I'd like you all to meet Mallory. She's going to bring our town a bookstore.
If you reside near Huntington, Long Island, you already know that we recently lost our beloved Book Revue, owned and operated for forty-four years by Richard Klein. This post is not about that loss, though I will tell you that on the first day of their final sale, they played "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, and I don't even love the Beach Boys, and I still wanted to weep right there in the poetry aisle over that clarion choice and so many others made by the staff of a town's stanchion--bastion--as they folded. It hurt, the wrongness of the rightness of the wrongness.
The Book Revue and Richard and Mallory.
Instead, let's talk about the heart of the rightness: Mallory. I can end the sentence right there and it's apt. But to elaborate: Mallory, formerly a manager of the Book Revue, has launched a campaign to open the Next Chapter LI. It's going to be a bookstore. And a record store. And a place to hear music that will make you cry in the aisles but this time in a glad way because you will be among books, your friends, and they will not be going anywhere except home in your hands.
And it's going to be right here in our town.
If--if--we can give it wings. (I prefer that metaphor to the boot-in-the-assness of "Kickstarter.")
You'd like to know a little more about Mallory before you contribute, right? She's got a good strong voice, she can tell you herself:
But in case you're like me and you secretly want to know details like her favorite cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios) before you sign on, I asked her a few questions that I described in advance as easy, and she was kind enough to indulge me.
EBT: What's your favorite book?
Mallory: Omg that's not easy!!!! I can give you top five current favorites, which would be H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, Pond by Claire Louise Bennett, Essays by Michel de Montaigne, and honestly, Dune by Frank Herbert. I really would like to go up to ten, but I won't go crazy, considering you asked for one!
EBT: Favorite movie?
Mallory: Oh boy . . . Tree of Life.
EBT: Where did you grow up, and what high school activities did you participate in?
Mallory: I lived on Fourth Avenue in Huntington Station, then moved to South Huntington. In high school I was primarily an orchestra and band kid.
EBT: What instrument(s)?
Mallory: Mainly violin, but mallets too, so like marimba and vibraphone, etc.
[Note: I had to google these. They look like really big xylophones.]
EBT: When you were nine, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mallory: I think a surgeon. That one didn't last when I found out how many years you had to go to school.
EBT: What is your favorite thing/experience to treat yourself to?
Mallory: I like to run. I am slow, but it makes my mind function better and feels good.
EBT: What do you listen to in the car?
Mallory: I make playlists based on what I listen to during a particular month, but whatever I listen to, I play it as loud as possible.
(EBT: Do you ever worry about what people think when you stop at a light and your car is vibrating with bass?
Mallory: I turn it down at stoplights.)
[BONUS TREAT: Mallory's March 2021 Playlist! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1aS80sITmdO4Hb6uCx06nZ?si=Pu2hqtMuSuKJfKuKZh_oiw&utm_source=copy-link&nd=1 ]
EBT: Any pets?
Mallory: None of my own, but my dad has an Australian shepherd named Joplin, and she is my angel.
EBT: Last one. Who is your closest confidant?
Mallory: Oh yikes . . . Probably my brother, Nolan. He is twenty-five and goes to school, is a hilarious and clever writer, does woodworking, works at Southdown, and lives in Huntington.
Ready to rock.
That's all for now, folks. And for now it's up to us. Please: do it for Huntington; for community. Do it for books, do it for music and art, do it for dogs. Do it for me and everything and everyone I hold dear. Do it for yourselves, whether you're local or not, because this is the kind of brave new world we want to live in.