Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Book People Are the Best People

Authors around the country rally to support a bookseller with cancer

Last spring, Stephanie Appell, manager of the young-readers department at Parnassus Books, was at work when she got a call from her doctor: the 29-year-old had just been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Though she was facing a grueling schedule of chemo, radiation, and surgery, Appell’s first thought was for the bookstore: “How are we going to get done all that needs doing if I’m out sick?” She needn’t have worried: as a post at the Parnassus literary magazine notes, book people are the best people. 

Not only have Appell’s colleagues covered for her whenever she must miss work, they’ve also planned a unique fundraiser to help with her medical bills: more than a hundred authors around the country have each decorated–and signed–a ceramic piggy bank to auction at the Bank on Booksellers fundraiser. 

Participants include literary stars like Kate DiCamillo, John Green, Jeff Kinney, Barbara Kingsolver, and Maria Semple, and even some celebrities–Connie Britton, Yo-Yo Ma, and Keith Urban,  among others–got into the spirit. The piggy banks will be auctioned online September 25-September 30, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, so other booksellers in need will have a safety net, too. Book people are the best people indeed. 

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