|Outside a South Carolina bookstore|
One of the most gratifying side effects of writing this blog is that readers, friends, and former colleagues will from time to time suggest bookstores that may be of interest to me. It is an inspiration to know how many people think of me when they learn of interesting bookstores. While in Paris, Donna, a friend and former colleague, snapped a picture of a French bookstore for me. And recently Diane, another friend, thought of me when she saw a fabulous sign outside a bookstore in South Carolina.
|A Paris Bookshop|
So many great bookstores, so little time. What is left to do but create a bookstore bucket list. There are a few establishments that I have had my eye on for a while now. One such store is Ann Patchett's Parnassus in Nashville, brand new in 2011. Loving her books as I do, I am sure I would equally love her bookstore. And Nashville is a drivable distance from Michigan, right? There are many other great stores in the US, all within relatively easy reach, or at least not pie in the sky. My cousin Jane's suggestion, Changing Hands, in Tempe, AZ; Denver's Tattered Cover, recommended by my friend Susan; San Francisco's City Lights; and The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap in Virginia each suggest a potential vacation highlight. And TypeBooks in Toronto is definitely doable.
Then there are some compelling bookstores in foreign lands that I dream of visiting one day. El Ateneo in Buenos Aires has been on my list for over a year now. Housed in a creatively repurposed classic opera house, it is beautiful and intriguing. (See video below.) I am also called to visit Britain's Hay On Wye, an entire town of books, which my dear friend Rena brought to my attention. And recently my friend Paula shared a Business Insider article detailing 18 Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit At Least Once. Number 11 on this list is Shakespeare And Company, a Paris shop that has been on my radar for a while, along with Number 8, the aforementioned El Ateneo. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had already visited two of the stores mentioned in this article. Number 11, Politics andProse, brings back delightful memories of a trip to Washington DC (see earlier post), and thanks to the Ganem family, I enjoyed a visit to Number 2 on the list, the remarkable John K. King books right here in Michigan (see post).
Number 16 on the Business Insider list is Prairie Lights in Iowa, of special interest to me as my husband and I will be visiting Iowa in August for the annual Pyrotechnics Guild International convention. You can be sure that I will make an effort to visit Prairie Lights this summer.
Bucket list or impossible dream--who can say. But I will continue to add to my list as I learn of interesting and unique bookstores wherever they are. Thanks to all my friends for the suggestions.