Manhattan mom Zibby Owens goes from podcasting to publishing her first book 'Bookends'

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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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I first met Zibby Owens back in 2019 and learned how her podcast was paying off for readers, writers, and publishers.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- I first met Zibby Owens back in 2019 and learned how her podcast was paying off for readers, writers, and publishers. Now, she is capitalizing on the success of "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books" by publishing her own book.

The mom of four from Manhattan has a memoir in stores on July 1, called Bookends.

Her podcast has made Owens one of the most influential people in publishing, much to her delight.

"I love recommending books to people," she said. "I love reading it and then giving the right book to the right person or putting two authors together."

We spoke in her very spacious apartment on the Upper East Side, where some of the most famous authors in the world have come to promote their books.

Owens has staged an awards show to honor the best books, and even started her own publishing company, Zibby Books.

Bookends is the most personal of her many projects, and she calls writing it, "a very therapeutic journey."

"It put everything into context for me, and it helped me make sense of various periods of time in my life and why I felt that way then," she said.

Owens was born into a life of privilege, but as a shy child, she had trouble expressing herself. Writing was her "salvation," and so was reading.

"When you find the right book at the right time, it's such a healer," she said.

This proved especially as she experienced bouts of depression.

Her memoir chronicles a series of tragedies that began when her best friend and roommate Stacey Sanders was killed on 9/11 after the first plane struck the North Tower where she worked.

"I don't think I ever got over it," Owens said. "I think it completely changed who I was. I had not even considered mortality before Stacey died."

Owens began writing after that, but living a full life and meeting life's challenges meant Bookends wasn't ready until now.

It's about loss and literature, but also about love.

"It was like a whole fairy tale," she said as we look at photos of her wedding five years ago to film producer Kyle Owens.

The author admits she had so many jobs in the past quarter-century that, "At times my career didn't seem to make any sense."

Now, she has drawn upon all her many and varied experiences.

"All the moments which didn't make sense before, all make sense to me now," she said. "They're all helpful."

Reading "Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature" proved very helpful to me, for the insight it gave me into her life and my own challenges.

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