Wednesday, July 18, 2012

So Many Books

Ok, I'll admit it. I love books. Not just any kind of book though, it must be well-written. Nerdy? Definitely. Ashamed? Absolutely not. Books are a way of escape; to stop being yourself for a while and cross over into the mind of the writer. And if the author does it right, it's quite entertaining. It's like a movie, except it requires your own imagination and possibly more time. Maybe I take too much pride in the fact that I enjoy books. Probably. It is one of my many quirks. Regardless, I embrace it.

Argos Bookstore {Yes, that is Spiderman on the window--vintage style}

After discovering the quaint, old-world bookstore in Saugatuck on my birthday, my mom and I decided to check out other charming old used bookstores nearby.

We came across two in East Grand Rapids.  

Redux Books {Check out that ivy!}

Shelves upon shelves of tattered, torn, worn, and treasured old books. 

Maybe my books will be in this section of bookstores one day.

I bought a book. It is creative non-fiction, a memoir from the author. It's called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I know, the title itself is ironic. "A cheap kind of joke" the author calls it, as it is his own writing he calls "staggering genius". This eludes to the type of character he presents. I read the first chapter. I love it so far. Dave Eggers has a distinctive voice: sarcastic, sophisticated and witty.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

I took a fiction writing class last semester. One of the things I learned was how difficult it is to publish a book. If you have ever considered writing/publishing a book, prepare to be turned down! My professor explained it takes up to 70 tries before you land on a publisher. That's sixty-nine rejections! Still, Thomas Edison didn't invent the lightbulb after the first attempt...

I also learned in the class that, when trying to sell your novel to a reputable publisher, you'll need to write a book proposal including the following: 
1. Identify a publisher (or seventy)
2. Write a query letter (one-page letter of inquiry introducing and selling your novel)
3. Prepare a three-page synopsis of your story
4. Select a sample chapter of your novel
5. Create your author profile (your resume)  
For guidelines on how to create a proposal, I recommend Googling it. :) Also, click here for a link that I found helpful.

If you ever aspire to write a book and publish it, I wish you the best. 
Know that we're both in this together. 



  1. completely agreed- books are the best <3
    i love writing... would one day like to be a published author... and yes, the amount of work is somewhat discouraging. but if it's what you love, it's worth it, right? good luck to you too :D

    1. Haha, yes! Definitely worth it. And there's no need to rush it, it will happen if we're determined enough I guess. :)

  2. who doesn't love books? I would into any book store as long as they don't charge you for reading.

    thanks for the tips for would-be writers. I hope you have great success.

    have a sweet day.

    1. Thanks Lissa! I'm glad you found my blog helpful! :)

  3. Used book stores are just so wonderful. I love finding one that I really love. For me that is Kaboom. Books to the ceiling, I kid you not. Not only do they have great selection, but the owners are just amazing people. You can tell they really love books. And that feeling is great and it makes you want to read everything. The stores you found look like they have the same atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.