June 16, 2013

The Carolinas: Malaprop's Bookstore & Hub City Bookshop

Yesterday I made it to two more bookstores. The first was Hub City Bookshop and the second was Malaprop’s Bookstore.

Hub City Bookshop is located in the small but cute downtown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The store has a fantastic vibe you can feel the second you walk in the door. I loved watching the customers being greeted like old friends by Patrick, the bookseller who was working that day. When people came in and when they left, it was obvious that this store has a steady and loyal group of customers. You don't get those kind of relationships in the giant and impersonal bookstores!

Not only is Hub City Bookshop a great indie store, but all proceeds from its sales go to support creative writing education and independent book publishing in the local community. How freaking cool is that?

The next store I went to is Malaprop's which is located in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Downtown Asheville on a weekend was hopping! And Malaprop's, which also has a cafe, was packed. It's clearly a popular spot for downtown shoppers to hang out. In addition to a great general book selection, Malaprop's also has a fantastic section of regional books as well as cute book related merchandise.

Confession: Sometimes I dog-ear books. That is probably why I noticed this sign posted in the store below a great selection of bookmarks; my guilt kicked in. Do you use bookmarks when you read? The other picture, on the left, is of a couple of guys who were playing music on the street outside the store. It added to the great atmosphere and gave me an idea of the personality of the city. (They informed me their name was Black Eyes Boozies, a play on a bluegrass song called Black Eyed Suzie.) Asheville seems like a pretty cool place, and Malaprop's is a must visit bookstore if you're ever nearby.

Malaprop's is just one of many of the bookstores that will be featured in the book that came highly recommended from a friend. This suggestion came from an old friend from my days (er, years) spent going to an overnight summer camp growing up. I hadn't seen her since I was kid so it was a treat to be able to grab a drink and catch up with her after visiting the bookstore. And as this project goes on, she's not the only person from my summer camp days that I'll be getting to catch up with! If you have kids, do them (and yourself) a favor, send them to an overnight camp. (And be sure to send them with lots of reading material for flashlight time before lights out!)

Next stop: Nashville, Tennessee

Last Bookstore: Page & Palette in Alabama 

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