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, March 29, 2016

Leap Day, Part II

1180 S. Washington
Holland, MI 49423

Word on the street is that print books are making a comeback. That's right. The e-book craze has recently leveled off while print book sales are on the rise. Worry not, bookstore enthusiasts. Don't let the decline of chains like Borders put fear in your heart. Bookstores, once thought to be headed the way of the dinosaur, now seem to be alive and well.

When I first started this blog nearly five years ago, I feared that the life of the project would be limited, that I'd better get started right away before all the bookstores were gone. Though big chain stores have seen their share of adversity, happily small independents are not merely still in existence, but thriving. Personal observation suggests to me that their resilience is due in large part to a high level of customer service coupled with a special brand of creativity reserved for owners of small bookshops. Many inhabit interesting places (an old train car, an old factory, a bank) while others have found a particular niche to fill. Some of the most memorable bookstores I have visited, for example, have been geared specifically toward children (Wild Rumpus, Storybook Village). This past Leap Day I had the pleasure of visiting a small and very specialized bookstore. Bookmart in Holland, Michigan, sells nothing but used paperbacks.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Leap Day, Part I

Reader's World
194 S. River Ave.
Holland, MI 49423

The world is filled with glass-half-empty people and glass-half-full people. I have recently made a conscious decision to be a half-full person. Case in point, after more than a week of fighting off a head cold, I am admitting defeat. The head cold is winning. However, though I acquiesce, I am not feeling defeated. Everything is relative. This year it's only a minor head cold, the first one I have had all winter, whereas last year I was the victim of a vicious chest cold that was with me for at least six weeks. Besides, having a head cold gives me a good excuse to spend more time in my comfy reading chair--without guilt.

This past February I was provided with yet another opportunity to cement my half-full attitude when the 29th of the month rolled around. The half-empty winter haters among us will likely view Leap Year as an unbearable lengthening of the already longest, shortest month in the year. I must confess that until recently, I would have counted myself among those. But with my new, half-full attitude, I take a broader view and choose to look at Leap Year from a 366-day perspective. WE GET AN EXTRA DAY! A whole day. Twenty-four extra hours to do, to make, to enjoy, to create--or perhaps to visit bookstores. I'm sure you saw that coming. Yes, I took advantage of my extra day to visit not just one, but two bookstores, the first of which was a delightful store in Holland, Michigan, called Reader's World.