Just back from the Montana Book Festival. There were quiet moments on Friday when I sat next to the bookstore reading (Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard; Thank You for Not Reading by Dubravka Ugrešić) and writing. Saturday was full blown though with book festival people stopping by and people who were going to the farmers market across the street stopping by. There were two girls whose parents sold vegetables talking with me about books as they munched on tomatoes. And the kind woman whose husband had a booth at the book festival; she watched the bookstore for a moment while I ran to the market to buy a pumpkin. A guy with a dog said he had been living in the hotel for three months while doing construction and bought the biography of Sir Edmund Hillary. A woman who came by asked her young son if there was any book that he needed. At first he said no but then changed his mind. After buying an old Hardy Boys book, he showed me his watch which was designed for spies and very impressive. Saturday was encouraging. It is what I want the bookstore to be. Friday gave me pause and i mentioned my worries to a friend. He sees the traveling bookstore not as a business but as an art project that I am doing to promote reading. I disagree although defining art is beyond the scope of this post. I don’t think of the bookstore as an art project though. I think of it as a life project. One of those projects that an individual is very fortunate to be able to undertake even when it is filled with challenging moments. Two individuals said to me Saturday that they wish they could have a traveling bookstore. Both times, I answered that they could. Both responded that they couldn’t. I was reminded of my friend Bernice Ende who is a long rider. And Peace Pilgrim. We each undertake the challenges, the paths that we want, that we truly want. And I hope that each of us has the fortitude to stick with it.