Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Biblioasis' 10th Anniversary

Dan Wells has been my friend since before he was a publisher, when he owned that other bookstore by the same name in downtown Windsor amongst the bars and massage parlors. It is quite astonishing to me what Dan has done with his press in such a short time. As someone who has insider knowledge of the publishing world—its many challenges and disappointments—I am in awe of what Dan has accomplished. He has an exceptional ability to select fiction with both literary merit and marketability, and balances a list that fearlessly straddles both these domains. Awards and accolades aside, he is a charming fellow and his press deserves all the praise it has gotten. The life of a publisher is a constant struggle to stay relevant, a battle over shelf space, a competition over authors, and what, at times, seems like a bar brawl over grant money with friends jumping in to defend or counter-attack. So who could blame him for being a bit of an Eeyore at times. I've listened to him when he's cynical or glum, but like all great publishers there is always something that draws him back in—an author, manuscript, idea. Dan Wells is one of those forward thinkers—a clever and innovative dreamer in a perilous industry that demands so much.

I will be there for the 10th anniversary of Biblioasis to toast him. Better get the good scotch out! Friday September 26th, Capitol Theatre, 7pm.

Dan and I many years ago, when G was a baby and he had only two kids! We were probably talking books.