Bookseller Essays: Dani

03/19/2020

While we wait out the current health crisis, Richard encouraged us to think about the power of books in difficult times. Today, bookseller Dani writes about finding solace in reading.

In the darkest moments of my life books have saved me over and over again. Now in the midst of a global health crisis when I began to feel powerless and confused and overwhelmed with anxiety, the only thing that gives me solace is books.

Right now, I am reading Ashley Bloom’s forthcoming book, Every Bone a Prayer. It has started me on a journey with a young girl named Misty, the main character, who has an intimate bond with nature. From crawdads shuffling in a nearby pond to an injured doe she stumbles upon in the woods, Misty opens herself up to natural world when all her family does is shut her out. There are so many things happening in this story, but what I deeply relate to is Misty’s ability to find happiness in unlikely places. She finds solace in animals, in trees, in ponds, even when it seems the world around her is falling apart.

I think for many of us it does feel like the world is falling apart. It feels apocalyptic almost. Like this is the end. But one of my favorite poets Nayyirah Waheed once wrote, “i don't pay attention to the world ending. it has ended for me many times and began again in the morning.”

We have all experienced some thing or things in our lives that have shattered us, made it hard to breathe, made it feel like we couldn’t go any further. But we did. We woke up the next morning. And we pushed. And maybe we cried. Maybe we cried for days, weeks, months. But we didn’t stop. And the world didn’t end. It kept going, and so did we. 

-Danielle Buckingham

Danielle Buckingham, also known as Dani,  is a writer, bookseller, and teacher from Louisville, Mississippi. She has been working at Square Books for almost two years. When she is not working or writing, she is at home tending to her growing family of house plants!