Bookstores reflect the values of a community. We find that people gather here at Fables Books and they’re willing to talk about many topics. They’re willing to learn about things. If the restaurants are the dining room of the community, then we’re the living room. We’re the place where you relax but also where you read for pleasure, for education, for growth.
I tend to gravitate toward the kids. Bringing in a reluctant reader – a kid who hates being forced to read in school – and finding them finally turn on the switch that’s like, ‘Oh, OK, this could be fun, too.’ Finding the story that turns the switch for them is a really cool thing.
I grew up here. I’ve lived here my whole life except for three years when I was young while my parents were missionaries in Brazil. I also worked elsewhere during the summers when I went to Goshen College.
There are a lot of people in this town who work because they care about people and ideas and organizations, but not for money. I’ve volunteered in my kids’ schools, worked for the elementary PTO. I’m currently president of the orchestra boosters association. I spend time volunteering for my church. All of that is important, too. For pay, I work for Goshen College as the administrative assistant for the Social Work and Art Departments. I also work here at Fables, but also not for pay.
Right now, for fun, I’m in the bookstore. Also, I read. I go to my kids’ concerts. I craft, make things. I love doing shows with the Elkhart Civic Theatre. They’ve let me be in the chorus for a couple of shows. It’s a chance for creativity and music and acting and laughter, a diversion from my regular life.
We have places downtown that are interesting and unique, and I love that. If I want to buy a gift for someone, I have so many more choices than Target, Wal-Mart, or any other conglomeration of mega-corporations.
I love that we are diverse, that we’re not all the same. I hope that we are becoming a place where diversity is explored and learned from and celebrated.