Written by Matthew O’Brien
Over the last five years, downtown Las Vegas has had its share of successes and failures, which have been well documented in blogs, magazine articles and even books. There’s no need for me to regurgitate them here. I would, however, like to note one of the successes—an anachronism of sorts that I think has been overlooked in the media coverage.
The Writer’s Block debuted in late 2014 (when many brick-and-mortar bookstores were going out of business) at Fremont and Tenth streets (an area that was considered off the beaten path). While I don’t know if hands-on owners Drew Cohen and Scott Seeley have benefitted financially from the business—it certainly seems stable—I do know the community has benefitted from it. It’s an ideal place to grab that novel you’ve wanted to read (that’s never on the shelf at Barnes & Noble) or get a gift for a friend, but what I appreciate most about the store is its willingness to promote local writers. This is evident in its events the next few weeks. On March 9, Black Mountain Institute executive director Joshua Wolf Shenk will read from his book-in-progress, tentatively titled The Question Man, which explores themes of addiction, sobriety and identity. “EXPO,” its monthly reading featuring local writers, is scheduled for March 10. (This month’s readers are Dayvid Figler, Kayla Miller, P Moss and Mercedes M. Yardley.) On March 14, Megan Edwards will read from and sign her debut novel Getting off on Frank Sinatra.
Don’t let the Writer’s Block stumble and be yet another downtown business you wish you had supported when it was open. Attend at least one of these events and buy something. (The store specializes in contemporary fiction, art and design, current affairs and children’s literature, but also sells stationery and notebooks, craft and office supplies and other unique items.)
For more information on the Writer’s Block and its events, visit www.thewritersblock.org.