Friendship and bookstores, from Prairie Lights to City Lights

Iowa City, Iowa. The location of the infamous Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Also the location of Prairie Lights Bookstore, a charming, 3-story bookstore (with coffee shop) where I reunited with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. Both being book lovers, and Iowa City being (kinda, sorta, actually not at all) equidistant from our respective homes, what better place for a long-anticipated reunion than a bookstore!? It was magical.

I don’t have much to report on Prairie Lights itself, other than it was a wonderful bookstore, really well-stocked with new books, along with a small used section. It was in that used section where I found a signed copy of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey (an unfortunate title, I know), which I snatched up right away, being a big fan of a couple of his other books.

A wonderful find in a wonderful bookstore, but seeing my friend was even more wonderful. I didn’t take any photos of the store, probably because I was too busy basking in the joy of being surrounded by the things I love, with someone I love. Usually when I visit unique bookstores, I am more engrossed in the store, but this time I was just plain happy to be with my friend. Walking around Iowa City, we even found a giant book, in front of which, of course, we had to take selfies.

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And little did I know that in April I would reunite with another dear friend and book lover near San Fransisco, and we would of course take a trip to the famous City Lights Books. That particular bookstore merits a blog post all of its own (forthcoming). But scanning the shelves with a friend is a great feeling, especially when you haven’t seen them in a while. Good friendships often have a basis in common interest, and when a common interest is books, you have endless things to talk about. I think book lovers are more empathetic people in general, which is why we get along so well and will never stop being such good friends, despite the distance that separates us. People will always come together through books, and from Prairie Lights to City Lights, my friends have proven that.

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