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Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Indie Bookstore Road Trip 2013

It's 350 miles to Des Moines, I got a full tank of gas, an iPhone full of bookish podcasts and audiobooks, it's dark (well, not really)...and I'm wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

Tomorrow, I'm leaving on a four-state, five-city Labor Day weekend roadtrip totally focused on books — otherwise known as the best reason to roadtrip ever. Woo, books! The plan is to stop at eight independent bookstores (and maybe one highly recommended Barnes and Noble in Kansas City) along the way.

Here's the planned route, starting out heading west from Chicago:

And here's the list of bookstores:
1. Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA
2. Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, IA
3. The Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS
4. The Dusty Bookshelf, Lawrence, KS
5. Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS (Kansas City)
6. Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO (near St. Louis)
7. Subterranean Books, St. Louis
8. Left Bank Books, St. Louis

Is this trip just a tad dorky? Oh, yeah. Am I super excited about it? Yes. Yes, I am. It's something I've always wanted to do, and since the future spouse's mother and sister are in town this weekend to wedding-dress shop, I have a free pass for a Weekend of Dork. And this is the best possible way I can think to take advantage.


So I'll have a full report next week. Until then...onward!

29 comments:

  1. I've always had the slightly mad notion to do an entire 'literary road trip' across the country, and visit the homes of some of my favorite authors/ spots that are featured in their works. Everything culminating in getting to Salinas Valley to worship at the literary feet of Steinbeck. Your trip sound's great!!!

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    1. That sounds awesome, too! "Worship at the literary feet of Steinbeck" - well said!

      This idea was originally conceived as a cross-country indie bookstore tour, which I still may do some day, but I had to scale this one back to fit it into a long weekend.

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    2. Make sure you share with us all the excellent book scores you pick up! I'll occasionally go on a Half-Price Books bender when I'm in C-bus Ohio, where I hit the 3 stores that are within 20 minutes of each other. Never good for my bank account.

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  2. "Weekend of Dork" = amazing. Have fun and buy lots of books!

    Also, didn't realize you were getting married - congrats!

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  3. Dorky? Maybe. Totally awesome? You bet!
    I ca't wait to read about your adventures. Safe travels.

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    1. Thanks - it IS awesome. I'm excited. :)

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  4. I fully expect pictures, Greg. This sounds absolutely amazing!

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    1. Oh, there will definitely be a fully photo-supported BR post next week.

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  5. Wow, this is awesome! I'm sure we'll all be living vicariously through you and I'm excited to read all about the trip. I always visit cool bookstores when I take trips but have never planned a trip entirely around visiting cool bookshops. Sounds awesome! Have tons of fun, as I'm sure you will! :)

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  6. Kristine BrancoliniAugust 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I'm super-envious and thinking that I should plan a similar trip with my equally book-obsessed spouse, focusing on California, which is our home base. Planning it would be half the fun -- as I'm sure was the case with your road trip. I also like the idea of visiting all of the shrines of authors...

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    1. That'd be awesome - I'd love to do a similar trip in California. Two of my favorite bookstores are there - Skylight in LA and City Lights in SF. Do it!

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  7. Be sure to quench your thirist after all that driving and shopping with a pint at the Red Lyon or a fantastic, cheesy "Shark Attack" at The Sand Bar in Lawrence. Two of Jeff O'Neal's favorite bars.

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  8. This sounds like so much fun. What audiobooks are on your docket? Are you planning on books to buy at each store?

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    1. Audiobooks: Starting with ZEALOT. We'll see how it goes... (Also have JANE EYRE ... but not sure about that one...)

      Yes, definitely going to buy something (and get a bookmark) at each store!

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  9. There are actually TWO Left Bank Books in St. Louis. There's one downtown which is nice and new and big. There's another in the Central West End which has a bit more character (and a great used section). You should hit up both if you have the time.

    Also, have you considered a meet-up in each city? I don't know how much time you've got, but I'd buy you a beer when you hit StL :)

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    1. I did know there were two, and had planned on just hitting the one downtown - maybe I will try to get to 'em both. Character is key. Thanks for the info!

      Thanks for the offer - I'm trying to keep things as relatively simple as they can be. Perhaps next time through St. Louis!

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  10. What a great idea for a trip! Wish I could talk my hubby into this kind of thing; maybe if I could work in a water park?

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  11. Oh, this is SO fun! Are there any in store events you're planning to catch on your trip?

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    1. No store events planned - but you did make me look to see if anywhere happening. But there are not, unfortunately...

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  12. This sounds like a great time! Happy driving, shopping, and listening!

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  13. Have a safe trip and be sure to take plenty of pictures:)

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  14. This is AWESOME - have so much fun! Next year, you should visit Canada and do the same thing. Our country is filled with fantastic Indies. :)

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  15. Wow, enjoy! Totally not what my husband would do if he had a weekend with himself! I'm looking forward to the BR post - wonder what you'll buy! Are you going solo or with a friend?

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