Author readings are marketing tools, pure and simple. But Brookline Booksmith’s events director, Jim Behrle, makes sure they feel more like a chance to connect with the famous authors who top the bestseller lists—particularly those who write fiction. Just this summer, readers have included Elizabeth Berg, Irvine Welsh, and Alice Hoffman. Most readings are in the store’s basement room, but bigger names take the stage across the street at the Coolidge Corner Movie Theatre. Coffee is often served, and sometimes there’s a bite to eat. But the authors’ stories and the answers to the questions they field from the knowledgeable audience are food for thought.