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.