Where is Farley’s Book Shop, What is Press 53, and Who is Curtis Smith?

I was in Farley’s Book Shop in New Hope, PA and it is a relatively rare kind of bookstore because it has whole sections of it’s front shelving dedicated to independent presses. I’d also recommend Farley’s because they have regular events, and I like the way that shop is curated.

One shelf in Farley’s is dedicated to Press 53, out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina (yes the same Winston-Salem of cigarette fame.) http://www.press53.com/About_Press53.html

Much to mydelight, Press 53 specializes in publishing short story collections. From their website:

Short Story Collections: Since we published our first book in October 2005, Press 53 has gained a reputation for being a champion of the short story. We publish 6-8 short story collections each year.

So there I was, perusing the Press 53 shelf when I came across a signed copy of Bad Monkey by Curtis Smith. And while I had never heard of Curtis Smith before, I came to know that he’s been nominated for a half dozen Pushcart prizes.

Regardless of his pedigree, I decided then and there that it was my sworn duty to support fellow short story writers so I dished out the $14 bucks to support Mr. Smith, Press 53 and Farley’s Book Shop all the way down the line.

I’ve read several of the short stories in the Bad Monkey collection, and they are very well written, and have an emotional resonance that I like.

Since I am a short story writer myself, I really relate to the idea that there are so many unsung, relatively unknown writers out there and thank goodness for independent presses like Press 53 who are ready, willing and able to champion such writers and works.

So – go to your nearest independent bookstore and look for an independent press label. Take a chance and buy such books, and find treasures that perhaps no one has heard of but that are worthy of better recognition.

And if it’s a short story collection, so much the better.

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