Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hodgepodge 40/365 - Bookstores

Yesterday I ran across a piece in the New York Times by novelist and bookstore owner Ann Patchett, a "guide for bookstore pilgrims." I joked on FB that "I could see a bookstore tour in my future. Starting with Bookshop Santa Cruz, then on to City Lights in SF, Book Passage in Corte Madera, Powell's in Portland, Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle . . . Ann Patchett's Parnassus Books in Nashville, Changing Hands in Phoenix. And those are only the ones I already know. This article would certainly help me plan a further itinerary. Yeah, I could see a bookstore tour in my future. Or should I say, pilgrimage."

Friends suggested other bookstores: Black Oak Books in Berkeley; the Last Bookstore in L.A.; Montague Bookmill outside of Amherst, Mass.; the Tattered Cover in Phoenix (the first and last of these I know well). I remembered the wonderful Adventure Bookshop in Oamaru, New Zealand (the country's steampunk capital and home of the blue penguin: three reasons to visit that small city right there).

I'm going to compile Ann Patchett's recommendations here so I don't lose sight of them. (Though, yeah, yeah, I could just click on the link above. But I find that restating helps me remember. So.)

Children's Books

Curious George Store, Cambridge, Mass.
Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis
Books of Wonder, New York
Treehouse Books, Ashland, Ore.

Destination Stores

Unlikely Story
TurnRow Book Company, Greenwood, Miss.
Square Books, Oxford, Miss. (Oxford = home of Faulkner)
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles (see intro)
An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe, Plainville, Mass.

Tiny Bookstores

The Corner Bookstore, NYC
192 Books, NYC
Three Lives & Company, NYC
Newtonville Books, outside Boston
Provincetown Bookshop, P-town, Mass. (ha! I ticked that one off in October!)
Birchbark Books, Minneapolis

The Venerables

National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, D.C. (going there in January: definitely on the list—and I don't mean the bookstore per se, but apparently I need to stop there too)
Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C. (okay: on the list—best bookstore cafĂ©, check)
Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge, Mass.
Grolier Poetry  Book Shop, Cambridge, Mass.
Books & Books, Miami, Fla.
Powell's, Portland, Ore. (see above)

Ann Patchett's Personal Favorites

Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee
McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich. (a city that's mentioned in the book I reviewed yesterday, what about that—in the context of starting up a newspaper, yeah)
Malaprop's, Ashevill, N.C.
Book Passage, Corte Madera (see intro)
Explore Booksellers, Aspen, Colo.

Okay. Now to get my map out. And do a little Internet research to fill in the gaps. This could be fun! Anybody want to join me?

P.S. As I was composing this post, a friend sent me a link to another NYT article, "Hotels for Book Lovers." It must be in the stars.


  1. Replies
    1. I'd love it! A West Coast tour. We could stop at the Sylvia Beach hotel in Oregon. Sherilyn too, of course. Let's!!!!