Your Next Adventure: The Local Bookstore

I have two trips on my calendar this summer, and I know that on both of those trips I’ll end up in a bookstore at some point, but not some chain store at the mall. It’s the independent bookstores I love.

Wooden bookshelf with ledger and black and white tile floorIt seems like they’re always located in an old building, their unassuming entrances barely noticeable among all the tourist shops. I know I’m in an indie bookstore if the floorboards creak and the musty scent of history perfumes the air.

Indie bookstores don’t have to conform to guidelines handed down from corporate headquarters, so each one has its own distinct personality. You find it in the cat curled up in the front window or the work of a local author displayed on the counter. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned bell that jingles when you open the door, a hand-written receipt, or an owner who’s willing to share the local gossip even if you have no idea who she’s talking about. You never know what you’ll discover when you walk inside.

If you’re planning a trip this summer, make sure to find the local bookstore while you’re shopping for cheesy t-shirts and postcards you’ll never send. Step inside and listen to the floorboards creak. Discover the unique personality of that store and buy a book as a souvenir. I guarantee the memory of the bookstore will stay with you longer than the t-shirt.

©2013 Kim Vandel

9 thoughts on “Your Next Adventure: The Local Bookstore

  1. I am disabled but on reflecting my book purchases before my health issues, I wish I had read this commentary. I always went to the latest bookstore for the ” now” experience. if u r near a museum which displays “ancient” books, like Huntington Gardens, what a delight. At Huntington Library, they have an original Guttenberg Bible.

    The first impression was how I wish today’s Bible’s take time to embellish our modern Bible. I took a course on Eng. Lit. and saw the original Canterbury Tales. What a delight! Of course, I could barely read the olde English but the embellishments were very beautiful. I am unable to book shop and digitally download. It is so great to see and learn book publishing history. Each era has it’s pros and cons but the main emphasis is, get a book and READ.

  2. I LOVE INDIE BOOKSTORES! Terrific blog, Kim. My local Indie has a cat named Emily that curls up on your lap. One of our critique groups meets there and I’ve done book signings there too. Hein & Co in Jackson. They just remodeled the upstairs for Mystery Theater too.

  3. I loved when Shorey’s was downtown in the old building. (before they moved to the market and before they moved – i don’t remember now) This was years ago, I know. Powell’s is a close second to that experience. Even Half Price books can be fun in certain locations.

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