About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Historic Neighborhood Icon

Sandmeyer's Bookstore
714 S Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60605

I loved my job as a high school librarian; don't get me wrong. But when my husband traveled for business, I was rarely free to tag along. Now that I'm retired, I am more able to accompany him, a perk of retirement that I have enjoyed on a few delightful occasions. (See Hong Kong, Washington, and San Francisco.) Recently a business conference presented me with the possibility of three days in Chicago, a prospect I could not turn down.

Since the conference was on a Monday, we decided to head out on Saturday and spend the prior weekend in the Windy City. Saturday evening was filled with a leisurely stroll along the Riverwalk followed by a delicious meal and terrific music at the House of Blues. (I highly recommend the Voodoo Shrimp and Loretta's meatloaf.) And Sunday? Well, that turned out to be a perfect bookstore day, and this time my husband decided to tag along with me. First stop: Sandmeyer's Bookstore in Printers Row.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Great Idea!

To wrap up my posts about San Francisco, I must include a brief note about this little gem. When I think about the main places that I see people reading books, there are two that immediately spring to mind: the beach and the airport. A tip of the hat to the folks at KDL, Kent District Library, who apparently think the same way. At our local airport on the way to our gate as we headed to San Francisco, my husband and I spotted this free book exchange right on the concourse. Brilliant!! Hmmmmm, I wonder if they have one on a beach somewhere.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Big Apple in San Francisco

506 Clement St. @ 6th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118

“Content: pleased and satisfied, not needing more.” Webster's definition aptly describes my state of mind after two and a half lovely days and three great bookstores in the remarkable city of San Francisco. (See City Lights, Russian Hill, and Alexander.) I had taken full advantage of some delightful weather to venture forth within a reasonable radius of our hotel. With decidedly gloomier conditions forecast for the remainder of our time in the City, I was indeed content with the bookstore experiences I had enjoyed. But in the back of my mind was a recommendation I had received from Bonnie Stuppin during my visit to Alexander Book Company. “You must go to Green Apple,” she said. Perhaps on my next trip to San Francisco, I thought. But as luck would have it, I awoke the next morning to a sky with just enough blue to give me hope that I might be able to sneak in one more bookstore, and off I went. After all, when a bookstore owner recommends another store, I take that very seriously.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

On Shaky Ground

Alexander Book Company
50 Second Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

One more day. According to the local forecast in San Francisco, I had only one more day of agreeable weather before mother nature would swap cool rain for the sunny skies and pleasant temperatures I had enjoyed so far. One more day—one more bookstore. This time, however, I was determined not to encounter any more severe hill climbs (see previous post), opting instead to exercise my newly acquired Uber skills. So I fired up my app, and a few short minutes later (Uber drivers are plentiful in San Francisco.) I was on my way downtown to Alexander Book Company.

Monday, March 20, 2017

An Easy Walk

Russian Hill Bookstore
2234 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

There's nothing quite like visiting a bookstore that has been on my bucket list for several years. (See previous post.) Likewise, there's nothing quite like discovering a charming bookstore completely new to me. After my tour of San Francisco's City Lights, I still had plenty of sunny afternoon left for exploration and, according to Google, plenty of possibilities. I settled on one that judging by the map looked to be an easy walk, and off I went to Russian Hill Bookstore. I was enjoying a pleasant stroll through a section of Chinatown . . . and then . . . suddenly before me loomed the all-too-obvious inspiration for the name, Russian Hill. To call this a steep slope would be rather like calling War and Peace just a book. San Francisco natives, I'm sure, would chuckle, but bear in mind that I am from Michigan. We have beautiful sand dunes and maybe some ski hills with such a severe pitch, but not sidewalks. With no end in sight!! Nevertheless, I pressed on in the firm belief that the cross street I needed was just a couple of blocks away. Five blocks later, I encountered an even steeper portion of this “hill,” so steep in fact that the sidewalk became a stair case. That's right. A sidewalk of steps! Ready to meet the challenge, I continued on, thinking that this bookstore had better be worth such bodily aggravation.