Making Friends in Unexpected Places

In June of 2010, my husband and I visited our friends Pam and Mack  Hohmann in Waterford, Michigan.  During the visit, Pam took us to Harsens Island, a beautiful place of freshwater deltas, plentiful wildlife, boating (especially freighter-watching — those suckers are HUGE!), and some of the best perch sandwiches on the planet.

While browsing the shops, we happened upon the Readers Cove.  What we took to be a bookstore turned out to be the tiny island library.  The ladies there (all volunteers) welcomed us in and regaled us with wonderful stories of the island and the building in which the library is housed.  During the conversation, it came out that I’m a writer.  One thing led to another and soon we were discussing the possibility of my returning to the island for a book signing and talk in 2011.

Well, it finally happened!  On Saturday, June 25, I spent three of the best hours of my life at Readers Cove.

Because it’s ridiculous to attempt to improve upon excellence, I’ll take the liberty of quoting from an email I received from a library patron, fifteen-year-old Tia:

“The library’s humble appearance may give you the impression that it’s nothing much, but once you swing that wooden door open, you’re invited into a world of care, love, and reading.”

I couldn’t agree more.  This is a tiny library with PRESENCE.  The work involved is accomplished through a deep and abiding love for the magic of the written word and a desire to share and nurture that love in both children and adults.

I’ve attended book events big and small, from major chain houses to tiny independent bookstores.  I’ve visited libraries of all shapes and sizes, and I’ve never experienced anything to match the enthusiasm of the Harsens Islanders.  Everyone who came in that day made it a point to come over and say hello (no shy wall-flowers here!) and purchase a book.  Their questions were interesting, intelligent, thought-provoking . . . and they actually listened to the answers which, in turn, created more questions.  The three hours flew by!

In truth, the day exceeded my expectations.  The staff had warned me that they could not predict interest or turn-out or sales, so I went into this with no expectations.  I figured that if I spoke to one person and (maybe) sold one book, I could consider the day a success.  Well, Harsens Island, you blew me away!

So — THANK YOU to Readers Cove, to the wonderful volunteer staff and patrons.  Thanks you to everyone on Harsens Island.  And Thank you also (in no particular order) to Chris, Mary Ann, Sandy, and Karen for a terrific time and a delightful lunch.  (Even though the chef never did give me that recipe for the stuffed pepper soup.)

Harsens Island, I’ll be back!

About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Appearances, Books, Connecticut, Darling Wendy, Essays, fandom, fantasy, Fiction, Gratitude, Harsens Island, Independent Book Sellers, Independent Writers, Kindness, Libraries, Melissa Crandall, novels, Readers Cove, Science fiction, science fiction fandom, self-publishing, Speculative Fiction, Weathercock, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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