This past July we visited novelist Emma Straub at her newly opened bookstore Books Are Magic. Here, in a few Catbird classics and Sethi Na Star Earrings, Emma gives us a look into her weekend routine and her favorite preschool-aged jewelry designer.
Books Are Magic – Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Photographed July 23rd, 2017
I find inspiration for my life in
my two beautiful kiddos, two wild and smart boys.
…And in my work,
both writing books and then selling them at the bookstore, my inspiration comes from the other books in my life--books read and loved, books wished for, books in my dreams.
The most meaningful piece of jewelry I own is
my wedding and engagement rings, the latter of which is a blind Oroboros, blind because its eyes fell out and I never replaced them. I also love a pearl ring that is my friendship ring with my mom--she had a pair of pearl and diamond earrings that she never wore, and I stole them out of her jewelry box and had them made into matching rings for us. I also really love all the pre-school jewels that my older son brings home--that's what I wear every day.
My literary hero is
Ann Patchett, perhaps my most obvious and direct hero. She writes incredible, moving, wonderful books and also owns a fabulous bookstore, Nashville's Parnassus. But I have lots: Lorrie Moore, for her melancholic zingers, Meg Wolitzer, for her humor and humanity, Tom Perrotta, for his sexy suburbia and his equally perfect work for film and television....I could do this all day long.
On weekends you’ll find me
up before 6am, then having adventures with my kiddos until they drop at 7pm, then panting on the couch with my husband until we pass out a few hours later, hopefully having eaten dinner.
A book I can endlessly revisit is
Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which reads like a master class in imagination and innovation and FUN.
I’m currently working on
trying to figure out how to get to work only new book and also trying to figure out how to stop eating so many chocolate-covered raisins.
The most rewarding thing about opening my own bookstore is
being in the store on a busy day and seeing how much people love it, already. A bookstore is unlike any other retail space--it's a gathering space, and a guilt-free space, and always full of the very best people in the world.
Emma Straub is a Brooklyn based novelist. Her work includes Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures. She and her husband Michael own and run the independent bookstore Books are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.