Friday, February 12, 2010

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute: What is on the edge?

I had the pleasure of attending the ABA's Winter Institute in San Jose, CA this past week, on behalf of Anthology Book Company. Close to 500 independent booksellers, publishers, authors and speakers spent 3 days looking at the state of independent book selling, advances and insights into digital media, trends in reading, economic concerns, and much more. Publishers gave overviews of the newest titles to be released this spring; advance reader copies were available, and many of us packed up boxes of books to send back to our respective bookstores. When your bookseller is informed and has read the newest titles, we are then able to promote and share those titles with you when released. That is a sweet aspect of our job!

I met people from as far away as New Zealand and as close as Fort Collins, CO. There was one constant variable in the assembly: everyone there was passionate about books! It was amazing to see, hear and consider the importance of supporting local businesses, promoting local authors, networking with other local businesses and finding ways to help assure that in this troubled economy. Creative social media has lent a hand in connecting people, via e-newsletters, blogs, Facebook and other sites. There are even Twitter-based book clubs! The bottom line is physical books have been around for centuries, and they "ain't goin' away" anytime soon. If you use a Kindle or other pda, let us know. How can Anthology best serve you, our customers, in making reading a convenient and valued aspect of your life? E-books were all the discussion: we need to be aware and ready to meet the demands of digital books now and in the future.

I encourage your comments.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Clear Mind

Being able to attain a state of being where the mind is clear from thought is an interesting premise. It would seem that we are constantly thinking and projecting our egos onto the world. There are some people who believe that it is feasible to clear the mind and live in a higher state where we are no longer separate from the rest of the world. In my experience, the people who believe this to be true are enlightened or darned close to enlightenment. Most of the time I cannot even conceive of a time when my mind can be clear. Personally, it is helpful to read about the experiences of others and what they believe the clear mind to be. My interpretation can differ in many ways from the interpretation of wonderful poets. However, there is a certain quality in the words used that have a common ground with my idea of the clear mind....

Be a bud sitting quietly on the hedge.
Be a smile, one part of wondrous existence.
Stand here. There is no need to depart.
- Thich Nhat Hahn

To Have Done Nothing
by William Carlos Williams

No that is not it
nothing that I have done
I have done

is made up of
and the dipthong


together with
the first person

of the auxiliary
to have

I have done
is the same

if to do
is capable
of an
infinity of

involving the
and religious


for everything
and nothing
are synonymous

energy in vacuo
has the power
of confusion

which only to
have done nothing
can make

Watching the moon
at dawn,
solitary, mid-sky,
I knew myself completely:
no part left out.
- Izumi Shikibu

A Coat
by William Butler Yeats

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

Through these words the poets express that life is limitless in its possibilities of experience. Life is open to interpretation and the answer that we seek is not always the answer that another seeks. Maybe this is the way to enlightenment. We have to experience life the way we initially see it to be. Then we change our perception and open our minds to a groundless reality where we are connected to everything and nothing all at once.

Happy reading Anthology friends!

Friday, February 5, 2010


As an artist, much of my inspiration comes from books. I know many other artists who are the same way. Literature has the power to create such a vivid image in the mind of the reader, to render the mental image onto paper or canvas is almost irresistable, for me at least. An excellent example of an artist inspired by a book is the recent display at the Loveland Museum and Gallery of Salvador Dali's illustrations of Dante's The Divine Comedy. Dali illustrated every stanza of the Divine Comedy, which must have taken a considerable amount of time, whereas I usually have only one piece of art inspired for a book. Here at Anthology, we have a wealth of novels and books on many subjects sure to inspire the inner artist in anybody. Are you one of those people that are assured that they have a creativity deficiency? I personally believe that every person, whether they know it or not, has at least some untapped creative potential, albeit in the deepest part of their being. At Anthology, we have something to inspire everyone, whether you are the seasoned artist, beginner, or the creatively deficient. In our art section we have many books of collections of some of the most famous artists of all time, including Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Picasso. Some of my favorite books on art are not the collections, but the books intended to inspire or jumpstart the creative process. "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron is a wonderful resource to help discover your own spiritual path to creativity. We also have "Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters" by Robert Hale, where you can learn the techniques of Da Vinci, Goya, and other master artists. For the people itching to do something creative but just don't know where to start, I recommend "Coloring Mandalas" by Susanne Fincher. In this color book, the outlines of mandalas (symmetrical, usually radial designs, used by the Buddhist tradition to support spiritual healing and well being) are already created; all you have to do is fill in the color for a potentially beautiful design of your own. We've also got some awesome books filled with the work of local artists. "Sculpture in the Rockies" showcases some of the best sculptors around, located right here in Colorado. John Fielder also has some great books in our store that highlight his impeccable talent to capture the majesty of the mountains and ranches of Colorado. Anyone interested in another local artist's work, myself, can view my artwork on Myspace at under the heading "photos". Thanks for reading and have a lovley weekend!