My Bookstore Bucket List

MyFavoriteBookstore

When I was preparing to retire as a librarian, I read several books about aging and retirement. I received some excellent advice that translated into action which is reflected in my blog. The first and broader task was to think in terms of legacy — what did I want to leave behind and how could I best accomplish what was important to me in the remaining years of my life? The second was more specific and had to do with what would make my remaining years fulfilling and enjoyable — my bucket list.

The photo above illustrates one item on my bucket list — to visit as many bookstores as I can and to promote them and those that are out of my reach.  You can see that I have collected bookmarks from many of those I have visited, an inexpensive and unencumbered way to remember them.

One item on my bucket list — to visit as many bookstores as I can and to promote them and those that are out of my reach.

I have expanded this bucket list item to a “make-a-wish” venture for booklovers whereby my friends and I would participate in a bookstore tour of some length. A good starting point would be those featured in my book recommendation for the month:

My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop 

I loved this book on several levels. Many of my favorite authors have written essays included in the book, which gave me insight into their reading and shopping habits. The essays almost inevitably introduced me to the owners and staff of the stores, and confirmed what I had already known: those who own and work in bookstores are extraordinary people, who see and understand the world as I do. Each author’s biographical information include titles from their work, so I have also gained many books for my “to read” list. What more could I ask for?

To answer my own question, let me state that I am not a person who would enjoy cruises, especially those that would put me on open water for several days. What I would enjoy would be a bookstore cruise. Put me on a train or a luxury bus in the company of other booklovers, give me a liberal shopping allowance, and send me from bookstore to bookstore, using those in this book as the itinerary. I would expect that the bookstore owner would be so excited to have shoppers by the busload, that they would make arrangements for a wonderful place for us to eat and spend the night. Oh, and a requirement would be that the author who wrote about the store in such glowing terms would return once more to meet all of their new friends (thanks to the book) and sign a few titles while they were there. Until that happens, I will use this book for my own itinerary and bookish bucket list.

I have already recruited some members of The Ravenous Readers group at the McLoud (Oklahoma) branch of the Pioneer Library System. I can’t imagine a more congenial group of bookstore cruisers, but would expect to also meet a lot of new bookish friends along the way.

Reading Resource of the Month

I will also introduce you to Parnassus Books in Nashville, because I enjoyed visiting there and because the co-owners are Karen Hayes and one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett.  While on their website, be sure to subscribe to her blog, Musing, which showcases exclusive interviews and original contributions from great authors and their own staff of booklovers (both human and canine).