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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spectacular Hong Kong, Part II

Page One, Times Square
Shop 922, 9/F Times Square
1 Matheson Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

After two disappointing attempts at visits to Hong Kong bookstores, (See Hong Kong, Part I) my husband and I were making our way on foot back to our hotel when we came upon Hong Kong's Time Square. That's right. Hong Kong has one too, not a square so much as it is a building and a grand one at that. Tall and contemporary with broad steps leading to an entry plaza, it comes complete with a jumbotron showing video announcements and advertisements. It certainly looked interesting enough to warrant our going inside to have a look.

Inside, this building provided a stunning example of the beautiful, sleek and shiny, contemporary side of Hong Kong. Glass elevators and open escalators flank a 10-story atrium while curved balcony walkways provide access to a myriad of shops and restaurants. Hong Kong's Time Square is essentially a vertical shopping mall, one of many actually. Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise.

Imagine my excitement when, upon checking the building index, we discovered that in addition to the fashionable clothing shops, jewelers, and department stores there was a bookstore, Page One, which surprisingly was next on my list for an attempted visit. Well, sort of. I had actually intended to visit a Page One shop in a different part of the city, but I was happy to forgo that plan in favor of the Times Square Page One. So we boarded the glass elevator and headed up to take a look.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spectacular Hong Kong, Part I

Last December my husband learned that he would be going to China on a business trip. Now since I have retired, I am available to travel. And since I had an as-yet-unused passport, and since one plane fare was already covered, and since he would be travelling on our anniversary, and since February in Michigan is the longest month of the year, breaking it up with a trip seemed the appropriate thing to do. So my husband arranged to take a brief vacation in Hong Kong with me before going on to China for work. What's more, he agreed to accompany me in my quest for Hong Kong bookstores.

Internet research had armed me with the names and vague locations of several bookstores to visit, so on our first day out in the city we were able to hit the ground running. As it turns out, we didn't have to run very far. One of the shops on my list, Dymocks, was apparently located in Windsor, the high-rise building across the street from our hotel. So after a hearty breakfast, we headed over to have a look. It took a few minutes to find the right floor and locate the shop only to discover that the store had closed. Struck out on our first attempt. What a disappointment.

Undaunted, my husband suggested that we try another one on my list that appeared to be within walking distance, and off we went again. This shop, BooKanZen Children's Bookshop, proved to be more elusive as it was an upstairs shop with no sign at ground level. With map in hand, we wove our way through the streets of Hong Kong busy with pedestrians, taxis, and double-decker busses and trolleys. Once we found the street we were looking for, it took a few trips up and down the block to finally locate the bookstore. Unfortunately, we struck out yet again. This shop was also out of business.

Over 15 hours on a plane to get to this marvelous city and a couple of hours so far on foot with no results. Was this an indication of what my trip held in store? Would I ever find a bookstore in Hong Kong that I could actually visit? I was beginning to wonder.

See Hong Kong, Part II.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coming Up . . .

On Valentine's Day, barring any unforeseen traveling difficulties, I will be hitting the road, or more precisely, the runway, winging my way to a distant locale. I am already scouting potential bookstores I wish to visit in this destination city.

This is a momentous occasion for me, having previously only visited the foreign countries of: A. Canada, B. Mexico, and C. The Bahamas. Not wishing to divulge the precise city just yet, I will simply say that it will be a long plane ride. So . . . later this month I will hopefully be producing a series of posts about bookstores in an exotic foreign land. Catch ya later. Gotta fly!

Saturday, February 4, 2012