Reader Profile: Danielle Fuechtmann

For every day of our Indiegogo campaign, we’ll be sharing profiles from readers and supporters of Glass Bookshop both local to the city and from across Canada. Visit our campaign page now to claim cool perks and support us in building a beautiful brick-and-mortar space in downtown Edmonton. And read on to discover why today’s featured reader is excited to one day visit Glass Bookshop!

Danielle Fuechtmann is a freelance writer, graphic designer, and textile artist based in Edmonton. She weaves and embroiders beautiful pillows and tapestries through Curious Fox Fibres, and works to connect and promote authors as the Communications and Operations Coordinator at the Alberta branch of the Canadian Authors Association. She’s always been drawn to beautiful, interesting, and well-designed things. While she was studying design, she stumbled across an interview talking about the importance of maintaining a studio practice and creating physical objects as a designer; this resonated deeply and was a big influence during her studies. Danielle is passionate about exploring the role of craft in society, especially the cultural history of textile arts and its intersection with women’s history and culture. Read on to learn her favourite books and why she enjoys eavesdropping in bookstores.

How did books and the act of reading come to be meaningful to you?
I was a really introverted child and would regularly turn down the play dates my mom arranged for me in favour of doing my homework and then curling up with a book. I have always loved reading and considering new ideas/stories. Getting my first library card was an exciting moment of freedom because I was no longer limited to the books at my elementary school.

What is your relationship now to books and reading?
I still love books, although I don’t read as much as when I was younger – largely due to time, slightly better sleep habits, and several years of burnout after university. My favourite place is still the Rutherford Library – you can probably find me there looking at art history and design books.

Is there a book that has had significant impact on you?
World Made By Hand, James Howard Kunstler: I read this for a university course on post-apocalyptic fiction and its portrayal of a relatively peaceful but technology-free future always stuck with me – particularly the question of what valuable skills I would have to offer if I had to barter and trade for survival. It’s fuelled many jokes about my weaving hobby being my survival plan – everyone needs clothing and blankets, right?

Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender, Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner: I read this collection of essays during my first couple of months in university after finding it while wandering through the library. It was an early and valuable reflection on public toilets, their history, and the privilege and inequality inherent in these spaces.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck: Still one of my favourite works of fiction, Steinbeck’s character Cathy Ames is still one of the most intriguing and memorable antagonists I’ve come across.

How does literature influence your sense of community?
Most of my friends are either writers or avid readers so books and written media is a big way that we share ideas, whether it’s writing them down ourselves or recommending books to each other. I think there’s a cool intimacy in recommending books to someone you know – kind of an “I see you, and I think you would appreciate this thing too.” And what’s more fun than a really spicy debate over a book?

How do you find new books or writers?
Either through friends’ recommendations or trusted sources online/in publications I read regularly.

Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had in a bookstore? What makes it stand out for you?
I really love spending time in local or used bookshops with friends and exploring, spotting new things, and talking about things we’ve enjoyed recently. Also, a perk of small bookstores is hearing the little snippets of conversations around you – people say some really remarkable, and often really funny, things while looking at books!

What do you think Glass Bookshop could offer Edmonton’s community of readers and writers?
I’m really excited for a focus on queer writers, Indigenous writers, writers of colour, and independent publishing. One of the best things about books and reading is the way that it makes it possible to engage with new voices and ideas, especially ones that are often marginalized or have less representation in many communities, so I love that Glass Bookshop is bringing more of those writers forward. Also, I’m excited for a bookstore that’s focused on books and community, not fashion accessories and home decor. ;)

Want to help make this reader’s dream for Glass Bookshop a reality? Support Glass Bookshop’s Indiegogo campaign by buying some cool perks today here:

Danielle Fuechtmann
Matthew Stepanic