These Authors Are Helping A Bookseller With Cancer

by Emma Oulton

The book community can be an amazing place when one of its members is in need. Bookseller Stephanie Appell was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year — and over 100 authors and illustrators have contributed to a fundraiser to cover her medical expenses. When Stephanie got the phone call from her doctor, one of her first worries was how she could continue to support Parnassus Books, the independent bookstore in Nashville where she works. That's how much bookselling means to her — and so it is wonderfully fitting that now the book community has teamed up to support her.

When her colleagues heard the news, they started formulating a plan to help Stephanie pay her medical bills. They knew a few authors would be coming into town for book signings, so they decided to ask them each to decorate a piggy bank, which they could then sell at an auction. What happened next was totally unexpected: these authors each told their friends, who told their friends, until Parnassus Books had collected over 100 piggy banks decorated by authors and illustrators. The contributors range from beloved YA authors like Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell and John Green to big-name celebrity authors such as Lauren Graham, Grace Helbig and Connie Britton. Each contributor has personalized a piggy bank, which will be auctioned online starting Sunday night. Check out some of the gorgeous designs you could bid for.

Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, decorated his piggy bank with a characteristically silly quote: "Keeping money inside a pig is like keeping a pig inside a bank. Depositing it is likely to cause awkwardness; withdrawing it is likely to cause breakage."

John Green's simple signature must be worth a fortune.

Lauren Graham decorated her pig as colorfully as Lorelai herself would have done.

Sabaa Tahir's pig is as beautiful as you would expect from the author of An Ember in the Ashes .

Sarah Dessen smothered hers in adorable stickers.

And Veronica Roth's is so artfully done that I bet it would fetch a good price even without her name attached!

This display of kindness and generosity is exactly why the book community is so special — and a large part of that is thanks to devoted booksellers like Stephanie Appell. To help other booksellers like her in the future, Parnassus will donate a portion of the funds raised to the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to assisting booksellers in need.

Images: Courtesy of Parnassus Books