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My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop Hardcover – November 13, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1579129101 ISBN-10: 1579129102 Edition: 1st

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My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop + My Ideal Bookshelf + Read This!: Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Bookstores (Books in Action)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579129102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579129101
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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!

Customer Reviews

Great book for bookstore and book lovers.
C Love
95% of the books I read are non-digital; I truly enjoy holding a physical book over one on my Kindle.
P. M.
Or the authors who share exactly where they prefer to buy their books.
colleen j. peregoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By BLehner on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Is there anything that readers and writers of all trades love more than roaming bookstores? In My Bookstore authors share their memories and appreciation for their favorite bookshops, those magical places that those who live and breathe books will often call a second home.
Time for a little confession - I only knew few of the eclectic mix of authors who contributed to this charming compilation though you may rest assured that lack of having read books by all of them does not diminish the delight of being able to explore all those bookstores through their eyes. From Isabel Allende to John Grisham, from Ann Patchett to Carrie Ryan, I was enthralled by the stories and anecdotes shared.
What I found especially fascinating was the opportunity to catch a glimpse of how different the narrative voice of some authors can be when you compare their actual books to these essays, sometimes bordering on the dull while at other times full of sparkling wit. It goes without saying that learning more about authors you've always been fond of, being able to get a closer look at the person behind the writer, is a real treat.
How could a bibliophile not love this book? Makes me wish I had a decent bookstore I could brag about, alas I haven't and that makes me really sad now.
Last but not least, the adorable illustrations depicting the featured bookstores only add to the charm of this book.
In short: For the love of bookshops!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Susan Cushman on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't know Ronald Rice, who edited this book. But I've studied the list, and it's curious to me that 9 stores in California and 9 in Massachusetts made the cut, but only 1 in Texas, 1 in Tennessee, and 1 in Mississippi. Even Alabama got 2. I'm curious to know how the 84 authors were chosen to write about their favorite bookstores. What I do know is that only one of my three favorite bookstores made the cut. I was happy to see Lemuria Books, in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, included. I went to high school with John Evans, the owner, and was also honored to give a reading at Lemuria in July, along with Wendy Reed, editor of Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality. I loved Barry Moser's essay, especially the part where he explains why he puts Lemuria last on his book tours--so he can enjoy some good bourbon whiskey with Johnny (Evans) at the END of his tour.

So, who are the ones that got away? It's hard for me to believe that at least a couple dozen famous Southern authors wouldn't name Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, as their favorite bookstore. And how noble of Square Books owner, Richard Howorth, to promote the book in his newsletter and speak so highly of it, although his amazing establishment wasn't included.

Also left off the list was Burke's Books in Memphis, one of the oldest indie bookstores in the country, dating back to 1875. Current owners, Corey and Cheryl Mesler, actually met in the store when they were both employees in the 1990s. The Meslers always go an extra mile for their authors, even renting a larger space on their block for events they don't have room to host in the store itself.

And how could Rice have missed Beauty and the Book, in Jefferson, Texas?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kayla's Reads and Reviews on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading My Bookstore will make you want to go to various independent bookstores and shop around. I think I bought about five books while reading this book. My Bookstore makes me excited to travel the country, or even the world and experience all the great bookstores. I thought it was kind of ironic, the book kind of bashes e-books, I got my copy from Netgalley and read it on my Kindle. It was very interesting hearing about all the different bookstores around the country. Although every bookstore was different, they all had one thing in common, every employee not only sells books but loves them as well. My favorite story was the story by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. The comic that Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown made about The Booksmith was also very funny. This was a great book. I was happy to learn about more bookstores across the country. I can't wait to visit them all one day.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bob Williams on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At a time when the indiy booksellers are closing without many others replacing them, it is great to read these guides to the different neighborhood Thinking Centers and Info Shops still going strong. I know so many of them from visits in my time trying to place my modest product (visited almost all of these stores and more than 2,000 booksellers in the US and Canada in all!), and there was not one I did not love whatever their always reasoned response to my entreaty.
From my own local Portland's Powell's, the most voluminous and in many ways the greatest bookstore in the English speaking world to some tiny ones like my town's Artifacts--Good Books and Bad Art where I volunteer without pay, I always assumed that like me, the founder had entered the world of books as a calling to educate and serve fellow readers who might come to share their own love of Truth and scrupulous factuality; I may be mistaken, but I cannot remember being shown I was ever wrong about that much.

Many of these stores, like Artifacts, have to sell "rubber chickens" to be able to get $4 Grapes of Wrath to high school kids, and many have suffered outright attack by predatory chains and now uncaring price cutters, but they soldier on as long with new enthusiasm every morning to spread their love of books and of reading.

They, WE, believe that good reading makes good thinking and we can make the world better by means of the only tool that has been successful in improving thinking for the last 500 years. (A customer at Artifacts, Kelli, said, "There's a reason they burn books you know.")

I bought this book as soon as I heard about it--couldn't get it fast enough.
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