Jodi Morrison has been thinking for a while about why some books get published and other don’t and who gets to decide. Then when the Borders bookstore chain closed hundreds of stores across the country she began to think about all the people who used to work in the stores and all that empty space. That was when she decided to rent out the old Borders store at 5958 Penn Circle South and invite writers to submit their independently published works for sale.
She says the submissions have been pouring in fast. “There is a large percentage of them from local writers but there is actually work coming in from all over the US and then we have quite a few from Canada, quite a few from the UK, a few from Australia as well,” says Morrison.
Morrison says she has been working nearly non-stop on the store she calls “Fleeting Pages,” which will open at 10:00 am Saturday morning. “You will find zines and comics and independently published fiction and nonfiction, poetry, memoir, graphic novels,” says Morrison. She says the first visitors may step into a bit of chaos as well. The store will be open 7 days a week through June 3rd.
Morrison sys she feels a month is about the right amount of time. It is about as long as the building owner was willing to rent it to a non-permanent tenant and it was about all she and her friends could afford, says Morrison. So far they have collectively racked up about $40,000 in charges on their credit cards.
Morrison is not a writer and will not have any work for sale. She says she is not just doing it for the writers, “I’ve been getting emails [from non writers] saying they don’t really understand what independently published work is or how it is different. It’s not a term they have been exposed to before so I’m hoping this becomes a level of exploration for them.”
All of the works will be sold on consignment. Submissions will be accepted for about a week after the store opens. Morrison says she only wants to make her money back but she says it will all be worth it even if she doesn’t. “I was considering graduate school at the same exact time and what I have been learning through this and the people I have been meeting and the work I’ve been getting exposed to, for me it has more value than a year of grad school,” says Morrison.
The space will also feature some visual art and several forums and workshops.