sat 18/05/2024

Hello, Bookstore review - a documentary with shelf life | reviews, news & interviews

Hello, Bookstore review - a documentary with shelf life

Hello, Bookstore review - a documentary with shelf life

How to turn a book shop into an oasis of wellbeing

Matthew Tannenbaum outside his beloved bookstore

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Matthew Tannenbaum, the man at the centre of this delightful film. Reading books and chatting to people about books are two of his favourite occupations, so running a bookstore is his idea of paradise. His pleasure is so infectious that the independent bookstore he’s run in Lenox, Massachusetts for over 40 years has become a hub of bonhomie.

“My favourite thing to do,” says his daughter, “is to sit in one of the pink armchairs and watch his interactions with people. Everything is informed by kindness, patience, and generosity. He’s got time for everyone.”

Tannenbaum loves telling stories and is a great raconteur. “It was a busy Saturday afternoon in late August,” he recalls, “when this man comes up to me and says, ‘I see what you do. You sit in that chair all day long surrounded by the things you love most in the world and you talk to people about the things you love most in the world. And the only time you get interrupted is when someone wants to give you some money!’… That’s my life!”still from Hello Bookstore directed by A.B ZaxWhen AB Zax started filming the store in 2019, his only plan was to capture the essence of the place and the man who runs it, but Covid 19 intervened. The store closed and shoppers could only buy books over the phone or by yelling through the front door. And despite Tannenbaum’s best efforts, sales dropped so sharply that he came close to bankruptcy.

The unexpected crisis and the community’s amazing response transforms Hello, Bookstore from a heartwarming portrait of a local gem into something much more – confirmation of the vital role played by a place where people are made to feel genuinely welcome.

Everything is informed by kindness, patience and generosity. He’s got time for everyone


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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