Who goes to book readings anymore? Everyone who lives in Fort Greene. The Greenlight Bookstore is regarded by The Village Voice as one of the best independent bookstores in New York City. Whenever I walk in I always end up taking a book or two home with me. If they keep having more events like they did last night, they’re going to need to expand their space further.
This is a case study of why you should subscribe to your local neighborhood bookstore email newsletter. I found out Jeffrey Eugenides was reading from his new book The Marriage Plot at Greenlight Bookstore and bought a copy in time so I could reserve a slot to get the book signed, along with my dog-eared copies of The Virgin Suicides and My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead. The latter is technically an anthology of love stories that Eugenides compiled himself but the fact that he put the collection together for others to read, to me, seems as if he has the same amount of desire to put what he loves out to his audiences as much as someone who compiles a mixtape or reading list to give to their friend.
I showed up an hour early for the reading and the store was already packed. Whoever thought book store readings were bland has never ventured into literature-obsessed parts of Brooklyn. I felt like I was at a concert trying to protect my spot from those sleazy “crowd infiltrators” (I’m just trying to find my friend) and that I should be on the defense while inside this unassuming bookstore surrounding by the bespectacled.
I swear by the zoom-in capabilities of my Canon Powershot SD4000 IS Digital ELPH.
It seems that whenever I am introduced to a new Eugenides book, it’s at a time when my age and perspective is the same as his main characters. I read The Virgin Suicides as a teenager when my life was full of angst and I was wondering who I was and the mystery of growing up. I saw Eugenides read and immediately purchased My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead, which helped me through a particularly selfish time when I didn’t understand the full value of my relationships and couldn’t accept love from my friends and family (whoa, getting heavy there). Middlesex was read during the summer before my senior year of college – I was definitely experiencing a different sort of transition from Calliope/Cal but nonetheless it is still a fabulous book. I just started reading The Marriage Plot today and can already say that Maddy, the main character, is exactly how I would like to imagine myself and definitely who my friend Maggie is. She wears all black, studies English at Brown University, and sees love only as a state of mind. The New York Times review of The Marriage Plot evidently says that it is Eugenides best book yet. I’m not sure how he channels the angst and worry that women feel as they grow up, but I do hope that he publishes a new book every four to five years so I can better navigate my life.