Ewa Ealy Shrine of the Black Madonna Atlanta, Ga

Article excerpt

My love affair with writing started when I was very young and realized that the letters of the alphabet made words. Every evening, I showed my mother an assortment of scribbled letters on scrap paper and asked, "What does this spell, Mama?" New words filled me with joy; a meaningless collection of letters only sent me back to my paper more determined than ever to write a word.

Growing up with two much older siblings, I spent a lot of my time home alone, reading. Books became my evening companions after the streetlights came on--that signal to neighborhood children that it was time to go inside. Every week or so, my dad would take me to the public library. Once I obtained my library card, the excitement and adventure of the world of books was mine for the asking.

Every summer, the library had a summer reading list for kids. By the summer's end, I would have read two or three times the number of books on the list. For me, books became my passport to worlds unknown. Books on travel, fiction, biographies, short stories, poetry--you name it, I probably read it. By the time I was 12, I had begun reading The New York Times bestseller list (not your age appropriate choices, I must admit).

The challenge to read was before me, and there were so many choices, so many possibilities. In my early teens, I created ways to read when my mom turned out the lights at bedtime. I read in the bathroom or under the blanket on my bed--anything to finish a book I had started. This fascination has followed me throughout my adult life. It should come as no surprise that I find myself co-managing this amazing bookstore.

Because Atlanta is such a large, metropolitan city, the reading tastes of our customers are vast and varied. With more than 10,000 rotating titles, we are able to fulfill the needs of our readers, be they casual readers or serious researchers. Romance novels, African and African-American history, inspirational works and popular fiction are all genres that we supply.

Our customers rely on a knowledgeable staff who can suggest books to fit their interests and needs. I cannot describe the satisfaction we feel when we help customers find the books that will make them happy or help them through difficult times. …