The Ginger Press started as a specialty mailorder business in 1978 (forty years ago), selling books about wood and woodworking to keeners who enthusiastically embraced our quirky selection. When we moved to Kilsyth in 1979, the business expanded to a retail space, open on Wednesday afternoons and all day Saturday. And, when our current location was purchased in 1984, we became the largest independent bookstore in the region. Do you remember opening day with special guest Robert Munsch? Over the years we have hosted lots of events with literary giants including Timothy Findley, Alice Munro, Alberto Manguel, Peter Gzowski, Joan Barfoot and Stuart McLean.
And then, in 1987, I decided there should be more local books at The Ginger Press. Andrew Armitage’s book Homewords: Stories About the People and Places of Owen Sound with a Foreword by Joan Barfoot was the first book we published. And that was thirty years ago. Since then we have moved away from mainstream books towards local content – about 70% of the books now in the store are by local authors. And since then we have published over 100 books! Our books are not listed on Amazon; we really want you to come here to get them. Our commitment is to words on paper, even though we are trailing edge technologically, we published our first ebook this year. Gas Head Willy, the first book written by Richard Thomas, is available for download at www.gasheadwilly.ca.
And, 32 years ago we started hosting an annual event to celebrate local literary talent. Authors are invited to join us to show off new books, talk about writing and publishing and meet their readers. We also prepare excellent munchies in our kitchen. Many, but not all, of the authors at the Open House are published by The Ginger Press; some of the authors are self-published and some have mainstream publishers. There’s room for everyone at our table!
Please join us for the 32nd Annual Authors’ Open House at from 11 to 2, on Saturday December 9. Authors in attendance will include George Auer, Debbie Boyd, Terry Burns, Marty Elkins, Jane Farrow, Cathy Hird, Bonita Johnson DeMatteis, Carol Merton, Lynne Porter, Rob Rolfe, Barry More, Richard Thomas, Ken Thornburn and Eric Zweig. There’s sure to be some special guest authors as well. Get autographed books for everyone on your list. And celebrate the season with some of the finest storytellers around.
Thank you so much for being part of everything we do – Ginger Press Bookshop and Cafe survives totally on your support. As we stumble into the winter season, we encourage you head out to enjoy all the good things that are happening around the region and then snuggle up with a good (local) book. MOSAIC will see you in print again in March!
From the November 2017 issue of Grey Bruce MOSAIC. Pick up your copy in-store or browse the archives online. Join us on Facebook for the latest in Grey Bruce arts, entertainment and lifestyle.