I look at some of the old newsletters from Folktales and think: How did we have the energy to do all of this?Whether due to the activity, sales or reputation, other retailers noticed Folktales’ success. By the late 90s, the market for African American books was growing. Larger booksellers and big box stores started carrying these culturally specific titles in greater volume. They could demand better prices from publishers and offer books to consumers at a lower cost. “People started asking: Why should I buy the book from you, when I can go to Walmart and get it for 25 percent less,” Rosalind recalls. Although she understands that everyone wants to save money, Rosalind laments that many people didn’t understand that patronage, sometimes at a higher prices, is what’s needed to support small independent booksellers. Folktales, like other independent bookstores, couldn’t compete. Rosalind closed the store, went to graduate school, and became a teacher, but books were always an expression of who she was. She remembers cleaning out the book room at the high school where she taught and starting a book club for kids. From selling, to celebrating When Rosalind was out in the community, people told her they missed the opportunities to engage with other readers, and to connect with writers and authors as they had at her bookstore. She missed it, too. She needed to figure out how to re-frame the work she’d done with Folktales and turn it into “something that would be important, but that would not require overhead and all the mechanics and technicalities of having a full-fledged bookstore.” Inspired by the success of the Harlem Book Fair, Rosalind decided a book festival would be a great way to keep the literary momentum going within the community. She sought the help of bookseller Evelyn Martin-Anderson to create a showcase for African American literature. Martin-Anderson was already producing literary events. The two collaborated to create the African American Book Festival. Martin-Anderson has moved on to other projects, but Rosalind went on to enroll donors and many volunteers in her vision. Together, they produced a series of festivals that showcased Pulitzer Prize winners, best-selling authors, and award-winning historians. This year will mark the 10th annual Austin African American Book Festival. It will take place on Jun. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.