not said
Miracle in the library
The fragile expectations
Come on, write me a comment below and help me understand the message behind this week of mine in the lilac box.
One last thing, today is Monday, my day off and what have I learned?
The art of optimization: if you have a fever, plan for it to come when you are at home and not at work!
In light of the above, can you absolve me of the charge of laziness?
Yours in faith
Drug dealer of dreams