by Morgan on February 13, 2012
After three months in New York, I’m home. People are asking me how I liked NY, and I keep responding, “it’s not LA.”
I don’t mean to sound catty in the least, and in fact, I hadn’t anticipated feeling this way at all. I’ve always loved New York, and secretly, I thought there was a chance that it would kidnap me forever this time. But I’ve found my home in LA, and once you find your home, well, nothing compares.
It was fun to be in the heart of what I love (books) and I enjoyed meeting all the literary people who were kind enough to take me for a drink, or invite me to an event. There’s a really inspiring community in Brooklyn (including the insanely cool and very good new magazine The Coffin Factory) and it was great to get a taste of that. And of course, working at Crawford Doyle Booksellers was an invaluable experience; they really are doing for their community what I hope my future bookstore will be able to do for mine.
But what the trip really gave me is a newfound belief in my ability to do exactly what I want to do in the place that I most want to live. Before I went to New York, I often said that I believed that this was possible, but I don’t think I truly felt that way, at least not 100%. I think I always suspected (feared) that eventually, the devil on my shoulder would convince me that if I was serious about books, I should be in New York. It’s old-fashioned, I know, but I felt that way.
I don’t anymore. I’m not sure exactly how that realization finally impacted for me, but I know that it wouldn’t have, had I not taken this trip. I now wholly believe that I can live a fully literary life here in the city that I love, and that I don’t have to sacrifice anything in order to do that.
The literary community here might not be as big as New York’s, but it’s our own, and it’s pretty great. There may not be many bookstores that I love here, but we do value our independent bookstores, and I believe there’ll be plenty of support for me when I open my own. I don’t think the book coverage in the LA Times is as good as it is in the NY Times, but we do have book coverage, and we have some great critics. We also have Bookworm, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. We have Slake, who may be struggling to support themselves, but are fighting with everything they’ve got to give this city the literary magazine it deserves. And we have some great writers here.
I’ll go to New York for BEA, for the New Yorker Festival, for other fun things. I’ll always go to New York. But now I know: I’ll always come back. I’m profoundly happy (and relieved) to say that I intend to stay here. And I intend to read.