Tag Archives: book stores



What makes a book store a place you want to spend your time?

Among the treats during my time in Saratoga Springs was a visit to a newly opened independent book store called Northshire Bookstore. It is located on Broadway in the heart of Saratoga Springs. This is a second store for the Northshire Family. Their first is located in Manchester Center, Vermont. As I have said in an earlier blog about a bookstore in Petoskey, MI, a visit to such a place always makes my heart beat faster and lightens my mood.

The Saratoga store is recently opened. It is a comfortable place that draws one in; the lighting, the seating, the arrangement of the shelves, all invite. Browsing is easy. Books are everywhere before you to see and touch. One can easily read a sentence, a paragraph, a blurb or more. This makes for an experience that is at once calming and exhilarating.

On the day I visited, it was a very busy place and yet…I was able to see and hold many books. I loved being there, taking in the extensive breadth and depth of their collection.

What did I buy? My first thought was to buy five or six books and have them shipped home. But more sober thoughts prevailed. I purchased two I could easily add to my luggage.

First, I took a closer look at some of the cookbooks I mentioned in my earlier blog “Cookbook Choices.” I was especially tempted by the beauty and wealth of information in Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison and Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables by Matt Wilkinson. In the end I chose The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories From the Masumoto Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto and others. I am enjoying the stories as well as the recipes, and will hope to share more about this book in an upcoming blog.

Having just attended the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at The Hyde, I also purchased How Georgia Became O’Keeffe by Karen Karbo. The author brings a modern viewpoint and considerable wit to telling us something of the Georgia O’Keeffe story. I enjoyed Karbo’s writing and thoroughly enjoyed the read. I’d like to read more about Georgia O’Keeffe.

The bookstore website is terrific. It includes staff picks and reviews, a blog, new releases, upcoming events and more. They have a mail order business.


Among the staff picks in the brochure for August that especially interested me is More Scenes from Rural Life by Verlyn Kinkenborg. He is a New York Times columnist born in Iowa. I love his writing. Many vignettes feature his upstate New York farm. Another pick that caught my eye is They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky by Benjamin Ajak and others. This book details the journey of three lost boys, refugees of fighting in the Sudan who trek across 1,000 miles of country under extreme conditions. And what about Train Dreams by Denis Johnson or A Marker to Measure Drift? Maybe I just like to read book titles.

It is a place to celebrate reading.


Indie Booksellers almost always captivate me, put me under their spell. Last week I had a few minutes at one of the very best. McLean and Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, MI. Wow! What a place! Not only is it a place filled with terrific books, so many of them. It is also brimming with welcoming spirit that will fill your heart with joy.

I had only a few minutes last week when I dashed in like I was being chased by the rain. Two delightful staffers gathered my scattered self. You would have thought I was their oldest customer. In moments they had a pick for me. The recommendation: The Invisible Bridge. It is a novel by Julie Orringer. A New York Times Notable Book the Chicago Tribune says it is a tale of war-torn lovers, family and survival of the luckiest rather than the fittest. Other reviewers sing its praises. It sounded like a fit for me. I bought it and left with enough McLean and Eakin newsletters for five friends waiting at a nearby restaurant.

I have my favorite bookstores: Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Downtown Books in Apalachicola. Now I have one in my own state. Hooray!

What I am especially looking forward to is a special trip to Petoskey to spend some quality time in McLean and Eakin with the books and the people. In the meantime they have a website that will have you salivating. www.mcleanandeakin.com It is so complete and easy-to-use that it could keep anyone out of trouble for some time. It may cause us to buy more books and that is a good thing.

Some piece of information you absolutely need is on this website. For example, I learned that one of my favorite authors Ivan Doig had a new book out last year, and I totally missed it. He writes great stories about interesting family relationships, and the characters usually live in Montana, a place I love to go to in books. I love to be there in person, too, but it is far away.

A very special thanks to the staff. They treated me like a visiting dignitary rather than a person who……… Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. I am so looking forward to my next visit.

Please let us know about your favorite bookstores. Tell us about the one that excites and calms you at the same time.