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Friday, January 11, 2013

"My Bookstore:Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop" ~ Charming Book!!


In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes.

In My Bookstore our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it's the author's local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works.
My Bookstore collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 81 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It's a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.
Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.

Contributing Authors and Bookstores Include:
Fannie Flagg—Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL Rick Bragg—Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, AL John Grisham—That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR Ron Carlson—Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ Ann Packer—Capitola Book Café, Capitola, CA Isabel Allende—Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA Mahbod Seraji—Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA Lisa See—Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA Meg Waite Clayton—Books Inc., San Francisco, CA Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown—The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA Dave Eggers—Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA Pico Iyer—Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA Laurie R. King—Bookshop, Santa Cruz, CA Scott Lasser—Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO Stephen White—Tattered Cover Book Store, Devner, CO Kate Niles—Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO Ann Haywood Leal—Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT Florence and Wendell Minor—The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT Rick Atkinson—Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC Les Standiford—Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL Robert Macomber—The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL David Fulmer—Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA Abraham Verghese—Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA Charlie Brandt—Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID Luis Alberto Urrea—Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL Mike Leonard—The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL Albert Goldbarth—Watermark Books, Wichita, KS Wendell Berry—Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY Edith Pearlman—Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA Mameve Medwed—Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA Simon Winchester—The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA Nancy Thayer—Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket, MA Elin Hilderbrand—Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA Jeanne Birdsall—Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA Martha Ackmann—Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA Ward Just—Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA Ron Currie, Jr.—Longfellow Books, Portland, ME Nancy Shaw—Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI Katrina Kittle—Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI Ann Patchett—Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petotskey, MI Kathleen Finneran—Left Bank Books, St.Louis, MO Barry Moser—Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS Jill McCorkle—Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC Carrie Ryan—Park Road Books, Charlotte NC Laurent Dubois—The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC Lee Smith—Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC Angela Davis-Gardner—Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC Ron Rash—City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC Ian Frazier—Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ Joan Wickersham—The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH Carmela Ciuraru—Community Bookstore, Brooklyn NY Matt Weiland—Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY Kate Christensen—Word, Brooklyn, NY Mick Cochrane—Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY Caroline Leavitt—McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY Arthur Nersesian—St. Mark’s Bookshop, New York, NY Francine Prose & Pete Hamill—Strand Bookstore, New York, NY Chuck Palahniuk—Powell’s Books, Portland, OR Larry Kane—Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA Ann Hood—Island Books, Middletown, RI Mindy Friddle—Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC Adam Ross—Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN Douglas Brinkley—Book People, Austin, TX Terry Tempest Williams—The King’s English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT Howard Frank Mosher—Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT Jon Clinch—Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT Jonathan Evison—Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA Tom Robbins—Village Books, Bellingham, WA Ivan Doig—University Book Store, Seattle, WA Lesley Kagen—Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI Liam Callanan—Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Publisher:  Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Pages:  384
Genre:  Non-fiction
Available:  Barnes & Noble and Amazon and at your favorite bookstore!

This book was edited by Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America...


This was a thoroughly enjoyable read!  I started by browsing through looking up my favorite authors, of course.  I've highlighted some of them above, and tried to also highlight some from different genre for you, as well.  But, once I got into the book, I found myself reading the vignettes from authors I was less familiar with.  These are wonderful stories and notes reminiscing about times spent in favorite bookstores and more.  Personal and poignant, this is a book I will cherish in my heart because I could relate to it so well...there have been several beloved small bookstores in my life.

Let me tell you who wrote my favorite passages:

Martha Ackmann:  She tells about the bookshop "Odyssey" in South Hadley, MA, which grew up around the college town from an apothecary's dream to a neighborhood and community fixture.  This is the story of one of those shops that burned down, twice (!), and rose from the ashes it was so cherished.

Rick Bragg :  Tells about a rough-around-the-edges store, "Booksmith" in AL.  It's owner is a hoot, and so is Rick.  I loved his piece very much.   This is a store without frills and gadgets, but with everything a man could want in books and adventure.

John Grisham :  Gives a wonderful perspective on the writer and the importance of the individual bookseller and his/her shop.  I loved his sense of loyalty and his way of describing how vital these bookstores are to reading and to discovering new writers.  He gives credit to his favorite shop for his own success.

Mameve Medwed :  Shares about "Porter Square Books" in Cambridge, MA, and how it's become a necessity in her life.  Vital to her social and networking life, it's also where she recoups and re-energizes herself.  It's her touchstone place.  God, she made me so jealous!!

There are so many more examples but here are the things the authors and their bookstores had in common: 

#1 Factor the loved:  It's Personal   They all talked about their bookstore as a place where they felt they were "coming home" or "feeling at home."

*  Their bookstores "know their books"...have great recommendations for customers and individuals whom they know

*  They are gathering places for friends, students, fellow writers, and true readers

*  You can have open accounts!!!

*  Personal attention...Example:  The buyer selects books/novels, audiobooks and reader copies with them in mind

*  Knowledgeable staff...this meant a lot to the writers

*  Community participation center

*  They know the value of coffee and books!!!   And most know that cats and books don't mix in a shop,

*  Booksellers live for books so they are enthusiastic about the writers and all books

*  They credit individual booksellers and shops with kick starting their writing careers by holding book-signings and events that promoted them when they were unknowns

*  They all felt it wasn't just about being a business since most don't make a lot of money, but it was about a shared passion for the same things.

The book ends with a short commentary about the pros and cons of Amazon vrs the independent booksellers.  Of course, there is the notion that Amazon is creating the downfall of many of the "real" bookstores because of undercutting prices.  And there is some concern that reading itself may be jeopardized in this bookish world should the atmosphere and the benefits of diversity be lost as our precious small shops continue to fail and fade.  The book finally ends with an ominous charge to us that we may want to consider spending our money more "wisely" rather than more cheaply in light of this.

I think we bibliophiles are of the same  mind in wanting to keep our local and individual bookstores open.  These authors have done what they could to help in that direction.  I hope we can all do our part.

A delicious book.   Hope you go to your local, favorite shop and buy one soon!

5 stars              Deborah/TheBookishDame



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