Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Monday, September 05, 2005

Indie Bookseller inspiration

I just finished a great book over the weekend,The King's English-adventures of an independant
bookseller by Betsy Burton. Betsy founded The King's English in Salt Lake City,Utah(best known
for Mormons and South Park punch lines)with then partner Ann Berman in 1977. She changed
partners in '81(Ann had to retire for personal reasons)and has held the store together despite
hard financial times,increasing competition from chain stores and online shopping and various
controveries,such as having Jon Krakauer give a reading for Under The Banner of Heaven.

She's very honest about the ups and downs of the business and can laugh at herself(one of the best
stories in the book is about her struggles to open the trunk of her mom's car which held the luggage of visiting author John Mortimer,who fortunately had a good sense of humor and plenty
of champagne at the helm). Betsy's love of books and reading is also shown thru the recommended reading lists placed after each chapter.

Whenever I get down about the state of books today,I like to think of those who came before and paved the way for others,such as Sylvia Beach,founder of Shakespeare and Co in Paris,who
sponsored such writers as James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway(Beach actually put up the front
money for Ulysses to be published),Leona Rostenberg and Madeline Stern,lifelong friends who
were excellant rare book dealers and scholars who helped find the early works of Lousia May
Alcott to bring to light and my all time favorite,Helene Hanff(best known for her collection of
correspondance that begat a book,play and movie,84 Charing Cross Road). Folks like that are
admirable and give one hope for the future of book lovers everywhere.

So,is Betsy on my list? I do belive that she would not be out of place amongst the ladies mentioned-heck,I wouldn't mind working for her! If you want to know what kind of people
are out there on the front lines of literacy today,please read this book. You can click on the title
link and buy it right from TKE. Celebrate Labor Day by supporting those who labor for literature:)

6 comments:

Jake McCafferty said...

Joyce and Hemingway ... ahhhhh.

Thanks for always stopping by BaT. I don't remember commenting here before, because I typically read history. If you have some, I'd love to hear thoughts/recommendations on historical biographies. As you've seen, I'm currently readying the Gilbert compilation of Churchill.

P.S. I'm addding you to the blogroll. :-)

Jake McCafferty said...

"Adding" not "addding."

PIMF = preview is my friend.

FB said...

you're too smart. i feel the need. the need to read. sorry Top Gun-ish moment.

i love to hear your recommendations. but next time try and find a good book with lot's of pretty pictures. maybe with unicorns or bunnies!!!

lady t said...

Jake,I find it a pleasure to check out
BaT and yes,you've commented here before,silly boy! Thanks for putting me on the blogroll(will link BaT here as well).

FB,Top Gun moments are fine,just no couch jumping-had that sucker redone and stuff,you know?

As to reading recommendations,there will be a major review for a book you fellas might both enjoy(no pictures,thro)-it's a novel but with tons of historical content,called Hunger's Brides by Paul Anderson. Watch this space!

FB said...

i won't ruin your couch. i'll be good.

so no picture books? is there a good one out there?

Jake McCafferty said...

Thanks for the link and the support of BaT. I look forward to the future review.