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My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and… (2012)

by Ronald Rice (Editor)

Other authors: Martha Ackmann (Contributor), Isabel Allende (Contributor), Rick Atkinson (Contributor), Wendell Berry (Contributor), Jeanne Birdsall (Contributor)83 more, Rick Bragg (Contributor), Charles Brandt (Contributor), Douglas Brinkley (Contributor), Lisa Brown (Contributor), Liam Callanan (Contributor), Ron Carlson (Contributor), Kate Christensen (Contributor), Carmela Ciuraru (Contributor), Meg Waite Clayton (Contributor), Jon Clinch (Contributor), Mick Cochrane (Contributor), Ron Currie, Jr. (Contributor), Angela Davis-Gardner (Contributor), Ivan Doig (Contributor), Laurent Dubois (Contributor), Timothy Egan (Contributor), Dave Eggers (Contributor), Louise Erdrich (Contributor), Jonathan Evison (Contributor), Kathleen Finneran (Contributor), Fannie Flagg (Contributor), Ian Frazier (Contributor), Mindy Friddle (Contributor), David Fulmer (Contributor), Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Contributor), Peter Geye (Contributor), Albert Goldbarth (Contributor), John Grisham (Contributor), Pete Hamill (Contributor), Daniel Handler (Contributor), Elin Hilderbrand (Contributor), Ann Hood (Contributor), Pico Iyer (Contributor), Ward Just (Contributor), Lesley Kagen (Contributor), Stephanie Kallos (Contributor), Larry Kane (Contributor), Laurie R. King (Contributor), Katrina Kittle (Contributor), Scott Lasser (Contributor), Ann Haywood Leal (Contributor), Caroline Leavitt (Contributor), Mike Leonard (Contributor), Robert N. Macomber (Contributor), Emily St. John Mandel (Afterword), Jill McCorkle (Contributor), Mameve Medwed (Contributor), Florence Minor (Contributor), Wendell Minor (Contributor), Barry Moser (Contributor), Howard Frank Mosher (Contributor), Arthur Nersesian (Contributor), Kate Niles (Contributor), Ann Packer (Contributor), Chuck Palahniuk (Contributor), Leif Parsons (Illustrator), Ann Patchett (Contributor), Edith Pearlman (Contributor), Jack Pendarvis (Contributor), Francine Prose (Contributor), Ron Rash (Contributor), Tom Robbins (Contributor), Adam Ross (Contributor), Richard Russo (Introduction), Carrie Ryan (Contributor), Lisa See (Contributor), Brian Selznick (Contributor), Mahbod Seraji (Contributor), Nancy Shaw (Contributor), Jeff Smith (Contributor), Lee Smith (Contributor), Emily St. John Mandel (Afterword), Les Standiford (Contributor), Nancy Thayer (Contributor), Michael Tisserand (Contributor), Luis Alberto Urrea (Contributor), Abraham Verghese (Contributor), Audrey Vernick (Contributor), Matt Weiland (Contributor), Stephen White (Contributor), Joan Wickersham (Contributor), Terry Tempest Williams (Contributor), Simon Winchester (Contributor)

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4361440,311 (3.82)15
In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookstores and booksellers, 84 well-known writers pay tribute to the bricks-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second home. Writers include: Isabel Allende, Wendell Berry, Rick Bragg, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Fannie Flagg, Ian Frazier, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Grisham, Pete Hamill, Ann Hood, Stephanie Kallos, Laurie R. King, Kate Niles, Ann Packer, Chuck Palahniuk, Ann Patchett, Francine Prose, Tom Robbins, Lisa See, Brian Selznick, Lee Smith, Nancy Thayer, Terry Tempest Williams and more.… (more)
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
When you think of your favorite bookstore, what comes to mind? Is it the physical space? Books stacked in rows and piled high, labeled with staff recommendations? Do you think of the owner who knows each of her customers by name and can always press into your hands the perfect book that you're sure to love? Or is it the intangible thing that draws you there: the anticipation of a new discovery, or the feeling of community or of being at home? In My Bookstore, 84 of our favorite writers put all of these thoughts and feelings into words in a one-of-a-kind collection that expresses their adoration and admiration for bookstores and booksellers all across the country. ( )
  jepeters333 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Good essays from writers about favorite and beloved independent book stores; what they mean to them and their families, how the owners and staff are well-read and supportive of many a new writer.

I especially enjoyed the following essays:
The Odyssey Bookshop, a love story to books and those who adore them
Book Passage, a wow of a shop that made me jealous,
Politics and Prose, supportive of its customers and everything word related,
Boswell Book Company, an ode to Daniel Goldin 'saving the world' with his love of books,
Quail Ridge Book and Music because Nancy Olson has made it into a community hub,
University Book Store, a magical place,
The Regulator Bookshop, historic store in former middle-class black neighborhood,
Mayers and Quinn because of a smart date between Louise Erdich and her future husband, and the support she gets to start her OWN bookshop
Fiction Addiction, 'Book Your Lunch' promotion to have readers meet writers over lunch
Chaucer's Books, because of how deeply bookstores affect Pico Iyer, author
Bunch of Grapes, I can identify with the feeling of memory while browsing
Bank Square Books, who wouldn't be moved by this essay of a distrustful child saved by a book
Powells, hysterical, outrageous, unexpected; more story than essay
Anderson's Bookshops, Urrea's essay is touching because it shows how his love of books transferred to his daughter Becky
And many more.

What all these shops have in common are owners and staff who love books, education, learning, and people, their sense of intuition in providing customers and writers just what they need, their untiring efforts to create comfortable surroundings, and a community of readers, and extensive 'hand-selling' to promote local writers.

I grew up in the Bronx; and unfortunately didn't have an independent book store like any of these gems. I do remember my mother taking me to the Kingsbridge Branch of the New York Public Library when young, and later walking to the Van Nest branch a few times each week. I loved both of them and DIDN'T KNOW what I was missing. ( )
  Bookish59 | Sep 17, 2017 |
Interesting eclectic read of various writers and their favorite bookstores.

A bit inside, to be sure, but interesting in how each person perceives the worth of a bookstore and what (s)he gets from it beyond just books. ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |

Book lovers like to flock to bookstores. Bookstores that stand out as that ‘something special’ and something extra can win permanent places in a reader’s heart. I have fond memories of bookstores I’ve visited that I never got to see again, or who have now gone on to the bookstore-beyond, but they will always stay special to me. Thankfully the ones in my town still exist, waiting to be visited and cooed over all over again.

When reading Pat Conroy’s half memoir last year, My Reading Life, he praised a bookstore that meant a great deal to him, covering the bookstore owned in several chapters, discussing the people he met in the store, how he helped work in the store and would spend hours hanging out there, how it helps advance careers, and how that bookstore branched out through parties, word of mouth, and how it exists today. That got me thinking of other writer’s experiences, which led to me ordering this book.

Each chapter has a drawing of a rendition of a bookstore mentioned by the author.

It opens on a promising note - Be still my heart...the first essay from Martha Ackmann, on The Odyssey Bookshop, brought not only the bookstore to life but its creators. Romeo, who took his tea at 4 and was obsessed with Middlemarch. The bookstore that started on fire, was rebuilt, and started on fire again, to be taken over by a daughter who kept it flourishing. The Phoenix effect. It comes alive in this essay - wish I could visit.

Some of these don’t dwell on the charm of a specific bookstore, but instead take their chances to whip out a soapbox. Wendell Berry mentions not one bookstore but emphasizes the full magic of a book cannot be duplicated by reading a story on an impersonal screen. His quote matches my own view here: ”I still own books that have remained alive and dear in my thoughts since I was a boy, and a part of the life of each one is my memory of the bookstore where I bought it and of the bookseller who sold it to me.”

On a funny muse, Rick Bragg starts his essay by saying cats and bookstores go together like Peanut butter and Jelly but that he likes his bookstore withOUT cats, thank you very much! But it all ties in anyway, funny humor describing a favorite no-nonsense bookseller.

I had other notes that I jotted down while I slowly read this, but I can’t find them. If I do one day, I’ll add to this review, but overall it’s a great book that contains interesting essays in it, mixed with some that are generic and impersonal. One or two essays is fine, but reading this many takes time as you can only take in so much at once. It’s a good coffee table book to randomly open and browse.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
3.5 stars. A surprisingly interesting book. Chapters are written by a variety of authors so vary considerably in style, humor, etc. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rice, RonaldEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackmann, MarthaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allende, IsabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atkinson, RickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berry, WendellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birdsall, JeanneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragg, RickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brandt, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brinkley, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Callanan, LiamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carlson, RonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciuraru, CarmelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clayton, Meg WaiteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clinch, JonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cochrane, MickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Currie, Ron, Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis-Gardner, AngelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doig, IvanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dubois, LaurentContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Egan, TimothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggers, DaveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Erdrich, LouiseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evison, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Finneran, KathleenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flagg, FannieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frazier, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friddle, MindyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fulmer, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Geye, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldbarth, AlbertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grisham, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamill, PeteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Handler, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hilderbrand, ElinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hood, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Iyer, PicoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Just, WardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kagen, LesleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kallos, StephanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kane, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, Laurie R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kittle, KatrinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lasser, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leal, Ann HaywoodContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leavitt, CarolineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leonard, MikeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Macomber, Robert N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mandel, Emily St. JohnAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCorkle, JillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Medwed, MameveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Minor, FlorenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mosher, Howard FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nersesian, ArthurContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niles, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Packer, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palahniuk, ChuckContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parsons, LeifIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patchett, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pearlman, EdithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pendarvis, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prose, FrancineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rash, RonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robbins, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russo, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ryan, CarrieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
See, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Selznick, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seraji, MahbodContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shaw, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, LeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
St. John Mandel, EmilyAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Standiford, LesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thayer, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tisserand, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Urrea, Luis AlbertoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Verghese, AbrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vernick, AudreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weiland, MattContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wickersham, JoanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Terry TempestContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winchester, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Contributing Authors and Bookstores Include:

Martha Ackmann : The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Isabel Allende : Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Rick Atkinson : Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.
Wendell Berry : Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, KY
Jeanne Birdsall : Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
Rick Bragg : The Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL
Charles Brandt : Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID
Douglas Brinkley : BookPeople, Austin, TX
Liam Callanan : Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
Ron Carlson : Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Kate Christensen : Word, Brooklyn, NY
Carmela Ciuraru : The Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Meg Waite Clayton : Books Inc., Palo Alto, CA
Jon Clinch : Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
Mick Cochrane : Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
Ron Currie, Jr. : Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
Angela Davis-Gardner : Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
Ivan Doig : University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Laurent Dubois : The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
Timothy Egan : The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
Dave Eggers : Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Louise Erdrich : Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
Jonathan Evison : Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
Kathleen Finneran : Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
Fannie Flagg : Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
Ian Frazier : Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
Mindy Friddle : Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
David Fulmer : Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. : Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Peter Geye : Micawber's, St. Paul, MN
Albert Goldbarth : Watermark Books and Cafe?, Wichita, KS
John Grisham : That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
Pete Hamill : Strand Book Store, New York, NY
Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown : The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Elin Hilderbrand : Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
Ann Hood : Island Books, Middletown, RI
Pico Iyer : Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA
Ward Just : Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
Lesley Kagen : Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Stephanie Kallos : Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Larry Kane : Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
Laurie R. King : Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
Katrina Kittle : Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
Scott Lasser : Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
Ann Haywood Leal : Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Caroline Leavitt : McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
Mike Leonard : The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
Robert N. Macomber : The Muse Book Shop, DeLand, FL
Jill McCorkle : Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Mameve Medwed : Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Wendell and Florence Minor : The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
Barry Moser : Lemuria, Jackson, MS
Howard Frank Mosher : Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
Arthur Nersesian : St. Mark's Bookshop, New York, NY
Kate Niles : Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
Ann Packer : The Capitola Book Cafe?, Capitola, CA
Chuck Palahniuk : Powell's City of Books, Portland, OR
Ann Patchett : McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
Edith Pearlman : Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
Jack Pendarvis : Square Books, Oxford, MS
Francine Prose : Strand Book Store, New York, NY
Ron Rash : City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
Tom Robbins : Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Adam Ross : Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Carrie Ryan : Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
Lisa See : Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
Brian Selznick : Warwick's, La Jolla, CA
Mahbod Seraji : Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA
Nancy Shaw : Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Jeff Smith : The Book Loft of German Village, Columbus, OH
Lee Smith : Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
Les Standiford : Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Nancy Thayer : Mitchell's Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
Michael Tisserand : Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Luis Alberto Urrea : Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, IL
Abraham Verghese : Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
Audrey Vernick : BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ
Matt Weiland : Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Stephen White : Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Joan Wickersham : The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
Terry Tempest Williams : The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT
Simon Winchester : The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
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In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookstores and booksellers, 84 well-known writers pay tribute to the bricks-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 is 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.
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