On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

General Bookishness > Favorite Bookstores

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message 1: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Looking for that special book? I've added this topic for those who find a good bookstore their favorite destination. Feel free to add you own. To kick us off, follow this link for some of the best bookstores in the South. http://www.southernliving.com/travel/...

message 2: by Daniel (new)

Daniel One of my favorite places although clearly not in the South (of the United States). Great selection. http://www.midwaybook.com/

message 3: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Daniel wrote: "One of my favorite places although clearly not in the South (of the United States). Great selection. http://www.midwaybook.com/"

Daniel, Thanks so much for the addition. This discussion is meant for our members no matter where they live. It can be a great source for helping members find that special book, or a great visit while traveling!

Lawyer Stevens

message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee Thompson | 7 comments Faulkner House. Damn. Have to go there.

message 5: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Faulkner House. Damn. Have to go there."

Oh, yes. And you will drool over the Faulkner collection there. Sherwood Anderson lived in an apartment not far from Pirate's Alley. Fortunately, he pointed Faulkner in the direction of Lafayette County, Ms., which became Yoknapatawpha County, and Oxford which became Jefferson. Unfortunately, Faulkner skewered Anderson in a caricaturish sketch of the man. I believe it is included in New Orleans Sketches. Anderson didn't deserve it. Whether Faulkner every felt any remorse, I don't know. I'll have to hit Faulkner A Biography by Joseph Leo Blotner to review that.

message 6: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Everitt wrote: "For me, I love http://www.bookpeople.com/. It's one of the best things about Austin. But another book shop I also really like is http://www.bravenewbookstore.com/. More of a political slant, but th..."

I married a Texas girl from Dallas. She did and does love Austin. I've enjoyed my visits there. I'll definitely check out your fine recommendations my next visit. I love her stories of her days at UT. If it's weird now, it was weirder then. *laughing*

Lawyer Stevens

message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee Thompson | 7 comments Thanks, Mike! That is definitely a road trip I'm taking. I've gotta add those two books to my list, too!

message 8: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Jake Reiss and The Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, Alabama

Following is a response to a goodreads friend who lives in Virginia. As I do, he seeks out signed first editions. I have asked him for his source and am waiting for his reply. However, I have no problem sharing my source. Here is the story...

Dear ....

Bibliomania is not only gentle, but divine, in its madness. The reference to gentle madness of a bibliophile comes from the title of Nicholas A. Basbanes wonderful work of the same title.

I have been blessed to live near The Alabama Booksmith located in Homewood, Al. It is only a short drive from Tuscaloosa. The store's owner is a little imp of a man, a djinn, capable of granting wishes without number, Puckish, Rabelaisian, aging gracefully with silver hair, pulled back into a rakish pony-tail. I will probably be told I have used too many adjectives.

However, there are not enough to describe the man.He is of a previous generation. He could either be a holdover from the sixties or a Federalist. At times it is difficult to know. He is my favorite bookseller. I lovingly call him my book bandit and accuse him of guerrilla warfare in book marketing. His staff embrace the term with glee.

Jake Reiss started out in the clothing business. His ancestors tailored men's clothing. Nothing came off the rack. The history of his store may be found on his website, http://www.alabamabooksmith.com.

While he was well known in the Birmingham area, he seemed content to remain so. I discovered him by a fluke of serendipity--a blurb from Charles Shields, the author of Mockingbird which is an unauthorized biography of Nelle Harper Lee. He mentioned being at the Booksmith on a particular date and I went there.

Imagine my amazement to discover this shop. I had travelled for years from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Oxford, Mississippi, making regular pilgrimages to Faulkner country, visiting Square Books, another remarkable shop.

Being of an incredibly social nature, with an ability to charm the pants or pantaloons off of the author in his cross-hairs, Jake has developed connections with authors you would not expect to visit little old Alabama. Of course, you could expect local writers, but Tracy Chevalier? Bobbie Ann Mason? Lee Smith? Sena Jeter Naslund? Pat Conroy? Winston Groom? Robert Olen Butler? Oh, I had hit a bibliophile's dream shop.

The remarkable thing was that Jake welcomed his customers to bring in their copies of earlier works by authors appearing at his shop.

Sweet Jesus. Having been "raised right" it would be unmannerly to list my treasures. However, I will show you mine, if you show me yours. *chuckle*

So, I'd be interested in knowing the source of your signed first editions. Jake has a signed first editions club you might be interested in. However, your source may make mine pale in comparison. But I would venture that Jake Reiss is man you would find fascinating and fire a desire within you to spend hours in his company as I have.

My reading is of a very broad nature. Jake always notifies me of anything forthcoming which he knows I will not be willing to resist. Hence, my description of him as a practitioner of the dark art of guerrilla book marketing.

In turn, I relish the look on his face when I bring in a first of "Forrest Gump" in pristine condition for Winston Groom to sign. Jake, upon Mr. Groom's signing the copy, generously offered me $10.00 more than what I had paid for the unsigned edition. It is a running gag between the two of us.

In the vast, impossible world of "if only," I can only imagine what might have happened if Jake had entered the book business while Faulkner, Welty, Warren, Steinbeck, Hemingway, McCullers and O'Connor still lived. Well, wouldn't it be pretty to think so.



Lawyer Stevens

message 9: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 127 comments http://www.tatteredcover.com/

I love The Tattered Cover in Denver.

message 10: by Autumn (new)

Autumn (autumnmemory80) I love Capitol Books in Montgomery. Such a cute little bookstore with such a great collection.

message 11: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Autumn wrote: "I love Capitol Books in Montgomery. Such a cute little bookstore with such a great collection.

Whenever I'm in Montgomery, I always visit Capitol Books. It was originally downtown and was known as Capitol Book and News. It's always a pleasant visit and they are very involved in the Alabama Festival of the Book. Great folks there.

Lawyer Stevens

message 12: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich (spenkevich) | 18 comments Oh man, I want to see this Faulkner house....

There is a used bookstore up here in Ann Arbor, the Dawn Treader (cool points for its C.S. Lewis name) that has populated a large portion of my bookshelf. There is also a place in Detroit called Kings Used Bookstore which is practically a poor mans Borges labyrinth.

message 13: by Jessie J (new)

Jessie J (subseti) | 296 comments Ann Patchett and Karen Haye's independent bookstore in Nashville:


message 14: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Slaughter | 15 comments www.bookexchangemarietta.com
Cathy Blanco's store is THE place to visit in metro Atlanta...she knows how to throw a book event and has a wonderful selection of new and pre-read books!

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