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My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop Hardcover – November 13, 2012
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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!
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book on several levels. Many of my favorite authors have written essays included in the book, which gave me insight into their reading and shopping habits. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Julia Harmon
Writers tell us about their favorite bookstores. Some of the stores I'd already visited. Not much else to say about it.Published 6 months ago by K Axtmann
Interesting endorsement of independent bookstores by writers.Published 14 months ago by Sue Crowell
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 14 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 17 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 18 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 19 months ago by mrs. hand