It's been 20 years since Jimenez, who holds a bachelor's in English literature from Colgate University and a law degree from Boston University, opened the independent bookstore Inkwood Books in Tampa with co-owner Leslie Reiner. When it was announced on Feb. 16 that several Borders bookstores in the Tampa Bay area would close, she and Reiner did not consider it completely good news that they were losing competition. "It is not a surprise that the big box model is showing weakness,'' said Jimenez, 56. "But what it is, is a big concern for the industry because of the financial impact on publishers, authors, booksellers losing their jobs, and many people in between.''
What's on your nightstand?
The only fiction I have is Charles Baxter's Gryphon, a collection of short stories. I loved his The Feast of Love.
Are his short stories as good as his novel?
Yes, he does a good job. I'm not reading them in order, which is kind of a funny thing, but the book includes Midwest characters and events that bring depth to some of life's blandness. I also just finished reading a cookbook from cover to cover, River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It includes a lot of recipes that are comfort food, and it is accessible to families. I've also gotten World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky. It's meant for teens, but it's important for adults to read, too. It includes graphic novel form when he tells a story of a daughter and father fishing and what happens over the years. I'm also reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a history of black migration from Jim Crow states to northern and western cities. It would be a great novel, but because it is true, it's even more compelling.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer