Reading Corner promotes local writers
by W. Winston Skinner
In a drugstore off Highway 34 East, there is a spot for readers — and writers.
The Reading Corner is in the Newnan Health Mart Pharmacy on Baker Road. Shelves showcase books written by Cowetans, and tables nearby invite reading and conversation about books.
Jan and Suzette Smit, owners of the pharmacy, came up with the idea for the Reading Corner. “I’ve got a passion for reading,” Suzette Smit said.
“I have written books myself,” she said, and reflected on the great difficulty independent authors face in marketing their books.
Mrs. Smit said the only parameter for inclusion in the Reading Corner is that the authors be from Coweta, but she said she had been struck by the tone and quality of the books. “They are all clean, inspirational, wonderful books,” she said.
Local writers obviously are looking for ways to get their books to readers. About a week after Jan Smit put up the shelves, “we got 14 authors,” he said.
In addition to Suzanne Smit, local authors whose works are displayed at the Reading Corner include Swanee Ballman, Tamala Callaway, James Cambas, Joe Dwyer, Suzanne Field, Eugene Franckowiak, Lenny Fulz, Jerry Hampton, Leigh Michael Hartmann, Lynda Jane Jackson, Linda Jennings, April Miller, Holly Moulder and Carla Cook Smith. “The entire project is based on a service to the community by giving exposure to our local writers,” Suzette Smit said.
It also is a great idea, said Jennings, a local minister who has written several books and led writing classes. “We have so many businesses that are going out of business,” she said. “This business is thinking outside the box.”
The Reading Corner “is just plain smart thinking,” Jennings said. She predicted local authors and their fans will find their way to the pharmacy, and that many will pick up prescriptions and other items while they are checking out the books.
Callaway, who has penned paranormal romances aimed at teens, agreed. “They’re promoting us,” she said, “while we’re all promoting them.”