2706 West 53rd Street, Fairway
Thanks to the Internet, brick-and-mortar bookstores have become like battered cathedrals of some bombed-out war zone. And inside each is a secular holy person who takes every opportunity to remind you that your shared religion — print, on paper, browsable on shelves — is under siege and destined to be driven ever more underground. We'll be honest: Sometimes that rhetoric wears us out, makes us feel like Vichy traitors with basements full of empty Amazon boxes and stacks of secondhand books that we picked up without putting precious royalty pennies in the pockets of our writerly brethren. These mixed emotions come on most intensely when we walk into Rainy Day Books, which is owned and operated by people who aren't shy about proselytizing against the new publishing paradigm. (Owner Vivien Jennings is on speed dial at the trade publications, always ready to give a stern quote.) We could go once a week and feel inadequately supportive. And while we sit around, taking the Fairway institution for granted, Jennings and company are booking author after touring author for KC appearances. (Wanna attend? Buy the book. Only fair, right?) Thanks, Rainy Day, for making us feel a little sheepish but also very proud to live in a reading town.