By Josette Keelor
Most Saturdays the Winchester Book Gallery hosts authors for book signings, but it's not every weekend that C-SPAN's Book TV takes an interest.
The television network based in Washington, D.C., plans to film a book reading and audience question-and-answer session with Sierra Leone native Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, who wrote "Neocolonialism in West Africa: A Collection of Essays and Articles."
Bah, a journalist and political activist, will read from the collection of essays and articles he wrote about revolutionary western Africa and the imperial powers that exploit the area, keeping its people in poverty, conflict and political instability.
The book signing had already been scheduled when C-SPAN President and CEO Susan Swain stopped by the store at 185 N. Loudoun St., one Saturday evening about a month ago.
Bookstore co-owner Christine Patrick remembered Swain asking her about store events and telling her she works with Book TV. She asked Patrick if it would be all right if C-SPAN were to film future book events.
Patrick didn't realize who Swain was until the woman left. Patrick read her business card and realized Book TV reports to Swain.
"So I was blown away," Patrick said. "And happy to meet her."
She said Book TV features nonfiction authors in its programming that runs each weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday.
Patrick emailed Swain a copy of the bookstore's summer programming schedule and recommended three upcoming non-fiction book events to Book TV's head of programming.
C-SPAN will film Bah's book event starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and plans to return for a signing by authors Daniel T. Davis and Phillip Greenwalt on Aug. 2. Patrick said a date has not been determined yet for airing the book reading by Bah.
"They really enjoy coming to independent bookstores," she said. "I think it's just a great opportunity for Old Town Winchester."
Bah's autobiographical book also offers a contrast to the books Winchester Book Gallery usually features, which range in theme from nonfiction to fiction for children or adults, but Patrick said she welcomes the change.
"I think it's a start of a new thing," Patrick said. "I think this might put us on the map a little bit."