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, August 23, 2011

Tiny Giant

Books at a Fifth
4101 13th Ave. S.
Village West Shopping Center
Fargo, ND 58103

Writing from the deck of my house on one of the last perfect summer mornings of August, I am thinking back on all the events of the season and recalling one of the highlights, our annual trek to the yearly convention of the Pyrotechnics Guild International, held this year in Fargo, North Dakota. It was in this lovely city that I discovered Books at a Fifth, a small, but impressive, used bookstore. There it was, snuggled up next to a barbershop in a small strip mall less than two blocks from, of all things, a Barnes and Noble. Now I have nothing against Barnes and Noble. I am in fact a frequent B & N shopper possessing both a membership card and a Mastercard from said store. But outside of discovering whether or not there is a cafe or a music section, when you enter an unfamiliar Barnes and Noble, you know exactly what to expect. It will be very--well--familiar. That's one of the reasons why I find it such a treat to unearth an independent bookstore, rather like trailblazing a new route to a favorite place taking back roads instead of the highway. I was immediately intrigued by this small bookstore that had the chutzpah to be located in such close proximity to the giant of bookstores.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gem of the North

The Village Bookstore
201 NW 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

As we made our way across Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the UP to native Michiganders), my senses were inundated by the breathtaking beauty of the region. More than the quiet splendor of the rolling evergreen forests, more than the wilderness unencumbered by the trappings of urban life, more even than the gloriously rugged vistas along Lake Superior, it was the smell that I most appreciated--the spectacular, fresh piney aroma that permeated my nostrils. Across the UP and northern Wisconsin and into northern Minnesota, the beauty would continue. We were on our way to Turtle Lake, about 40 minutes north of Grand Rapids. (Michigan friends, take note: that's Grand Rapid, MN.) As luck would have it, the area is home to a small mall featuring The Village Bookstore, a shop completely fitting to the region in which it resides.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Horizon

Horizon Books
115 S. Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601

The wailing call of a loon on a still summer evening, a baby laughing, the subtle flutter of book pages being turned--all ear candy to me. The latter treat I enjoyed as I entered Horizon Books in Cadillac, Michigan. One patron, sitting in the comfortable cafe area next to the fireplace, was engrossed in a book while others with laptops were taking advantage of the free WiFi.