✿Ring Around the Prose✿



The best indie bookstores

Bustle recently posted a list of the best indie bookstores in every major U.S. city. I’ve made a small dent, but have a ways to go. I think a road trip is in order! 😉

✔ Left Bank Books Collective—Seattle, WA
✔ Powell’s City of Books—Portland, OR
✔ Dog Eared Books—San Francisco, CA
The Last Bookstore—Los Angeles, CA
Tattered Cover Bookstore—Denver, CO
South Congress Books—Austen, TX
Myopic Books—Chicago, IL
A Cappella Books—Atlanta, GA
Books & Books—Miami, FL
Politics & Prose—Washington, D.C.
The Book Trader—Philadelphia, PA
✔ Strand Bookstore—New York City, NY
Brattle Book Shop—Boston, MA

Where have you been? What would you add to this list?


Update: books bought in the last three days!

The wonderful thing about having your boyfriend in town is that every day becomes a “treat yo’ self” kind of day, or in my case, a “treat yo’ shelf” kind of day.

Two cities, three days, four bookstores, and thirteen books later, I present to you: my recent loot.

Powell’s City of Books (Portland, OR)

On Sunday I spent a good chunk of time exploring the many lovely floors of Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon (I would be lying if I said the distance to Powell’s didn’t factor in my decision to attend school in Washington).

This bookstore is fantastic in more ways than one, but I especially appreciated how they tagged books written by Writers of Color (WOC) throughout the store. Given my reading goals this year, it made it easier to head for the content I was really interested in.

Continue reading “Update: books bought in the last three days!”

August Book Haul!

Hello everyone! I’m writing this post from my new home in Seattle! I moved over the weekend, well ahead of the start of the school quarter, to give myself time to explore my new neighborhood. After fixing up my room for the better part of three days, I treated myself to some new books this morning at my local bookstore. You’ll have to wait until the end of the month for that haul list, but here’s mine for August!

  1. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  2. Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, book 3) by Jacqueline Winspear
  3. The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs, book 4) by Jacqueline Winspear
  4. The Case of the Missing Books (Mobile Library Mystery, book 1) by Ian Sansom
  5. Mr. Dixon Disappears (Mobile Library Mystery, book 2) by Ian Sansom
  6. The Summer we Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek
  7. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  8. Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Kindle)
  9. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (Kindle)
  10. The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Whose Body?, Clouds of Witness, and Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers (Kindle)
  11. Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, book 1) by Jeff VanderMeer
  12. Acceptance (Southern Reach Trilogy, book 3) by Jeff VanderMeer
  13. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
  14. Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer by Una LaMarche
  15. Emma by Jane Austen
  16. Cabin Fever by Mandy Smith
  17. Motorcycle Diaries by Ernest Che Guevara
  18. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  19. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

May Book Haul

May book haul
Not pictured: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

I got my hands on more books than I expected to this month. Most were from local bookstores, three were given to me by friends, two were e-books from Amazon, and one was from Book of the Month. As much as I could I tried to balance getting books that are on my TBR lists and new titles I hadn’t heard of that piqued my curiosity.

It’s hard to decide what to read first, but I’m most excited for 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

May Book Haul titles:

  1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  2. Paula by Isabele Allende
  3. Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
  4. Party Headquarters by Georgi Tenev
  5. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
  6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte
  8. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  9. Hip: The History by John Leland
  10. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  11. A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt
  12. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
  13. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  14. Cleaning Up New York by Bob Rosenthal
  15. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  16. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  17. Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald
  18. Naked by David Sedaris
  19. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
  20. Amor and Psycho by Carolyn Cooke
  21. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  22. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  23. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  24. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  25. The Naked Pint by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune
  26. Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh
  27. Think Like a Freak by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt
  28. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  29. Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Half Price Books is having a storewide sale and you need to help me come up with a game plan

half price

Because if you don’t, I will end up overspending and will likely have to buy more moving boxes. No bueno.

I was thinking I’d make a list of the top ten books I really, really want to read, and then maybe only buy the first five I find, or buy as many as I can until I hit $20. To make things interesting, I’m going to fill up five of the slots with things on my TRL, but I want YOU to help me come up with the other five by telling me the first book you’d try to find at a book sale.

Here’s my list so far (in no particular order):

  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  2. Crowfall by Shanta Gokhale
  3. Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan
  4. In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar
  5. The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
  6. ???
  7. ???
  8. ???
  9. ???
  10. ???

P.S. Is anyone else gonna try to make it over to HPB this weekend?


It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is much faster to buy books than it is to read them


I have a habit of buying books faster than I can read them, which means I have a whole bunch just sitting around my apartment collecting dust. For my current reading challenge I’m doing my best to finish books I already own instead of buying new ones.

How often do you buy books? Do you have any tips on how to limit the number of new books that make it to your shelves? Comment and let me know!

And another independent bookstore closes its doors


Today a friend told me about a sale at a bookstore near my apartment. Usually I’m stoked about book sales at local bookstores: collections are slightly more eclectic; and if you’re lucky enough to develop a relationship with the owners, staff, and other patrons, you get some solid recommendations and information about other book-things like author readings and publishing events.

Usually I’m stoked about this type of stuff, but today was bittersweet. The book sale was more of a book giveaway. The store is closing because an increase in the minimum wage coupled with a decrease in foot traffic means it can no longer afford the rent. All the books that weren’t sold in the weeks before the store officially closed were kept outside for people to take for free.

Though I had only been to this particular bookstore a handful of times, there are other independent bookstores in my city that I visit regularly, and most of my book purchases happen in those stores. I think it’s important to support local businesses, but I also realize that convenience is a high priority for a lot of people and that’s often the reason why businesses like Amazon attract more customers.

I’m curious to know how many of you purchase books from local stores versus large sellers like Amazon. What makes you pick one over the other? Is it convenience? Is it price? Is it the selection? Is there a realistic balance we can set to make sure we’re supporting families who can’t compete with big stores on their own?

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