Little City Books will introduce Hoboken to its first literary weekend in April with more than 10 national and local bestselling authors and illustrators as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning poets.
“I think it is a really interesting time in Hoboken culturally … I think there’s a real rebirth of cultural action in town, and the bookstore is a part of it,” said Kate Jacobs, a longtime resident and co-owner of Little City Books. “This weekend is going to be fun for everyone. It’s not going to be the least bit dry and academic. We feel we have a great mix of nationally acknowledged authors and local and picture book authors and illustrators. This will be pretty spectacular.”
Participants include bestselling author Daniel Pink, former Hoboken resident and author Anna Quindlen, Irish novelist and playwright Colm Tóibín, Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, Hoboken local and publisher David Levithan, illustrator Loyed Cooper, Hoboken resident and multiple Grand Slam Moth winner Adam Wade, author and “Beyologist” Veronica Chambers, and more.
“It’s not going to be the least bit dry and academic.” — Kate Jacobs
From April 5 to 7, Little City Books at the corner of First and Bloomfield streets has organized events throughout the mile-square city that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Events include a whiskey tasting with spirits author Clay Risen; a discussion with author Veronica Chambers on her Beyonce anthology which includes lemonade themed cocktails, videos, and a trivia game; an interview with Anna Quindlen conducted by David Levithan; Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon with his band ROGUE OLIPHANT including Sim Cain, Chris Harford, David Mansfield, Cait O’Riordan, and Warren Zanes; various children’s authors and illustrator readings such as author of “Super Satya Saves the Day” Raakhee Mirchandani; a discussion of “When: The Science of Timing” by author Daniel Pink, and more.
The origin story
Little City Books, which opened almost four years ago, is no stranger to hosting events. Throughout the year it has author signings and Q&A sessions. According to Kate Jacobs the idea for the literary weekend came from one of the bookstore’s patrons last fall.
“He kind of got the ball rolling, ” Jacobs said, noting that new residents had suggested that the town needed a literary festival.
“We thought a festival sounded overwhelming and maybe too big in scope, but we thought maybe a shorter weekend with different times of events would be more like throwing a party,” Jacobs said, noting that she and business partner Donna Garban have a three-option rule when considering events: It needs to make the store money, be good for the community, or fun for them to do.
Since that idea was floated, the two started finding authors who would participate as well as additional venues to help host, such as Hoboken High School, Stevens Institute of Technology, the Jubilee Center, and the Hoboken Public Library.
Jacobs said in order to find authors they looked to see which were already on tour. They also reached out to publishers, authors, and publicists they have gotten to know through the bookstore.
“We have some amazing local people,” said Jacobs, adding that once word got out, people in the industry started contacting them wanting to join the weekend.
“A bookstore is more than a store.” — Kate Jacobs
‘The third place’
Jacobs said the bookstore is truly a labor of love. While Little City Books is a retail establishment, it’s also a community hub.
“There’s an expression which is often used a lot to refer to bookstores called ‘the third place,’” said Jacobs. “It’s not work, it’s not home, but it’s a place like a community hub, a place where people can go and gather and just be. I mean obviously, yes, we are a retail environment. We sell books, but in what other retail stores can you go and spend four hours just chatting and reading and relaxing and leave without buying anything. A bookstore is more than a store.”
She said in the future Little City Books wants to become more active in the community.
The shop works with the school district, helping with a family book club at the middle school, sponsoring events at the high school and programs at Hoboken Charter School, and promoting literacy at the Jubilee Center.
Those interested in the literary weekend can check online for the full schedule of events or purchase tickets at https://hobokenliteraryweekend.com/
All events for children are free. Some events for adults require a ticket, which comes with a book.
For updates on this and other stories check http://www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.