|NYT photo of Patchett in her bookstore, Parnassus|
Family and friends constitute one of the great blessings in life, and I am extremely blessed in both regards. Since I started this blog, I have received strong support in my pursuit of bookstores, and not just in terms of praise and encouragement for the blog itself. My son Culver, just one example, provides unflinching editing advice whenever I request it. Several family members and friends have been on the alert for bookstores I might like to visit and happily passed pertinent information on to me. Many of them have accompanied me on bookstore visits, some have facilitated such visits, and most importantly, my husband has been willing to put up with my many road trips. I am blessed indeed.
Recently, my friend Paula brought to my attention a wonderful article in the New York Times by Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder among many other notable titles. The article, “Ann Patchett's Guide for Bookstore Lovers,” provides suggestions from her own personal favorites, some of which can already be found on my bucket list, and others which I am lucky enough to say I have already visited.
One of her “knockout stores that sell nothing but children's books,” Wild Rumpus, I had the pleasure of visiting and writing about, and I can attest that it is indeed a knockout. I have also enjoyed one of the stores that she calls “The Venerables,” Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. as well as one of her personal favorites right here in Michigan, McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey. Patchett's own store, Parnassus Books in Nashville, has been on my list for a while now. There are many others in this article that I gratefully add to my list.
And speaking of my bucket list, here is a preview of a potential coming attraction: Next month my husband is scheduled to attend a conference in San Francisco, and yours truly is planning to accompany him. A quick online search shows that this beautiful city is rich with bookstores, one of which, City Lights, has been on my list from the beginning. Needless to say that I will have plenty to occupy my time while my husband is attending conference seminars.