Bookstores as a travel pursuit (part 2)

A few days ago Jamie talked about going to book talks and readings as a travel pursuit. So what about going for the bookstores themselves? It turns out there’s a word for these places: “destination bookstores.”

It can be as simple as a bookstore where visiting authors have signed their names on the chairs they sat in. Or a place like That Bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas, the famous literary headwaters of native-son John Grisham. Or try City Lights in San Francisco, which attracts thousands of tourists a year who come to see the hangout of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

And for you New Yorkers, there’s the famous bookstore at Broadway and 12th Street, The Strand. It’s got something like 4 miles of shelve space–and it’s an unparalleled place for finding rare and out-of-print books. Of course, The Strand is also well known for feeding an entire army of homeless people who scrounge in recycle bins for books to sell to the store. (See this New York Times piece from last week profiling these entrepreneurs).

Check out nine destination bookstores here; if you’re lucky, one may be just around the corner.