Staying alive in the age of Amazon and e-books is a remarkable feat, so there was lots to celebrate at Left Bank Books' 45th birthday party on July 11. Co-owners Kris Kleindienst and Jarek Steele, above, marked the occasion with birthday cakes (shown below) and an interactive "Writers Under Glass" event (also below).
In addition to being the "go to" location for purchasing the latest best seller, book club selection, used book, or book to donate to the River City Readers Program promoting reading in city schools, Left Bank Books hosts at least 300 author events each year. When I asked Kris how many authors she estimates they've welcomed to St. Louis over the past 45 years, she thought it would be safe to say 5,000!
It was at the birthday party that I learned about a new bakery in The Grove, Amy's Corner Bakeshop located at 4476 Chouteau at Taylor. Amy created the fabulous "stack of books" cake shown above. CWE-based The Cup sent an assortment of cupcakes, left, and Pint Size Bakery, 3825 Watson delivered mini cupcakes, right. Urban Chestnut in the Grove sent a keg of their local craft brew as well.
Local authors Ann Leckie (Ancillary Justice), above, and Kevin Killeen (Try to Kiss a Girl) below, along with Mark Tiedemann (Gravity Box and Other Spaces) and Scott Phillips (Hop Alley), wrote a collaborative short story in the shop's window.
When I walked into the celebration I was asked for an adjective that author Ann Leckie could work into her story (see rules above). "Feathery" was my reply. (For some reason that was found to be quite humorous.) The collaborative short story is currently displayed on the shop's Euclid windows.
Forty-five years ago no one could have imagined a world where anyone could follow the short story's progress on a hand-held device using Twitter (#WritersUnderGlass). The work was also streamed live and shown in-store on the screen above.
Congratulations to Kris and Jarek and their wonderfully helpful staff. Left Bank Books presence is such a great resource for CWEnders of all ages. Check the website for upcoming author events. Also Miss Jonesy is back holding Story Hour for children of all ages on Saturdays at 10:30.