When the very fun—and also community supported, collectively organized, and volunteer run—Boneshaker Books celebrated their 5th Anniversary, the shop celebrated with a heady and hilarious literary costume party. Now a year older, and with independent bookstores doing better than ever (especially compared to say, downtown chain stores), Boneshaker will be celebrating six years by again dressing up (this year’s theme is Imagined Futures!!), a gaudy cake, a La Croix fountain (maybe), and lots of excellent conversation that includes well-read opinions.
Before the big party, we sent some quick questions to volunteer Aaron King about literature and how lit the lit party will be.
Secrets: What’s your favorite book that the bookstore carries?
Aaron King: I read How to be Both by Ali Smith last year, which I think is a perfect novel. It formally pushes boundaries, explores identities, and is deeply empathetic to deeply flawed characters. And different copies of the book tell the story in a different order.
What are the biggest advantages of being a community supported, collectively organized, and volunteer run bookstore?
The biggest advantage is the free meeting space. Free, shared space is getting rarer and rarer these days, and those that exist often come with a racist and/or classist stigma or are hard to access for marginalized people. We’re very happy to offer the room on a first come, first serve basis. It even comes with wi-fi and a projector.
Also, we get to have parties in a bookstore and no one can tell us to stop.
Scale of 1-whatever, how excited are you for the Marlon James fantasy series?
I try not to get excited for things so that I don’t get disappointed. (Thanks for teaching me that lesson, Star Wars prequels.) But his announcement definitely has me feeling excited-adjacent, which is as close to excited as my cynical self-preservation will allow me to get.
Scale of 1-whatever, how crazy are you going to get at the 6 Year Anniversary Party?
I’d place it on the “whatever” side of the rating system. While things always start very classy, it often devolves into drunken karaoke, sometimes followed by napping in the comfy chairs in the kids section. Anything goes as long as you don’t get creepy and don’t spill drinks on our lovely, lovely books.