by Kacee Baker & Abigail Fellin
On a recent trip to The Book Vine, an independent bookstore in Cherokee, Iowa, Hot Dish creators were exposed to a local example of literary citizenship at a store that encourages area authors and community involvement.
An important, and often overlooked, aspect of being a writer, reader, and even editor, is being an active member in your literary community. A literary community is any group that works towards a common goal such as promoting authors, reading and discussing books, and encouraging writers. Ways to contribute to your literary community include supporting local bookstores, library events, authors, and spreading the word about other people’s work.
The Book Vine was opened 10 years ago by Mollie Loughlin. After the previous book store in Cherokee closed its door, Mollie quit her job as a teacher, and gutted and renovated the cozy two story building because she believed “that every community needed a bookstore.” While Mollie was out of town, Hot Dish Magazine had a lovely time searching the bookshelves and talking with her daughter-in-law, Amy Frederes.
The Book Vine staff work to make the town fun and create a sense of community. Amy directed us to a section of books by Iowa writers, and discussed how the store encourages literary citizenship by hosting book clubs, wine tastings, and book signings with local authors. Even in a town with a population of only around 5,000 people, Amy says “you can always find something to do. It’s a fun town, it really is.” Visit The Book Vine in Cherokee, or shop at their online store here, and like their Facebook page here.
Shadow of the Wind. “It’s a book about a book, and it’s excellent. It originated in Barcelona and then it was translated into English.”
“I just finished Behind Closed Doors. It’s along the lines of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. It was an excellent read.”
Hot Dish recipe: Easy Beef Enchiladas
Scoop meat/bean mixture into each tortilla and sprinkle with cheese and fold into a square
Spray a 9x13 pan and place folded enchiladas in pan
In a bowl mix: Mushroom soup, tomato soup and enchilada sauce
Pour over enchiladas in pan
Sprinkle remaining cheese over top
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes