July 30, 2013

California: Green Apple Books

I have to admit that it was very difficult to choose an independent bookstore to feature for California. California is one of those lucky large states with quite a few awesome bookstores to choose from. After careful deliberation I decided to go with Green Apple Books because it was the first indie bookstore I visited in California many years ago and because I've had a special place in my heart for it ever since. What can I say? I'm sentimental about my bookstores! (Um you guys are, too. Right? Anyone?)

This indie bookstore has been around since 1967, has a huge selection of all sorts of books, and it is all around awesome. The booksellers who work there are treasure troves of book information and there are always a large selection of staff recommended books that I check out when I'm in this store. If you've been to San Francisco and haven't stopped by this bookstore, I don't know if we can be friends anymore. Just sayin'. I'm doing this for your own good though. I promise. Once you visit this store, you'll be thanking me over and over again and be back in my good graces.  :)

Facebook: Green Apple Books

Last Bookstore: Antigone Books in Arizona
Next Bookstore: Sundance Bookstore in Nevada

July 28, 2013

Arizona: Antigone Books

I told you guys I was going to catch up on posts from the road, so here goes! Tucson, Arizona has a really cute and wonderful indie store called Antigone Books that's not too far from the University of Arizona's campus.

It's filled with character which really seems to be a pre-requisite for a loved and successful indie bookstore, right? I mean if we wanted boring and uninteresting, we'd go to a boring chain store! It has a great book selection as well as a large assortment of journals and cards. It actually has a bigger selection of journals than I've seen in any bookstore so far. And the most interesting fun fact? The store is 100% solar powered.

Facebook: Antigone Books
Twitter: Antigone Books


Next Bookstore: Green Apple Books in California

July 25, 2013

New Mexico: Moby Dickens

As I'm sure you guys have noticed, blog updates have been slow lately. I've hit a leg of the trip where I'm doing a store in the morning and driving 7 to 9 hours to the next state in one day. It's awesome, but it's also a little bit exhausting! If you're not following me on instagram, twitter, or facebook, that's where you're missing out. I'm posting regular updates on those sites about where I am and the things I've seen.

So what store is this? This  bookstore is the AWESOME and FANTASTIC Moby Dickens in  Taos, New Mexico. Another reason  I delayed this particular blog post is  that I wanted to be able to articulate just how great the owners of this  bookstore (Jay & Carolyn Moore) really are. But I've given up on being able to do that and have just decided to lazily employ a bunch exclamation points:

Moby Dickens and its owners are awesome!!!! 

Taos, New Mexico (Taos rhymes with house) is a cute small town with tons of character. I was tipped off about this indie store by an old friend from New York who now lives in Taos. (Shout out to her great blog: www.tipsandtrickswithashleighbeyer.com) Moby Dickens and Taos are pretty special places that are definitely worth visiting one day if you get the chance.

I will try to post more often even if it's just a few words and some pictures. Tomorrow I'm doing the bookstore in Wyoming and hitting the road to South Dakota.

Facebook: Moby Dickens

Next Bookstore: Antigone Books in Arizona

July 21, 2013

Progress Update

Indie Bookstores of America tour update! These are the states I've made it to bookstores in so far. More blog post updates about stores coming soon! :-)

Next stop: Idaho

July 17, 2013

Colorado: Tattered Cover Book Store

If you've been to Denver, Colorado and haven't checked out Tattered Cover, what the heck is the matter with you?!

Was that too harsh? Well I'm only sort of sorry.

If you like to read and enjoy a good bookstore, you have to check out one or all of the Tattered Cover locations in Denver.

Tattered Cover has three locations, and they're all awesome and huge. In addition to being an overall awesome bookstore, Tattered Cover makes self-publishing your book simple and easy. How many bookstore do you know that have their own press and make it available for everyday folks to print their books professionally and economically? Now that's true book love.

Facebook:  Tattered Cover
Twitter: Tattered Cover

Last Bookstore: Rainy Day Books in Kansas
Next Bookstore: Moby Dickens in New Mexico

July 12, 2013

Kansas: Rainy Day Books

You know what you won't find when you walk into Rainy Day Books in Kansas City? A bunch of signs labeling book sections. I love that. And I also happen to love the reason behind it. Roger Doeren (Chief Operating Officer at Rainy Day Books) told me they want customers to come into the store and feel as comfortable as if they were in a living room.

And that's exactly what it felt like, too. It felt like being over at a person's house for the first time and browsing his or her bookshelves.

Vivien and Roger
Another really amazing and completely mind blowing fact about this store is that they average 300 events a year! They have hosted nearly every author you can possibly think of at this store. The store itself is a good size, but because their events can draw extremely large crowds, they either use another venue or get permission from the city to set up outside. When I asked if they had an event planner, I was surprised and impressed that they didn't. Vivien Jennings, the owner, and all of the staff are clearly book lovers and literary supporters to the extreme --- exactly what we all should want and hope for in a wonderful bookstore.

(P.S. - I have to throw in a special shout out for following this store on Twitter. It's highly entertaining and run by a man I will refer to only as Guy Montag. :-)

Facebook: Rainy Day Books
Twitter: Rainy Day Books

Next Bookstore: Tattered Cover in Colorado

July 6, 2013

Oklahoma: Full Circle Books

Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City has an awesome atmosphere. It feels a little bit like a classic library meets a comfy bookstore. It even has fireplaces that they light during the winter months. I can just imagine browsing their huge selection of books and reading a little bit by the warmth of a fire. Doesn't that sound like a great way to spend a cold afternoon?

The store also has a full cafe and outdoor seating area. On Friday and Saturday nights they even feature live music from local musicians. This is one of those stores I was talking about when I explained that bookstores serve as a safe and alcohol free place for a community to come together -- to interact in real life! Local indie stores of all kinds contribute to community building and make our cities and towns better places to live. Be sure to check out Full Circle Books whenever you're in Oklahoma City!


Last Bookstore: Book People in Texas
Next Bookstore: Rainy Day Books in Kansas

July 1, 2013

Texas: Book People

One of the dangers of doing a project like this is that I will buy a million books in every store I visit and no longer have room in my car for me or my clothes. You think I'm exaggerating this danger? When I moved from New York to Florida, I had 15 boxes of books. They were not small boxes either.

So far I have been really good at resisting the temptation to buy every book that stands out in all the stores. I had my toughest test of willpower, however, when I visited the amazing store, Book People, in Austin, Texas. Book People has tantalizing books and book related merchandise of all kinds in its two story location that makes it nearly impossible to walk in and not buy something!

I loved this store. Loved. Can you tell? It's also a great example of an indie store that shows indie store does not have to equal a small store. It's a huge store with a great cafe, and yet somehow, it manages to keep a  welcoming indie vibe. Maybe another reason I wanted to buy so many books is the placement of "staff recommendations" and other recommendations placed everywhere on all the shelves. I've never seen so many personally recommended books in a bookstore. They're in every section and cross all sorts of genres.

I really can't say enough good things about this store or its staff and CEO. Bryan, the store manager, showed me around and pointed out some really unique cool spots in the store. (The barbershop chair, the tunnel in the kids' section...)  Also the store's CEO Steve Bercu was
recentlyelected President of the American Booksellers Association.

Facebook: Book People
Twitter: Book People

Next Bookstore: Full Circle Books in Oklahoma