Bookstore: Prospero’s Books

I’ve been spending a bit of time at KUMed while my mom receives treatment. One of the unexpected delights associated with this dreary task has been the opportunity to explore the Volker neighborhood at 39th and State Line. Blocks of independent restaurants, quirky vintage shops, and even a vegan bakery have made my time there much more fun and interesting than any hospital waiting room can be. What surprised me most was that I had never before visited Prospero’s Books.

This used bookstore is more than just a place to find a used copy of Water for Elephants. It’s a cultural scrapbook. The owners publish chapbooks of poetry, leaves out racks of books overnight in case a family member of a patient at the research hospital might seek out the solace and escape only a book can offer, and famously staged book burnings to promote reading. I love that kind of irony, and I love Prospero’s Books.

I left, revived, with a copy of The Art of Fiction by John Garner. I’ve written about my favorite hometown bookstore, The Dusty Bookshelf, before, but Prospero’s is my favorite home-away-from home used bookshop.

4 thoughts on “Bookstore: Prospero’s Books

  1. I’d love to go there. Thanks for sharing this gem!

    My favourite is in a little town called Golden Lake near my cottage near the Ontario/Quebec border. I don’t think it has a name other than “The Bookstore,” but we call it “Jennifer’s” for the owner. It’s in a lovingly-kept 19th century log cabin with creaky floors and a tight curved staircase to an upper level with low ceilings. You can just imagine the generations huddled together like sardines up there to weather the Canadian winter.

    I always search for old school texts about Greek and Roman mythology, and I delight in the various student doodles and signatures. I never walk out of there without an armful of books.

    I hope you don’t need to make many more visits to the hospital, but i’m glad you have found a good diversion.


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