Bibliophiles know there's no real substitute for experiencing an author reading his or her own work. Passages that are well-loved and familiar are recast when delivered in the voice of the person who wrought them. Accents and pauses change, the timing of the sentences alters slightly from your own reading, and the words are imbued with a special life that only the creator can grant. For those who truly appreciate this unique form of performance art, Left Bank Books offers a year-round reading series that covers the gamut of the written word. Poets, novelists, historians and popular figures make the trip to Left Bank (or to the nearby Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library if more space is needed) to bring their voice to the people. In the past year, Jonathan Rauch, Amy Goodman, Jim Bouton and David Sedaris have read under Left Bank's aegis -- not bad for an indie book store. Not bad at all.