Sad News for Mansfield’s Literary Community

It is with great sorrow that I must relay news of the death of one of the bookstore’s most loyal customers, Landree Rennpage. Landree, at age 31,  was killed in a car collision Saturday night. The literary community in Mansfield is shocked at this news, and deeply saddened. I met Landree five years ago when I took over the store’s book club and started the writing group. She was one of my most faithful book-lovers and writers. For five years I had seen her without fail at least three times a month. We were never close friends, but we shared a love for the written word, which I have found is often all you need. To be a wordsmith puts you in a secret society with the rest of us who believe in the underestimated but unflinching power of language. Though we shared this club membership, we did not read the same kinds of books or write the same kind of stories. We shared a respect for each other, and through that respect were able to learn from each other. We each read books we may not have picked up otherwise and learned to look at our writing from new angles. Landree was a solid, talented writer and regular contributor to our writing group. She had pieces in the works that had great potential. It saddens me so much that they will not be finished. After engaging creatively with someone regularly for as long as we had, you begin to know them. Especially in the context of writing, which necessitates at one point or another, total vulnerability, the laying...

Community Defined

Thanks to the modern majesty that is Facebook, I was reminded yesterday that five years ago, I was laid off from my job at the PowerHouse Arena bookstore in Brooklyn. I had worked there for two months. The manager told me, in her clipped German accent, that because I was the last full-timer to be hired, I was the first to go. I nodded politely until I thought my head might fall off, saying “yes, I understand,” again and again as she repeated the same bad news several times over, just worded differently. I went through the rest of the day feeling slightly detached from anything going on around me, telling myself this wasn’t the beginning of the end. When I got home I called my dad and cried. Then I went to a Guy Fawkes party in Crown Heights at the house of someone whose name I’ve forgotten, though I do remember they had a chicken coop in the front yard. I stalked around the bonfire all night, angry, drinking straight from a wine bottle. The next afternoon I posted on Facebook: “Sleeping the till-noon sleep of the unemployed.” Not long after, I came home. It is fitting then, that on the anniversary of the day my brief tenure in New York began to collapse, I am featured in a short film about my hometown’s downtown revival. Six months after I moved home from New York, I got a job here, at Main Street Books. Once I was ready to take over as manager, I had another interview with the shop’s owner, John Fernyak. At the end of...

History of a Born Book-Lover

A good number of people come in the store and wonder aloud how great a job it must be to run a bookstore. The answer, in short: it’s a dream job. From here many of these same book-lovers ask how I got into the business, so here’s the history of The Bookstore Lady. When it first occurred to me that being a bookseller would be a pretty rad way to earn a living, I was a high schooler, and I was in the very bookstore I now run. I was sitting by the window in the book loft on a rainy Saturday, looking down at the alley below. Yeah, I could do this, I thought to myself. And let’s be honest, with multiple-librarian family who dressed their only daughter as a bookworm for her first Halloween, what choice did I have? My first bookstore gig was at Second Story Books in Dupont Circle, Washington DC. It carried only used books that were shelved and stacked in every available space and with questionable logic. We had first editions and rare copies that were locked in a series of glass cases, and each had its own set of keys, identical to all the others on one comically large key ring. I never guessed right one on the first try. I was always put on the weeknight closing shift with G–, because no one else could stand him, but I would listen to him talk about his cats. A few years later I got a job at The Globe Corner Bookstore in Cambridge, Mass, which carried travel guides, travel literature, and maps...

Downtown Mansfield Scavenger Hunt 2015 — We’ve Gone Bananas!

The Downtown Mansfield Scavenger Hunt is back in July 2015! For the entire month of July, kids can search for the image of one of the Carrousel animals in businesses around the downtown area. Prizes can be claimed after finding certain a certain number of them. On Saturday, August 1 we’ll have a party at the Carrousel for everyone who found the animal 20 or more times with carrousel rides, cookies, and prizes. Main Street Books is again teaming up with The Richland Carrousel Park and Richland Source. The event runs July 1- July 31, is FREE, and open to all. Now, allow us to introduce Bananas the Monkey, Mansfield’s Pioneering Primate! You’ll recognize Bananas from the Richland Carrousel Park where she hides beneath the giraffe’s leaf saddle. There’s only so much you can see from under there! Bananas is a curious little monkey and wants to see the sights, but she would like some friends to go with her. She needs an intrepid group of explorers to help her discover our city. We have hidden Banana’s picture all around downtown — find as many as you can in the month of July to prove your adventurous spirit. On August 1st at the Carrousel, Bananas will pick her exploration team. Welcome to the jungle! How to participate: Check out the Richland Source interactive exploration map of downtown Mansfield showing all the stores hiding a picture of Bananas. Pick up the paper map and checklist of businesses at Main Street Books or the Richland Carrousel Park. Find Bananas in the participating businesses and get your map stamped or signed. When you...

Pin It on Pinterest