I wonder who decided it was a FAQ? What’s wrong with a FLART (Folks Like Asking Repetitive Things)? Or maybe even an OPRAH (Often People Request Answers Habitually)? In any case… questions, we get asked ’em. Frequently. Here are some answers:
1. When do you open?
Because we have carpet, a phone, and a flushing toilet, the answer is: soon. Because we do not yet have shelves, the answer is also: not this week! At this stage, we’re going to say September. Check back soon for more information.
2. You’re opening an independent bookstore in this financial climate? Are you insane?
We get this a lot. And it’s quite possible we are insane, but I don’t believe our crushing looniness is evident in our decision to open a bookstore (it’s much more evident in our passion for Coronation Street and Eggo Drizzlers). It’s actually, believe it or not, quite a good time to be opening a bookstore—the American Booksellers Association tells us indie bookstores experienced record sales in 2012, and articles like this and this suggest your local bookstore is making a comeback. We fully intend to be a part of this revival…
3. Doesn’t Austin already have an independent bookstore?
You’re probably thinking of BookPeople. Yes, BookPeople is an indie bookstore, and a very good one. We like BookPeople (and book people) very much indeed. However, we believe Austin can support another shop o’ books. For one thing, ATX is now the fastest growing city in the country. (Yikes.) And BookPeople often has a fully booked events calendar, which suggests there’s room for another community venue for your literary shenanigans. Also, we’ll be concentrating on small press literature, works in translation, and local authors, so our focus is a little different. If you want Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, you go to BookPeople; if you want Let’s Explore Owls with Diabetes, the intensely moving Latvian poetry collection, or Let’s Give Owls Exploratory Diabetes, the controversial novel by local anti-owl oddball Mike Fisherpants, you come to us. Capiche?
4. What on earth is Malvern? It’s a weird name!
Thanks for that question, Maurice McDungbeetle. You have a weird name too, but whatever. The long story: the name Malvern was chosen in honor of the great Medieval poet William Langland and his epic poem entitled The Vision of Piers Plowman. Alas, very few people read Langland anymore—the want of a firm grounding in medieval literature is clearly what is wrong with young people these days (that and sizzurp)—and we usually get a squinty, quizzical stare when we start banging on about the adventures of young Piers. For this reason, we have decided that the best answer to the question “What on earth is Malvern?” is this:
This is Malvern. You can call him Malvy if you want. He has taken up residence next to the public restroom, and we are teaching him to roar angrily whenever someone tries to steal a chapbook. If you rub his nose, it will bring you good luck. Or boils. (Currently too small a sample size to say.) Isn’t he handsome? He can’t wait to make your acquaintance.