Bookstock at the Central Library 

You know how at some offices they'll have one monthly birthday party to cover the entire staff? Well, consider Memphis Public Library's annual Bookstock event that party, only with local authors instead of cakes and candles.

According to the library's Adult Services Coordinator Wang-Ying Glasgow, the origins of Memphis Public Library's Bookstock were purely practical. Local authors would approach the library to do a booksigning. Not having the staff to accommodate all the requests, they would turn down most of them until the idea struck them to have one large, yearly event. Now, when the library's approached by authors, Glasgow says, "We tell them we have this event for you."

Bookstock, now in its seventh year, features 40 local authors — covering everything from nonfiction to inspirational. Different this year: Instead of one keynote speaker, they'll have four. They are Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours; ReShonda Tate Billingsley, author of The Secret She Kept and The Perfect Mistress; Daniel Connolly, author of The Book of Isaias; and Adrienne Berard, author of Water Tossing Boulders. Flyer friends Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence will be giving a cooking demo, and Otis Sanford, Geoff Calkins, and Mark Greaney are among the other authors who will be at the event.

click to enlarge Welcome to Bookstock!
  • Welcome to Bookstock!
click to enlarge werec_img_5364.jpg

One key feature of Bookstock is the scavenger hunt. Every author's booth has a clue. This encourages guests to talk to the authors. There will also be hat making and musical story times. Kids can get their faces painted like a storytime character.

Connolly's Book of Isaias follows a young Latino immigrant in Memphis. Berard's Water Tossing Boulders tells the true story of a Chinese family in Mississippi fighting segregation. In a nod to those books and to draw in all of Memphis, Bookstock will feature Latino dancers and a Chinese choir and other flourishes. These are "our stories," says Glasgow. The event, she says, is focused on community and history.

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