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#IReadIndie: Mrs. Dalloway’s

by Timber Press on February 24, 2018

in Gardening

Included photos by Maya Blum.

At Timber Press, we are honored to be a part of the colorful indie publishing community. In addition to supporting powerful campaigns like Workman’s #IReadIndie, we want to celebrate independent bookstores and their communities. Supporting independent authors, publishers, and bookstores promotes diverse voices, small businesses, and community engagement. Here are some of the amazing booksellers stacking the selves across the country:

Ann Leyhe started her career at Dell Publishing in New York before joining Horticulture magazine in Boston. After moving to Berkeley, she became the West Coast contributing editor and worked on the Sunset Western Garden Book, Sunset Western Landscape Book, and the Chronicle Books series on roses. Leyhe opened Mrs. Dalloway’s with Marion Abbott in 2004.

What’s your favorite aisle or section of the store?

Choosing a favorite section of the store would be like someone saying, “who is your favorite child?” I love every part of our store, but of course especially the garden book section. One of the things we found encouraging when we opened is that very few independent stores have this deep a section. We have great fiction and fiction readers here as well as a fabulous kids department.

Leslie Buck reading from her memoir, Cutting Back.

How does Mrs. Dalloway’s serve the community?

Every single day we answer tons of questions and guide people to the right book for them. We host multiple events every month, always for free, always interesting.

We give all schools 20% off for any book used in the classroom and host a weekend event every fall where parents shop and we donate 20% of their purchases back to the local parent teacher associations. (Last year this was over $6,000).

Our children’s book buyers are a resource for all the schools and we bring authors and events directly to their schools. We make all the arrangements, including sometimes, driving the authors around!

Buck signing books after her launch reading.

If space and budget were no object, how would Mrs. Dalloway’s grow or expand?

What we really, really need is more “back of the house” room. We could deliver more to our customers and local readers through web outreach, with blogging, interesting links for them. . . . more to think about. We simply don’t have the staff or space for this just now.

What upcoming indie title would you like to see become a bestseller?

How about Timber’s book, Cutting Back, the remarkable story of a young woman who apprentices as a pruner in Kyoto. We just had an event with Leslie Buck, and it really is a lovely book. She’s got grit, and grit is big these days!

Cutting Back is now available from Mrs. Dalloway’s and everywhere books are sold.

Why are bookstores still relevant in the digital age of online shopping?

Let’s see Amazon drive an author to local schools and help build school libraries. Don’t get me started!

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