Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore

Bookstore: Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore

Location: Forest Park, Illinois

The Official Patter: "Centuries and Sleuths is a warm, inviting and well organized store where a customer can sit in a rocking chair while looking through books. A bust of Sherlock Holmes exclusively commissioned by Centuries and Sleuths owner Augie Aleksy graces the bookstore. From the day its doors opened, Centuries and Sleuths has been a destination for the discriminating reader, a meeting place for authors and readers and a place for intellectual discussion. And that’s all been a part of Aleksy’s master plan."

Why I Love Them: I don't know why it is, but whenever I think of the best independent bookstores I know they are almost always stores that specialize in mysteries... This could be because I spent years trailing behind my mom, a devoted mystery fanatic, whenever she went to the bookstore, and especially when she went to Booked for Murder (now Mystery to Me.) Couple that with the fact that Murder By The Book is easily my favorite bookstore I've never been too... and well, you can easily see how my bias came to exist. Enter Centuries and Sleuths. One of my favorite authors was on tour and was stopping by the this Midwestern mystery bookstore I had never heard of... needless to say, they have since made my list of favorite stores I've never been to... and hopefully soon they will upgrade to stores I have been to!

Best Buy: In fact, my best buy from Centuries and Sleuths was initially going to be a best buy purchased in person. Lisa Lutz's Spellman series is hands down one of my favorite book series out there. They are witty and clever and know just when it's right to go dark and just when it's right to throw in a Doctor Who joke. In other words, you can see why I was drawn to them. Well for the book tour for the fifth installment the closest to Madison Lisa was coming was Forest Park Illinois. Not that far a journey, but at the same time, trudging down to the flatland in March is always hazardous, because you never know what the weather will be like. Will it be freakishly warm, or a blizzard? A few years back when I went down in April I was in a blizzard, it wasn't fun. At all. So I decided, as much as I love Lisa, I'd already met her three times at this point so I could sit this tour out, and luckily her tour for the final Spellman book the next year came to Madison! But what was great is Centuries and Sleuths. I called them up saying I could no longer make the event which I had RSVP'd to and instead could they get it signed to me and ship it up north? The sign of a truly great bookstore is when they are accommodating. When they instantly understand that you have had a change in plans and are willing to go the extra mile to help their customers. This, more than anything, is why I want to make the pilgrimage there. I want to go and throw lots of money at them in exchange for books as a big thank you for helping me out when I needed it. And trust me, I needed a signed first edition of The Trail of the Spellmans bad.  


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