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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Into The Wild

Wild Rumpus
2720 W. 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Beneath a vivid blue sky punctuated with soft clouds, chickens roam freely, oblivious to a nearby quartet of tailless Manx cats. A variety of bird calls fills the air. Lounging near a small, hollow log, a fat lizard soaks up warmth. A pair of chinchillas quietly sleeps while less than 20 feet away, two ferrets look equally relaxed. Nature preserve? Zoo? Wildlife sanctuary?

Nope. Bookstore. That's right. I was in the middle of a bookstore. To be more precise, I had arrived at what is certainly one of the most unique and memorable bookstores I have ever visited, Wild Rumpus, Books for Young Readers, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to back up and give you some details about this marvelous bookstore adventure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Awesomeness Repurposed

 It has been a little more than a year since I began this blog, and I have to say that I have been more than pleasantly surprised at the number and vitality of bookstores that I have discovered. Independent booksellers are not only alive and well, but they are more often than not interesting, unique, and inspiring places occupying not just traditional buildings, but also frequently residing in unconventional spaces and unexpected places. I have visited bookstores in small towns and large cosmopolitan cities, in small strip malls, and high-rise shopping centers. I have seen a bookstore in a log cabin and a log cabin in a bookstore. I have met a talking bookstore dog, visited a bookstore with a bullet-proof wall, and become part of a book club in a bookstore that offers live music. I have enjoyed bookstores in lovely tourist towns and bookstores practically in the middle of nowhere.
King Books in Detroit

Recently a friend (Thanks, Cassie.) passed on an article titled, Ten Awesome Bookstores Repurposed From Unused Structures. This idea came as no shock to me, nor was it shocking to find that one of the ten turned out to be a fantastic store that I blogged about last year. King Books, the largest bookstore in Michigan, occupies what once was a glove factory. My visit to King Books was such a "big" experience that I did a two-part blog post about it. I was thrilled to see it mentioned in the article.

I have an 11th bookstore to add to the list. Last December I had the distinct pleasure of visiting a splendid and unexpected repurposed structure converted to a bookstore. Reading Books in Rockford, Michigan, is housed in an old train car. I think that's pretty awesome.

Take a look at these awesome bookstore conversions for yourself:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reading Is Forever

Forever Books
312 State Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085

There's an old saying in Michigan, "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes; it'll change." The expectation of a week's vacation without at least one rainy day is wishful thinking to say the least. As you can imagine then, I was not surprised when I awoke to rainy weather on our second full day of vacation. (See previous post.) Neither was I discouraged by this climatic development. Quite the contrary, for cloudy skies provide a perfect opportunity for indoor activities which might otherwise engender feelings of guilt when enjoyed on a day when the weather is beautiful and it is nearly a sin to stay indoors. So with the day perfectly suited for a bookstore visit, my son Culver and I headed out on a short road trip from New Buffalo to the nearby town of St. Joseph, home of Forever Books.