My book tour is officially over.

(Or at least the part that involves me going to bookstores. I’m doing Literary Death Match next month in L.A. (Nov. 7) and I’ll be attending the Miami Book Fair as well.)

This time around, I had the pleasure of reading and Q&Aing at an amazing group of thriving independent bookstores. Each bookstore provided a glimpse into a lively community of readers and writers, whether they’d been around for 20+ years (Diesel in Oakland) or had only just moved to a new location (A Room of One’s Own in Madison). As soon as I walked in the door of any of these stores, my first thought was: Yeah, I could live in this neighborhood. Then: These are my people.

I want to say thank you to each of these stores. For hosting wonderful events. For hosting me. For their commitment to good books. And, finally, for the books I picked up in each of their stores, books that will be forever intertwined in my memory with my experience of the stores themselves.

(The best thing about physical books is not the smell of the paper, the look of the type, even the heft of the book itself, but the associations they carry. That stained page, that receipt or metro card tucked between pages, that torn dust jacket–they take you back to a moment, a place, people, meals…)

Without further ado…THANK YOU:

McNally-Jackson, New York. (WOLF HALL, by Hilary Mantel)

Green Apple Books, San Francisco. (SATANTANGO, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai)

Diesel, a Bookstore, Oakland. (see Diesel, L.A. Extra thanks to John Peck for the Saint Pauli N.A.)

Diesel, a Bookstore, L.A. (I buy two books a week here. This is my home away from home.)

Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City. (THE WAVES, by Virginia Woolf)

A Room of One’s Own, Madison. (BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, by Ben Fountain)

BookPeople, Austin. (THE ILIAD, by Homer)

Book Soup, West Hollywood. (ZOO TIME, by Howard Jacobson)

Skylight Books, Los Angeles. (CONSIDER THE LOBSTER, by David Foster Wallace)

If you’re in any of these cities, and you’re thinking of picking up a book, old or new, famous or obscure, resist the urge to one-click that shit to your house or your device. Head on down. TALK TO A BOOKSELLER. They don’t bite.

 

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