So I drove down to Decatur, Georgia yesterday for the first stop on the book tour at Wordsmith's Books. Really nice people there--like Russ, who put the event together--and a great store, in an old bank building. They had me park in front, so everyone could see the car through the window. Before the event, I was debating on whether or not to wear a pair of Depend undergarments, in case I wet my pants from nerves. I decided against it, because I was afraid it would look too bulky under my jeans. I brought a posse with me (known as my friend Greg, who lives in Atlanta) so that I would be guaranteed at least a one-person audience. At 7:30, my posse and I practically looked like we were the only ones there--making my whole Depend dilemma moot--and then people just suddenly appeared from behind the stacks and practically filled the seats in front of the stage. Also represented/participating at the event were Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, an amazing group that engages "communities of faith in stewardship of God's Creation as a direct reflection of our faithfulness through worship, education,and the sustainable generation and efficient use of energy," and Rob from Refuel Biodiesel (part of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy), which gave me 10 GALLONS OF WASTE VEGGIE OIL FOR THE TRIP HOME to Asheville! Unfortunately, the presence of the big crowd that Russ managed to wrangle at Wordsmith's meant that I had to try to sound half-articulate. On the upside, the audience was very attentive and went easy on me (and had a million questions at the end).
So what does Wordsmith's do for the environment? Well, for starters they're in an amazing, pedestrian and bike-friendly location in Decatur, surrounded by other shops, bars, and restaurants in the middle of town. That makes a huge (and often overlooked) difference in lessening carbon impact for local shoppers. They have a great display of environmental books at the front of the store. And, they serve as a town hall for groups like Interfaith Power & Light, and Refuel Biodiesel, and people like me, to discuss environmental issues with an engaging and involved audience.
Tonight I'll be at Malaprop's in Asheville. I'll report tomorrow.