A friend consoled me. “Bad luck really, hoping people will buy your book when the economy has crashed. I mean it’s not just the purchase. Who’s gonna have any time or emotional strength to get into a novel?”
Actually, I wasn’t feeling so bad and this somehow encouraged him to try and bury me (yes, I did say he is a friend). “With disposable income rapidly shrinking, consumers may well hold back from buying new books. Why not cut corners and go to the used bookstore? I bet there is an upsurge in the amount of people utilizing their library?”
I would love to take issue with him, but I am meeting a lot of people who are scared. As the winter draws near and it gets darker earlier, people are scurrying for their safe space. Economic fears make people feel vulnerable and without hope for the future.
The Accidental Activist is about feeling vulnerable and disempowered. Two individuals face a huge machine that is greedy and without care. It’s about multinationals, not Wall Street, but from the same neighborhood. Perhaps the actions of my lead characters might help inspire others to reach above a feeling of helplessness. If The Accidental Activist says anything, it is that an individual can survive and make a difference, even against a rich and powerful system.
So maybe this is a better time than ever to curl up with a good book. And maybe a book that highlights empowerment will help someone through this economic winter. It seems to work for this guy (or gal).
If you know someone who is unemployed, feeling deflated, and would get something out of The Accidental Activist, please let me know. Between now and the end of the year I will send five books anonymously to people who need it. If you want to chip in and share the expense of the book and postage, that’s great. But I will not ask or require it of you.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com