Avast and ahoy!
I must say, this holiday took me quite by surprise. When Daisy told me that we were preparing for another celebration at the bookstore so soon after Halloween, I could scarcely believe her. It seemed to me poor planning on the part of the human species to have scheduled all its holidays so close together. To top it all, these holidays seemed rather redundant! I had terrible trouble sorting books for the holiday displays, as both of the major autumn festivals seemed to call for cover illustrations of pumpkins, desserts, and costumed animals. Daisy explained that whereas the focus of Halloween was decorating pumpkins, on Thanksgiving one was more interested in their consumption. That helped me differentiate the two somewhat, but I still felt I was missing an important distinction.
Daisy then told me that Thanksgiving was an occasion for gathering together with friends and family and expressing one’s gratitude for the good things that have happened in the past year. “Ah!” said I. “Now I understand. We had a similar festival in the old Kraken Cove. The krakens would all gather together with their kin and share seaweed-based delicacies while offering a portion of the feast to the kraken divinity Krakonos. It served much the same function. I remember I always looked forward to my grandmother’s plankton pie.”
The more I became involved with preparations for the Thanksgiving festivities, the more I came to appreciate this holiday. I had so very much to be thankful for this year, from being hired as Kraken-in-Residence at Bookmarks to the astounding success of the bookstore in its first four months, to the opportunity to meet so many brilliant authors at this year’s festival. I attempted to write a speech that I could give during Saturday’s event at the bookstore, enumerating every way in which this year had been a remarkable one both for myself and for the Bookmarks community, but no matter how I tried to trim it down it always came to well over an hour. Daisy told me that no one would want to wait that long for food and festivities, so I gave it up.
Reading over the schedule of events for the celebration on the website, you may have noticed that among the talented and acclaimed authors who are offering their present-wrapping and pleasant-chatting services at various points throughout the day, the name of aquatic litterateur extraordinaire Karl the Kraken was nowhere to be found! Fear not, dear readers. That merely indicates that I shall not be wrapping and chatting for a set period of time – rather, I shall be wrapping all throughout the day and into the night! Any time you wish to have your gift (or gifts, as I can manage up to eight at a time) wrapped as only a kraken can wrap it, bring it to my and Daisy’s reading nook in the children’s section. I can also offer my impeccable literary advice to those who do not know what sort of gift book to buy.
Do be sure to stay for Parapalooza at 7 PM, when authors and Bookmarks volunteers will treat attendees to readings of passages from their favorite books. In order to make sure that everyone who wishes to present will have the time to do so, I have humbly declined to give a reading myself. But Daisy and I are always ready to do a staged reading of the shipwreck scene of The Tempest (my favorite passage in Shakespeare) or a chapter from Jules Verne, should anyone request it.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! May you spend the day consuming books and mashed potatoes with equal enthusiasm.
Karl the Kraken