Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Literary lessons in Marysville

July 30, 2007

When is a bookstore more than just a bookstore? When it pulls in the past and hooks the community on writing.

Amicus Books, at 413 D St. in downtown Marysville, has a give-and-take relationship with Yuba and Sutter counties. Kara and James Davis have owned Amicus Books for more than three years. They started in Yuba City, then moved to their current location a year and a half ago. The store sells mostly used books and some new books.

The books they sell and donations from the community help fund the literary arts center that gives back to local authors and the rest of the community.

The Literary Lounge is a program Amicus Books hosts to give authors a way to get their works published. In exchange for shelf space, literary materials and events to promote their books, authors who seek out the program promote each other’s works. The profits from the books go directly to the authors, Kara Davis said.

“It’s a great way to introduce people to the publishing process,” she said.

Part of the promotion process through Amicus is a section of dedicated to local authors. On that Web page, authors are given a chance to share a little bit about their lives in short biographies A table at the front of the store is dedicated to local authors. Some are just starting out on their writing careers, and the beginning can be daunting to some.

“We want to be very supportive and encourage people to follow their desire,” Davis said, “to give the community something that raises the bar.”

But writing isn’t all about trying to make a quick buck off a few thousand words on paper; it’s also about history. Only a small section in the back of the second floor of Amicus Books has fiction. The rest is dedicated to some form of helping people improve themselves through learning about the world around them.

The literary center hosts a plethora of events to reach out and bring in the community. Wordshops are events geared toward pushing people into the world of words. The Art of Transforming a Life into Stories program revolves around preserving family histories by showing people how easy it can be to move their family history from oral history to written history. Origami Zone gives kids an environment to find their groove in writing.

Every month, Amicus Books helps organize the Downtown Marysville Chautauqua, an event that shows off the arts and history of the city.

For the event itself, authors and artists are brought in for lectures about their works and book signings. Saturdays bring history lessons from historian Henry Delamere about the times when Marysville was the third largest town in California.

The goal of Amicus Books is to expose people to the hidden wonders and history of the area to give the community something to be proud of, Davis said.

“People come in and are surprised to see something this beautiful,” she said, “and we show them tons of other beautiful things about the area they wouldn’t have known about.”

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