Arts: Trail of lit

Litquake to shake up San Rafael

by Molly Oleson

“This is Banned Books Week,” a sign on the front door of San Rafael’s Rebound Bookstore reads. “All the books in our window are banned or challenged somewhere in the USA.”

The 10-year-old sanctuary of books, located on Fourth Street, is full of cozy reading nooks, warm light and quirky touches—like the chirping Australian Zebra Finches (named Gilbert and Sullivan) and the bookshelf note that reads, “You will soon be receiving sound spoken advice. Listen!”

The sound advice for today? Fans of the written word will want to flock to Litquake San Rafael—sister event of San Francisco’s popular Litquake—on Sunday, October 11.

“The buzz is getting to indicate that it’s going to be very successful,” says Joel Eis, co-owner of Rebound with his wife Toni, of the second-annual, all-day festival that attracts well-known writers to a corridor of cafes, restaurants and shops.

There will be everything from a “Launch Your Adventure: Travel Writers” reading at Rebound, to a “The Morning After: Stories of Dish and Revenge” event at Willow Salon, to “Erotic Relationships: What Makes the Heart Grow?” at Pleasures of the Heart.

Litquake San Rafael began, Eis says, following a poetry reading series on houseboats in Sausalito—a joint event with San Francisco’s Litquake. “I mean, how Marin can you get,” he says with a laugh.

Happy with how the reading went, organizers of the city’s Litquake called on Rebound for more. “Which to us indicated that we had arrived,” Eis says. “So we said, ‘Heck yeah.’ And we did it.”

Support came from the Marin Poetry Center and the Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement District, among other partners.

Eis says that he’s most excited about the fact that Litquake San Rafael now has its own reputation. “The first year you do something, you figure it’s lucky, the second year you’re good and the third year you’re an institution,” he says proudly. “It’s sort of taken off on its own. It’s like watching your kid walk for the first time.”

Litquake San Rafael; Fourth Street locations; Sunday, Oct. 11; 10am-7:30pm; litquake.org/event-series/litquake-san-rafael.

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