My new job as Recommender-In-Chief for Battenkill Books is nice, I love it. We are recommending and reviewing books (Connie will put links to the books I review on her website), people are e-mailing orders, calling them in – the reviews are gaining traction, thanks. The job has also focused my love of reading in a new way and I am delighted at the wonderful books I am reading. Kate is usually working on Saturdays, and she is expanding her new career as a life coach, and I like hearing about that. Life coaches are becoming important, I think, filling a gap between professional therapists and spiritual counselors. We share a passion for encouraging people to live their lives.
There is also a new and unexpected fringe benefit iand that is that people come to meet me and bring me their sweet stories of life. Ever since I became one, I love hearing love stories. Linda Wigmore is a name that is very familiar to me. She began reading my books after I wrote "Running To The Mountain," a book that inspired her. She came to see me at the Texas Books Festival in Austin four or five years ago to hear me and meet me and didn't realize until I wrote about it later that I was in the midst of a spectacular post-divorce crack-up at the time. I'm glad it didn't show, there is a vaudeville hoofer in my family somewhere. I've seen Linda post from time to on Facebook and every now and then she will send me a thoughtful e-mail. I know the name well, as sometimes happens, even amidst the blizzard of e-messages. I believe she was of the first people to hit my contribution button.
I was delighted when she walked in the door of the bookstore today with her man Richard. Linda was living alone in upstate New York a few years ago and Richard was working as a musician in Texas. They had gone to high school together years ago but didn't know one another well or stay in touch. Linda decided to go to their class reunion, and so did Richard. They fell in love, and Linda moved to Austin, where she lived for five years. Then Richard retired and sold his home, and they moved back Northeast, to Vermont, just a short ride to the bookstore. I don't remember meeting Linda in Austin, but I was happy to see her now and hear her love story. I enjoyed talking to Dennis about the changes in the music industry, and his life playing in Texas bands. He still works as a sound engineer. They love taking drives around Vermont, and I am fortunate I became one of the destinations. She bought some notecards and books.
I could feel their connection to one another, it is always a sweet, sweet thing to see that. I like the job. It suits me. Almost every week, someone comes into the store to meet me. February is quiet time in bookstores, but we are doing some steady business, and in the summer and fall and around Christmas, we will make some loud noise for independence, literature, individuality and human connection.