Drabyak Fellowship Winner Named

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Emily Adams, buyer and book club coordinator at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington, has been named the winner of the second annual Joe Drabyak Frontline Fellowship, sponsored by Workman Publishing. The fellowship to ABA’s 2012 Winter Institute honors the late Joe Drabyak, master bookseller at Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and former president of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association.

“My experience working with Emily is that she will always take a fresh, out-of-the-box approach to handselling books,” said Craig Popelars, director of marketing for Algonquin Books. “If it’s an Algonquin debut, an Artisan cookbook, or a Workman children’s title that she is handselling, Emily promotes it with unrestrained zeal and creativity. She’s a black belt bookseller of the highest order and we’re incredibly grateful for everything she does to champion our books.”

Adams was honored to be selected for the fellowship. “After a decade of bookselling, I still look forward to talking up my new favorite titles with customers and coworkers every day,” she said.  “The endless variety of books and people keeps me engaged in a way that no other environment could, and I’m thankful to work in an industry in which individual personalities make a difference.  I learn something new every day.”

Adams is looking forward to learning more about World Book Night at Wi7.  “I often hear people say that they don’t read as much as they used to, or that they stopped reading when it was no longer required for school.  Perhaps the serendipity of being given a book by a stranger will remind folks that reading can be joyful and fun.”

She is also eager to see the changes in New Orleans since her last visit in the spring of 2007, when the city still showed significant damage from Hurricane Katrina. “I’m curious about the climate for small businesses there and how the recession has affected them. Most of all, though, I look forward to coming home with fresh ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for books and bookselling.”

Random House Rep David Glenn, who nominated Adams for the fellowship, said that she “brings bookselling alive by providing shoppers with an experience they wouldn’t otherwise have nearly anywhere else.” He noted that Adams sometimes mixes her baking and bookselling skills. “Emily understands that it is often just not enough to tell a customer how great a book is; sometimes you have to show them. Preferably with a fork and something that has maybe just a little bit of frosting on it.”

The fellowship provides airfare, lodging, and the meal fee for the Winter Institute, sponsored by the Ingram Content Group, on January 18 - 20, at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans.