Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Huge bookstore chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble are wonderful places, with comfy chairs and coffee and all that, and they can (although they often don't) offer better prices than smaller independent stores. But there is something about the allure of the independent store, with books that the big chains would never take a risk on, dusty nooks and crannies to explore, plus books by local authors and all kinds of used and hard-to-find books. Best of all, there is often a delightful resident feline as well.
Maybe because I am more involved in the library world than the world of bookstores, I was completely unaware of the existence something called bookstore tourism. Two of my favorite things combined! (Now if we can manage to include restaurants in the mix...) Anyway, I had no idea that there is a National Council on Bookstore Tourism, and here is a blog about "Why Indie Bookstores Matter," in which the author talks about his 10-week cross-country road trip to visit 200 independent bookstores in all 50 states. Wouldn't that be fun!
Next time you go on vacation, maybe you should consider hunting down some good independent bookstores and spend an afternoon - or a day - exploring them.