26 comments on “Adventures in the City of Literature

  1. I always love going to new cities and making a list of the bookstores in the area. I tend to find that the creaky little bookshops are more appealing, too.

    • Oh, and they had a bookshop cat! I don’t know that I’d like that kind of a shop if I were looking for something specific, but they’re perfect for browsing.

  2. That’s really cool – I had no idea about the ‘city of literature’, but it’s awesome that you went to check it out! And that your meeting with your online friend went well, too. I love creepy old bookstores. There are a few close to where I live and it’s just a fun atmosphere inside.

    I visited a really neat bookstore in Columbus when I visited a friend years ago. The Book Loft in German Village. It was so adorable and quaint and I loved it. http://www.bookloft.com/

    • I’m actually going to be in Columbus this summer! But I doubt I’ll have any free time for exploring, unfortunately.

  3. I was not familiar with Iowa City and it’s literary lifestyle! Great pictures, and spotlighting of the bookstores (The Haunted Bookshop sounds like my kind of place!) I suppose you didn’t buy any books at the shops?

    My favorite literary destination is the birthplace of the Brontes in England – Haworth. It has a lovely cobbled street with a couple used bookstores which I loved visiting.

    • I didn’t, unfortunately; I keep myself on a pretty strict book-buying budget and there was nothing on my buy list at the moment. Although I did spend a lot of time looking in the “vintage children’s books” section. So many old Nancy Drews bringing back memories!

  4. If you do come back to eastern Iowa, I highly recommend check out ICON 39. We have a great line up authors coming to our event at the end of October/beginning of November.

    I attended the Iowa City Book Festival 2 years ago and it was tons of fun. It was in July that year. Last year they moved it to the fall.

    • You’re actually the second person to recommend ICON to me in the past week! I’ll have to check it out (and Cedar Rapids is even slightly closer than Iowa City is).

  5. I have always imagined meeting Tif IRL would be “easy peasy lemon squeezy” just like she is online! I never have known much about Iowa other than farms. Honestly had no idea about it, isn’t that terrible?

    • Well, that is sort of what we’re known for, along with most of the Midwest. University of Iowa is supposed to be a great school, though, so I guess it makes sense that the city around it would be so full of culture as well.

  6. I am so glad that we got to meet up before I move away!! Yay!!!

    The Haunted Bookshop is definitely my favorite bookshop in the area! Prairie Lights is fun, but Haunted has so much more personality that is right up my alley!! And, I adore the library here. There is tons of college kids that study there that I have noticed when I’ve been either hanging out or taking my kids there every week. I am sad that I will be leaving this library and likely going to one that is not quite as strong and awesome!

    I hope you make it to the Book Festival. Keep me posted!!

    • It is sad that you’re leaving such a great library. One of the things I was bummed about when I came here was leaving the Chicago library system, where I could get any book from any library through interlibrary loan for free. (We still have ILL here, but there’s a charge for it… I guess because it’s nowhere near as convenient as back in the suburbs.) But the quality of this one library makes up for not having access to 65 of them.

  7. I love to go to literary places in cities. I really make an effort to visit these places too. Every time I visit a town I go online to see if they have a cool library and if they do I make it my mission to go to that spot and see it.

    • I look for the libraries and bookstores in my own town when I move, but I don’t usually seek out places to visit elsewhere, so this was a new experience for me.

  8. Iowa City… I never would have thought. I have a friend who went to law school there… But I’m an East Coast Girl. Anyway! It looks like y’all had SO MUCH FUN. I got to meet up with Jennifer over at Bookalicious Mama and it was tons of fun getting to know the person behind the blog.

    • I wouldn’t have thought either. You just don’t expect to find a city with such a rich cultural presence in the middle of cornfields… but it was really great. And I think the fact that it is a smaller city, rather than a Chicago or a New York, really helps give it the atmosphere that it has.

  9. You should definitely go back for the Iowa City Book Festival! I’m going to St. Louis in September for a few days with my husband who has to go for work, so I should check out the literary scene ahead of time and find out what to do there.

    • Laurie C … Jumping in on this conversation! I used to live in St. Louis and can totally give you some hints if you want!! Just let me know if you are interested!! :)

    • You should. It really was a lot of fun, and it will give you something to do on your own while he’s working… and, looks like you’ve already got a resource!

    • Well, I’m sure there are more interesting places closer to you (with the exception of Iowa City and Melbourne, every other “City of LIterature” is in Europe). But I was really excited to see such a fun city in the middle of nowhere.

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