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Friday, November 9, 2012

My Bookstore

It's no secret that I love books. And while purchasing loads and loads of books to line the walls of my apartment is not within my budget, I could spend hours upon hours in bookstores just walking and reading and loving. So I had to pick up My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop edited by Richard Russo. 

This book is a collection of essays by writers you might know and writers you may not. Anne Patchett has an essay in here as does Dave Eggers and Chuck Palahniuk. There are also writers of books I have posted about on this blog, such as John Grisham. In each essay the writer tells a tale about their favorite bookstore and why they love it.

If you, too, love bookstores, then you, too, will be drawn in by their tales. The one thing all of these essays have in common is love--love of the written word, love of the feeling of a good bookstore, and love of the independent bookseller. No bookstore in this tome is a big-box retailer. Some writers will drive hours to get to their favorite store and others will fly to get there. Some have the ability to just walk up the street. No matter, they will all get there somehow.

In about a third of the essays the writers go out of their way to bash e-readers, which I have to say bothered me a bit. They certainly have the right to hate those newfangled contraptions, but I happened to be reading this very book on an e-reader. I understand their loathing, but I think that they are also being somewhere closed minded. Several essays sing the praises of both the printed word and the electronic word, stating that there is no reason they can't both live simultaneously in the world.

Overall I enjoyed this collection. I could read an essay, pick up another book, and never lose my place in this one. I was able to use it as a pick-me-up when my days got me down or I needed a reminder as to what I love and why.

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