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Bookstores, tourism, and a shameless plug for some friends

January 9, 2008

File under T, for Travel: Beth J. Harpaz brings us, via the Associated Press, thoughts on the “destination bookstore”. Or, as the question has it, “When is a bookstore worth a tourist’s time?

Some bookstores offer literary touchstones, like the wooden chairs signed by writers who’ve visited That Bookstore in Blytheville, an Arkansas institution frequented by native son John Grisham. City Lights in San Francisco, once a hangout for Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, draws tourists from around the world.

“Each one of these stores has a unique, distinct personality and approach,” said Meg Smith, chief marketing officer for the American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores. “You really do see a snapshot of the town and the region in these kinds of fulsome independent bookstores.”

And while City Lights is the only California bookstore on the list, the article put me in mind of SCWC’s good friends over at Mysterious Galaxy, which happens to make its home in San Diego. (That’s right, San Diego …. What? What’s that? What’s so special about San Diego? Do I really need to remind you?)

Anyway, click the link and check ’em out. If you live in the San Diego area and haven’t made it down to browse their titles and fabulous offering of signed first editions … well … what’s your excuse?

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