So I was having a slumpy evening... was not feeling very "artsy", so I picked up a book I had gotten for Christmas, "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore - A Novel" by Robin Sloan. I had read a review of this book quite a while ago (lets say months ago) and I decided to pick up and read. Reading for me can me just as inspiring as nature, after all a book is made from a tree, bookstores are like urban forests full of leafy page turners. I love bookstores and the sweet sweet smell of books, new books or old... good comforting smell. mmmmm.
Anyways, so I started this book last night and found out it is quite a page turner! It is about this really awesome old bookstore that sells books in front and lends ancient books from the "waybacklist" shelves. The "waybacklist" library contains big, beautiful, leather-bound books containing some kind of alpha code. The storyteller in the book is a sort of graphic artist/marketer/website creator, and the heroine is a very smart girl (genius) who works at Google, the wise old man character is the bookshop owner - Penumbra. Did I mention the story takes place in San Francisco?
Without giving away too much of the storyline, it creates a pretty good mystery as to what the waybacklist books are for, what is the code, how to decode it, what does it all mean? It also touches on things I am grappling with currently - SEO, online marketing, website building, and the blogosphere... not to mention old bookstores which I love and are sanctuaries for ones spirit.
It got me thinking outside of the box a bit more on where to go from here with my blog/website/Etsy shop and art direction... and I have not even finished the book! I am only in the center.... I totally recommend reading this page turner, Robin Sloan's description of the bookstore and of what it would be like to work at a place like Google is alone worth the read, not to mention the forward marching mystery of the codex and the borrowers from the waybacklist shelves.
So World, what kinds of things do you do to regain creativity when you have writers/artists block?