Monday, November 27, 2023

My Favorite Bookstore, an open book blog hop post


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Do you have a favorite bookstore? 


I do love a good bookstore, but I have to be careful of going too often if I want to stay in the black financially. I'm especially a sucker for bookstore/coffeeshop combos. 

It all started when I was a college student in Morehead, Kentucky and found Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky. 

This was 1990, so the "big box" bookstore wasn't such a common thing. Borders hadn't yet made it to my part of the country and I'd never even heard of Barnes & Noble yet. My hometown of Bellevue, Kentucky hadn't had a bookstore in years, since the one we frequented when I was a child closed. But Jo-Beth was heaven on earth, a palace for books and probably responsible for my first maxed out credit card. 

These days, I'm not such a fan of the big ones, though they serve their purposes. I'm more interested in small, personally owned and operated bookstores. You know, indies. :-) The quirkier, the better. 

There are a few near me and I love them all for different reasons: 

  • Purple Crow
  • Flyleaf
  • Epilogue
  • Golden Fig
  • Quail Ridge
  • The Regulator
  • Letters
I've probably forgotten a few. What's key for me is something hard to define, the "vibe" of a place. 

I don't want to feel hurried, but nor do I want it to be difficult to find something when I'm looking for something in particular. The staff should be pleasant to interact with and never respond with snobbery or disapproval about any requested book. It should feel like everyone, the workers and shoppers alike, enjoy being there. 

My current favorite might not actually be one near me, but one near my parents' house. Roebling Books in Dayton, Kentucky. There are three of them in the northern Kentucky area, but the Dayton one is the one I like best. Unusual books on offer, lovely treats in the coffeeshop (that babke!), an old building that had been left unloved too long and has now been made special, and very cool and kind staff. 

It's been weird, watching Bellevue and Dayton transform from the more blue-collar towns they were in my childhood into quaint shopping districts for the denizens of giant condos that no one I grew up would have been able to afford. Mostly, I'm ambivalent at best about all the development and change, but it's great to see a building come back to life and add value to the community, which Roebling definitely does. 

I'm always seeking out the bookstore, wherever I travel, and I'm always glad I found the place where the readers are, because that's always the coolest place in town. 

What makes your favorite bookstore special? 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. You're lucky having so many bookstores to choose from.

  2. Never heard of Jo-Beth. I do know a couple of the stores you listed mostly because I know where they are located!

    1. As far as I know, Joseph Beth on has two locations in Lexington and Cincinnati, OH

  3. I prefer the small independent bookstores too, but sadly many are closing over here in the UK.

    1. Maybe it will pendulum soon like it is starting to do here in the states--big box service is declining and that's making room for smaller businesses to thrive.