One could do worse than to plan a road trip based solely on the bookstores featured in this unabashed paean to what may be a vanishing part of the American landscape, the independent bookstore. “May” because the art of bookselling seems to be experiencing a Darwinian resurgence. If it is, then it is thanks to the valued works and even more valuable support of a host of writers who recognized that bookstores are more than places to sell their wares. Bookstores can be the soul of a neighborhood, the heart of a city. There are places with resident cats (like Brooklyn’s Community Bookstore) and places without (Birmingham’s Alabama Booksmith). Places where three-year-olds can cajole the owner into opening early, and others where fledgling writers find solace and inspiration. Publishing professional Rice invited 84 outstanding writers to contribute to this essay collection. And the fact that Richard Russo and Tom Robbins, Francine Prose and Ann Patchett, Wendell Berry and Rick Bragg take such a sincerely humble and exuberantly proprietary interest in their local bookstores speaks, well, volumes. --Carol Haggas
This is more than just a celebration, more than just a compendium of bookstore kudos. This is like each of your favorite writers (84 of them!) penning a love letter to their favorite bookstore. Names you may recognize include Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Francine Prose, Lisa See, and Simon Winchester. Editor Rice, a publishing professional, has recruited new pieces that illuminate the quirks and many intangibles that make a great bookstore. From the owner who will trek across town to help out at a library signing, to the fierceness with which some owners protect their customers' privacy, to the overall comfort of stepping into a world that you just know is full of compatriots, the beautiful stories in these pages tell of those things that make any neighborhood bookstore great.
VERDICT: There are other collections that focus on bookstores... but this one is a personal peek into the hearts of the contributing writers as well as into the bookstores they love. Sure to please any bibliophile, even if borrowed from the library!
Writers tell us about their favorite bookstores. Some of the stores I'd already visited. Not much else to say about it.Published 1 month ago by K Axtmann
Whenever I travel I immediately look for any indie bookstores nearby to shop in. I like the write-ups and the wide variety of bookstores. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C Love
I love this book! It gave me a glimpse into bookstores that I will never be able to travel to, but am glad to know are still there. It also gave me new authors to read.Published 12 months ago by Marguerite Manor
It's not the kind of book you read in its entirety. I leave it out and pick it up from time to time to read an excerpt or two. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Carole I. Crandall
I love books and bookstores but after the first handful of chapters I was soooooo bored. Pretty much every author says the same thing about their favorite bookstore. Read morePublished 14 months ago by mrs. hand
Overall I really liked it and found it interesting so I'll give it four stars.
I could have done without Chuck Palahniuk's entree-ew. Read more
Both my husband and I are avid readers. When planning a vacation the first thing we look for is used book stores in the area. Never leave home without our 'wish list'. Read morePublished 21 months ago by molly
As a book lover, one of my favorite things is to roam around in a bookstore. It doesn't matter if I don't find a book to buy (like that would ever happen), I could spend hours just... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Vicki