While hunting through nooks and crannies and other places where books go to hide, I came across Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. I have always been intrigued by the story since we talked about it in school.
The story goes like this: Kinsella wrote a story for a writing contest and signed over the rights to enter. Then they made a killing off the movie’s success and he lost out. I’m not sure it’s true, but that’s what they told me in school as a warning. “Don’t let this happen to you. Never give up the rights.”
Books have a story beyond what’s printed between the covers. Part of the joy of owning a bookshop is I get to be a chapter in the history of every book that comes through our door. A book begins with an idea in a writer; then travels through the drama of publication. That’s just a new book: all books of that print run share the same story.
This copy of Shoeless Joe by Kinsella had a unique journey that brought it to me and I added to its life by bringing my story to it. The life of a book can out-span any of us. There are some old hardbacks in my collection that I inherited from my mother who got them second hand in school. These books have lived in multiple countries and on even more bookshelves. They’ve been read in school rooms, cafés, in libraries, in parks, and in my bedroom. They will outlast me and their stories will carry on long after mine has ended.
This copy of Shoeless Joe has sparked an idea that led to a new section in the shop adding another facet to its story. When you come into A Reader’s Heaven this week you’ll see a little shelf by the door with a movie poster that reads Page to Screen. Every book in this section has had a second life as a film. Maybe you’re like the young reader who came in the other day and said, “Now I’ve seen the movie, I’d like to read the book.” Or maybe you’d like to read the book before you see the film.
Now, this copy of Shoeless Joe is in the Page to Screen section in A Reader’s Heaven awaiting its next chapter. Will you be a part of this book’s story?