Oct 182013


My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to
Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice

In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes. In “My Bookstore” our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it’s the author’s local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works.”My Bookstore “collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 84 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It’s a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.

As a book lover, one of my favorite things is to roam around in a bookstore. It doesn’t matter if I don’t find a book to buy (like that would ever happen), I could spend hours just looking. So when I saw this book at my library, I had to read it and see what bookstores were in the book.

Some of the authors I’ve heard of, but to be honest, most I haven’t. Still, I loved finding out where the favorite bookstore of these authors were. I think it would be such fun to visit as many of these book stores as possible.

I read some reviewers say they didn’t understand how some bookstores in certain cities could not have made the list. But this is a list of the favorite bookstores of each author, not the best bookstores in the country. So yes, some states have multiple bookstores listed while some have none.

There are a few bookstores near where I live that I want to visit soon. If you’re a book lover, I think you’d enjoy this book. If you’re a book lover and a traveler, this book would be perfect to take with you and check these bookstores out. It would also make a great gift.

Contributing authors and bookstores include: 
Fannie Flagg–Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
Rick Bragg–Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, AL
John Grisham–That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
Ron Carlson–Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Ann Packer–Capitola Book Cafe, Capitola, CA
Isabel Allende–Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Mahbod Seraji–Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA
Lisa See–Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
Meg Waite Clayton–Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown–The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Dave Eggers–Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Pico Iyer–Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
Laurie R. King–Bookshop, Santa Cruz, CA
Scott Lasser–Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
Stephen White–Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Kate Niles–Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO
Ann Haywood Leal–Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Florence & Wendell Minor–The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
Rick Atkinson–Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Les Standiford–Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Robert Macomber–The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL
David Fulmer–Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
Abraham Verghese–Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
Charlie Brandt–Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID
Luis Alberto Urrea–Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL
Mike Leonard–The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
Albert Goldbarth–Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
Wendell Berry–Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
Tom Piazza–Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Edith Pearlman–Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
Mameve Medwed–Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.–Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Simon Winchester–The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
Nancy Thayer–Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
Elin Hilderbrand–Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
Jeanne Birdsall–Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
Martha Ackmann–Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Ward Just–Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
Ron Currie, Jr.–Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
ancy Shaw–Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Katrina Kittle–Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
Ann Patchett–Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
Louise Erdrich–Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
Peter Geye–Micawber’s Books, St. Paul, MN
Kathleen Finneran–Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
Barry Moser–Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
Jack Pendarvis–Square Books, Oxford, MS
Jill McCorkle–Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Carrie Ryan–Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
Laurent Dubois–The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
Lee Smith–Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
Angela Davis-Gardner–Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
Ron Rash–City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
Ian Frazier–Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
Audrey Vernick–Booktowne, Manasquan, NJ
Joan Wickersham–The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
Carmela Ciuraru–Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Matt Weiland–Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Kate Christensen–WORD, Brooklyn, NY
Mick Cochrane–Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
Caroline Leavitt–McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
Arthur Nersesian–St. Mark’s Bookshop, New York, NY
Francine Prose & Pete Hamill–Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
Jeff Smith–Book Loft German Village, Columbus, OH
Chuck Palahniuk–Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
Larry Kane–Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
Ann Hood–Island Books, Middletown, RI
Mindy Friddle–Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Adam Ross–Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Douglas Brinkley–Book People, Austin, TX
Terry Tempest Williams–The King’s English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT
Howard Frank Mosher–Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
Jon Clinch–Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
Jonathan Evison–Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
Tom Robbins–Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Timothy Egan–Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
Stephanie Kallos–Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Ivan Doig–University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Lesley Kagen–Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Liam Callanan–Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

 Posted by at 1:38 AM

  11 Responses to “Book Review: My Bookstore by Ronald Rice”

  1. Hi Vicki,

    I am not sure that I am really qualified to pass comment about this book, as it is so obviously US centric and I hail from the UK.

    I can however, totally agree with you about roaming around bookshops, wherever I go. They are generally the place my in-built radar homes in on and the one which has hubbie groaning out loud, although he is just as bad as me on the quiet!

    I have to admit that these days, I am becoming quite adept at by-passing some bookshops … Firstly because of all the phyical books which I already have sat on my shelves, apart from all the computer and Kindle downloads waiting for my attention. Also, once I start to browse, I can always find so many ‘must have’ books, that I would end up by spending a small fortune.

    Still, I don’t drink, don’t smoke and we all have a little vice of one kind or another … mine is just the harmless book …. Convinced yet?

    Have a great weekend and I am glad that you enjoyed your short hop around some of the bookshops of the US. I see that there is even one on the list in Florida, which you could check out in person!


  2. What a great post…love it.


    I love old bookstores. I remember when I visited Edinburgh, I loved stopping in bookstores there….so quaint. And of course you have to stop in Waterstones. 🙂

    THANKS for stopping by my blog earlier and commenting on my book beginnings post.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  3. Sounds like an interesting book! Our town is blessed with three bookstores, one of them for secondhand books. Although it costs me slightly more if the books are new, I buy almost exclusively from bookstores instead of ordering online. I also frequent book sales, again looking for print books, which are also fun to visit.

    I also like reading about owners of bookstores. The Little Bookstore at Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch is one by dad and I both enjoyed. Here’s a description of it:

  4. I used to love going through bookstores. It was my favorite pastime until I “discovered” e-readers. I can’t remember the last time I went to a brick and mortar store. The sad thing is, there’s only one left here. The others have all closed down.

  5. This sounds like a great book – must check it out. I hate to admit it, but I have not been in a bookstore in about 3-4 months. (Withdrawal symptoms – not so much as I expected; I just have way too many unread books)

  6. Texas is so huge and yet only one bookstore made the list. sad. I’ve watched store after store close in Dallas and it’s really disheartening!! Regardless, this sounds like a fun books and a great travel companion!

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