The Essential Guide Tour Pitchapalooza #7: The Beauty of Loganberry Books & the Universe’s Lollipop

Occasionally, the universe hands you a lollipop for your hard work after you’ve been eating meal after meal of humble pie. On Monday night, when we walked into Loganberry books in the Shaker Heights neighborhood of Cleveland, we got our lollipop. One of the great pleasures of going on tour is discovering new bookstores. And the second you walk into Loganberry, you realize you’ve stepped into a literary oasis.
We imagined Loganberry to be a tiny bookstore because every time we called prior to our arrival, Harriet Logan, the owner of the store, always answered the phone herself. But we walked into a mecca of books, with room after room of rare first editions, startling book oddities, and even a real vintage rack of Golden Books. And then there was Otis the cat. It was like we died and woke up in book heaven.
Harriet could not have been more warm and gracious. She took us to a room in the back that was set up living room style with purple chairs and cozy couches. Olive was whisked off by our old friend Margaret and Andrew to have Apple Pie with “whup” cream. Margaret was our intern one summer while she was a student at Reed College. Now she is a professor at Oberlin! Clearly, we taught her everything she ever needed to know!!!
To our surprise and delight, a very charming and ruggedly handsome fellow showed up with a giant state-of-the-art camera bearing the logo of ABC. Turns out he was there to film our Pitchapalooza for the eleven o’clock news.
Our guest panelist for the night was, Anne Trubek, a professor at Oberlin and author of A Skeptic’s Guide To Writer’s Houses, was wise and witty. Our pitchees formed a semicircle with Otis-the-cat taking up the right end. As the lights went up and the camera started rolling, you could feel the tension and excitement mounting in the room. And, as always, we heard some top notch pitches. In fact, we choose two winners. Erick Trickey gave a truly stunning pitch about a much misunderstood American Legend. You’ll have to wait for the book to be published to find out who it is! And Katheryn Norris captured us with her tale of what happens when American teenage excess meets India. Afterwards, we roamed the shelves finding ourselves each a gem to come home with. We could’ve stayed there for days. In the end, we think Olive did best of all, not only did she befriend Otis-the-cat, but she came home with a vintage edition of Alice in Wonderland!
One last thought, Loganberry is the opposite of retail chains taking over America. Its individual flare was noticeable from all the way down the block. We’ve never seen a bookstore like it before and we’re sure we won’t find another. This is what’s so exciting about the independent bookselling community. It represents, in many ways, what’s best about our country. Have a dream, build it, and let them come.