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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Books and More

Griffon Bookstore
121 W. Colfax Ave.
South Bend, IN 46601

What could be better than a pleasant drive on a sunny summer afternoon when the destination is a bookstore? When the destination is two bookstores? Even better! In a recent post I wrote about my visit to South Bend, Indiana, where I discovered Idle Hours Bookshop. (See Luck of the Irish.) As luck, Irish or otherwise, would have it, I was able to drop in briefly on another area bookseller that same afternoon. Griffon Bookstore is not your run-of-the-mill book shop, however. Like its well-known mythological namesake, this shop is a unique amalgam--part bookstore, part game store.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Luck of the Irish

Idle Hours Bookshop
212 South Michigan Street
South Bend, IN 46601

I've mentioned my fascination with Scotland in previous posts. A visit there is tops on my bucket list. Of course when I eventually get there, I will also want to visit nearby Ireland. (If you give a mouse a cookie . . . right?) My son Culver and daughter-in-law Alysandra have a love of the Emerald Isle that was recently cemented when they spent part of their honeymoon enjoying Irish scenery, Irish food, Irish beer, and Irish landmarks. The closest I have come at this point to an actual trip to Ireland is a recent visit to a different brand of Irish town, South Bend, Indiana. That's right, South Bend, home of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The luck of the Irish was with me on a sunny August day when I discovered that South Bend is also home to a small used bookstore, Idle Hours Bookshop.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back Where It All Began

The Book Mark
201 S. Rath Avenue
Ludington, MI 49431

Hard to believe that it's already been five years since I started this blog, and what a delightful five years it has been. It all began on the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline in the town of Ludington. The Book Mark was the first stop on my blogging journey, and as I contemplated this anniversary, I felt it only fitting that I revisit the store that kicked it all off.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Favorite Library

I have many things for which I am exceedingly grateful, and I count my wonderful, inventive husband chief among my blessings. He put his many creative talents to work to create a unique Little Free Library to present to me for my birthday. My new favorite library is actually a Little Free Beach Library as it lives on the beach at our summer cottage near Baldwin, Michigan.

Currently it rests on top of a picnic table, but will soon be installed on a post. Also in the works is an official designation. I am in the process of registering it with LittleFreeLibrary.org after which my LFL will have an official charter number and a charter sign that will be added to the front of the diminutive building.

The library has so far received a fair amount of business from a variety of readers. Happily, there are young readers as well as mature readers with various reading interests. I have already enjoyed a few conversations on the beach about books and reading.

My husband created this LFL mainly from found materials. He adheres to the old saying, "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without." So when he found an old radio cabinet free for the taking alongside the road, the project was underway.

He added plexiglass to a picture frame to create a door, built a roof and shelves with scraps of wood, and topped it off with leftover shingles. The sides are papered with book jackets from favorite titles (including two books written by my father-in-law), book marks from some favorite places (including one from the high school library where I worked), some of our favorite book pages (including some treasured pages from Deep Wood Press--see earlier blog post), and a few items with special meaning for us thrown in for good measure.

Many thanks to my awesome husband Jim for giving me yet another reason to love being up at the lake. I am truly blessed!

Note: You may have seen some Little Free Libraries in your neck of the woods. They are springing up everywhere. But if you aren't familiar with the Little Free Library project, I encourage you to visit the official web site: https://littlefreelibrary.org.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cup of Tea and a Book

A cup of tea and a book? How about a teacup made from a book? I know. I know. Some book lovers are horrified by the thought of pages being torn from their books. But if the purpose is to recreate something beautiful from those old pages, then the book lives on in a new form, kind of a literary reincarnation, if you will. That is precisely what artist Cecilia Levy does. She uses books in a novel way (pun definitely intended). From the pages of old books spring lovely, new works of art like the one pictured above. Now that is a wonderful way to recycle.

To learn about the artist and see more of her fantastic creations click here:  Book Art.