In the infamous year of 2020, I had a plan to visit a new bookstore or library each month. January and February went great. In January, I participated in a book festival at McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina. In February, I was in Los Angeles visiting family and visited the Hawthorne Public Library and Skylight Books in Los Angeles. Then, well, we know what happened in March, 2020.
2021 started out slowly, but by May I was back in the swing of things. I visited Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, a dream of a bookstore with both new and used titles. In June, I paid a visit to Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC, which my daughter insisted I had visited before, but I did not remember.
July turned out to be the best month that I have had in a long time — travel, bookstores, new food, new adventures.
After much deliberation about travel during the pandemic, I took the non-stop Raleigh to Los Angeles flight and hung out with my sons and their families for twelve days. After roughing in on Catalina Island for a couple of days, which included two close encounters with resident bison on the island, it was back to enjoying museums and the artsy, literary places that I love.
I managed to hit five bookstores in two days, an adventure only rivaled by the four art museums in six days in the Netherlands in 2018. Ojai Valley Library Friends Twice Sold Tales was the first, followed by Bart’s Books in Ojai, California. Then to Ventura, where my son Will had another bookstore he didn’t want me to miss. OK, it turned out to be three. Bank of Books, Timbre Book, and Abednego Book Shoppe. We were headed for Bank of Books, where I believe I made a purchase. Abednego was about a mile down the street, so three of us decided to walk, along the way we found Timbre Books. A very successful trip.
Thank heavens for media mail, I was able to mail home several books to avoid an overweight suitcase.
It’s the end of August now. I need to catch up. Fortunately, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has several good bookstores I haven’t been to. It’s just a matter of making a choice.