At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Little Professor Book Center was bustling. The door to 65 S. Court St. swung open and a woman shuffled out of the crowd, left hand leaving the glass and right hand clutched tightly around a freshly-purchased book. This visitor was one of dozens who purchased “The Values The Shape Us: Inspirational Stories and Quotes,” Manjulika Koshal’s debut novel.
Manjulika, a retired emerita professor of business at Ohio University, took the stage at her first book signing Thursday. Manjulika and others who contributed to the book stood up and talked about what “The Values That Shape Us” means to them. The celebration also included small samosas and homemade snack mix with Indian spices. Manjulika was able to sign copies and mingle with book buyers– of which there were plenty. Lasting from 4 to 7 p.m., dozens of Athens community members and far-away visitors flocked to the store to celebrate her writing.
Vipin Koshal, Manjulika’s son and head of cardiology at O’Bleness Hospital, said the event went great.
“It was a wonderful turnout,” Vipin said. “Had a lot of people that helped write stories in the book, and they provided their perspective on what values were important to them and what the book meant to them.”
Manjulika worked for two years on the book, which serves as a collection of 52 short chapters, each with a meaningful lesson on values, family and inspiration. Despite any challenges associated with the publication of her novel, all interviewed said the book signing was a great success.
Reagan Zell, a junior studying classics and an employee at Little Professor Book Center, said the bookstore was impressed at the turnout. She said the store hadn’t expected so many people, and the event quickly became standing room only.
“You (we) had a few people talk about very heartfelt things that they said and very good connections that they had with her,” Zell said.
People from all walks of life came out to support Manjulika. One attendee, Connie Davidson, said she attended to support Manjulika after they developed a friendship working out together in the same Well Works class.
“I’m seeing a whole different side of her and it’s wonderful,” Davidson said. “The book sounds so inspirational. And she sounds like an inspirational woman.”
Davidson ended up purchasing four copies, each of which she adorned with a pink Post-It note.
“I’m buying four of her books to send to my friends and my daughters,” Davidson said. “They’re different ages so I think they will get different things, but I hope it makes them think about what their values are.”
Davidson’s purchases were just a few of the many books sold. Manjulika said the owner of the bookstore was happy with the event, as he had initially ordered 50 books in preparation for the signing. Thursday evening alone the store sold 30 copies.
“I haven’t read it myself, but it seems very good just having stories of different walks of life,” Zell said. “She seemed to be very in tune to those around you and very knowledgeable about what she wrote.”