24 May

At A Wonderful Bookstore Named Oblong, A Dream Reading

by Jon Katz
A Dream Reading

I had a dream reading, a perfect reading last night in Rhinebeck, N.Y., at a beautiful independent bookstore called Oblong Books. We had a full house – SRO before it was over, and wonderful, thoughtful and challenging questions. I was there for two hours and signed a lot of books.

For me, it was a dream evening, the kind of evening an author loves to have when a new book (“Talking To Animals”) comes out. I didn’t bring Red because he is still recovering from his bout with some tick-borne diseases last week, but the crowd settled for me.

It is increasingly difficult for bookstores to get crowds to come out for most authors these , lots of competition from screens and e-books but my last two events have been wonderful. (My first event, at my hometown bookstore, drew five people, I’m not sure what this says, but it says something.)

This one had everything, including a young woman gasping in horror when I said I did not believe that dogs grieved the way people do.

I talked about communicating with animals, about the need to understand animals in a wiser way, about the New York Carriage Horses, about Rose and the ghost, about the ways in which my animals had opened me up and helped me to grow. I was sorry when the bookstore cut off the questions – they were wanting to close – and I promised to come back when “Lessons Of Bedlam Farm” is published next year.

Oblong has a close relationship with book lovers in the town, and they prove, as does my local bookstore, that independent bookstores can thrive.

My publisher put us up in a nearby hotel and we had a wonderful meal at a Thai Restaurant.

I love events like that, a real conversation, thoughtful questions, curious people and lovers of books. And people who have read a number of my books. There are always questions about Rose. And now, many about Red.

When there were book tours, I did this for a couple of months, and while I accept change, I do mourn many of the wonderful bookstores that are gone.

I accept change, I am wary of nostalgia, but don’t want to forget those bookstores either. In a blink, many of them were gone, along with book reviewers.

This bookstore, Oblong,  is booming, and I hope I get back there for the next book. I was gratified to have so many fans there, I felt good about that.

Glad to be home. Got to get ready for the weekend, Robin my granddaughter arrives tomorrow, the RISSE refugee soccer team arrives Saturday. Exciting weekend.


My book “Talking To Animals,” is getting some nice buzz and responses from people I respect. If you want to order it from my local bookstore, Battenkill Books, you can order it online or call the store at 518 677 2515. I will sign and personalize any copy purchased there and the bookstore will send back along with the book a classy tote-bag. They take Paypal and credit cards, and thanks for considering it. We need independent bookstores.

You can order the book here.

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