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From Pandemonium to Powell's - Lansing And Chicago

Posted May 21, 2009

Introduction: From Pandemonium to Powell's: the Tour d'Store

Day I: Pandemonium Books and Games - Cambridge MA

Day II: Buffalo and Ann Arbor

Now in hotel in an office park outside of Madison. There are an odd mix of the typical glass and concrete boxy office buildings, with the Farm Bureau to my left and Morgan Stanley to my right.

Schuler Books and Music
Lansing, MI

Spent a good chunk of the morning caffeinating and chatting with the energetic Whitney Spotts (if that IS your real name). We discussed everything under the sun, if everything were encapsulated by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the insanely high rate of road kill in Michigan.

26 years ago.

"The Old Man" appears in a line drawing on the store's bookmarks. He has no name and is of unknown provenance. Right then and there I decided he should be called Arbus.

Best Section

The Lansing location is fairly new and located in a recently constructed mall, so there is no good creaking or moaning. But as with every beloved bookstore, the location is haunted by several appropriately named crazy people, such as Sleeps-In-Chairs, and Crazy-Go-Nuts. I wonder what they'll call me. Probably Sideburns-Too-Short.

On to Illinois and Chicago's western suburbs.

Naperville is a small Midwestern city outside of Chicago. Anderson's Bookshop was busy when I stopped by, so I didn't get to ask my full battery of questions. Plus it was pretty much hotter than microwaved monkey balls so I had to keep moving or the dog was going to spontaneously combust.

In the late afternoon I arrived in Woodstock IL. Woodstock, I learned, is special because it's the place where Groundhog Day (1992) was filmed. The town is crazy for the movie and they have a special Groundhog Day celebration each year featuring a groundhog that's a decedent of the groundhog from the original movie. Kind of like how Drew Barrymore is a fourth generation Hollywood star. Those groundhogs and their nepotism. There are also commemorative plaques around the town square showing various bits about the movie. Below is the town opera house, where Bill Murray's character tried to jump.

Read Between the Lynes
Woodstock, IL

Almost four years ago! A toddler!

Most Ass-kicking Section

There are 2 mascots: Lynes (pronounced liked "Linus"), a line drawing of an ephemeral reader with glasses. There is also Mia, the unofficial mascot, who is a Saint Bernard almost as big as the store.

The store shares a floor with the coffee shop next door, so there are often phantom footsteps at odd times. Sadly that's an incredibly easy explanation for the paranormal. But for some reason, books in the front section - cookbooks and fitness literally fly off the shelves, for no obvious reason. Nobody's been hurt yet but if you go to you might want to find a helmet.



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Buy it at Amazon, Powell's or your favorite Indie.

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