Reading Local: Portland wistfully tweeted a link this morning to a story about a Seattle bookstore that just got its beer license, sending me into a daydream about how great it would be if Powell's opened a bar in its basement, a spot for readings that doesn't have the Pearl Room's community college lecture hall vibe. I know I'm not the only Portlander who wishes local literary events were a little more fun, but unless Kevin Sampsell is involved, there's just no guarantee that they will be. (Fun and booze are friends.)

But things are looking up: Influential literary site Bookslut is sponsoring their first reading in town tonight, a precursor to a planned readings series—their Chicago series was reportedly quite successful, drawing big-name authors and hordes of attractive young people. (Really. The reports said that.)

I emailed Bookslut Managing Editor/Mercury friend Michael Schaub to ask him about tonight's reading, and the status of the series in general. Here's his answer, formatted in such a way that it looks like I actually spoke with him instead of just putting quotes around the email he sent me.

"Bookslut will be sponsoring a few more readings over the next few months, then starting the reading series in earnest, hopefully, in a month or two—we're nailing down a lineup for the first readings, and it is going to be good, like a fine bourbon," Schaub says. "Or any kind of bourbon."

And why'd they select the controversial young writer Tao Lin for their first event?

"We chose Tao for the first reading not only because he's a Bookslut contributor, but because he's been doing something original and exciting in literature, " Schaub responds. "We've talked about him on the blog for years, and his success has been great not just for Melville House, but for all independent publishers. We're excited to have him in Portland."

See? Just like he's here, talking to us.


Tao Lin
Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 7 pm

Yes to free beer, but you'll have to bring your own attractive young selves.