The novel is now available in paperback, the cover of which you see here.
For more information about the author and The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, or to arrange a Skype visit to your book group, please visit Ann Weisgarber’s website.
Today Ann writes about a unique bookstore - I’ve never traveled to this part of the West, but Ann’s description of the Hole in the Wall Bookstore (and all of Wall, South Dakota), make me realize that I’ve missed an important part of America. Here’s another place I’d like to visit one day, who’s ready for a road trip – cowboy boots required!?
Wall, South Dakota, population 800 or thereabout. Home of Wall Drug Store where travelers have stopped since the 1930’s for free glasses of ice water. Billboard ads along I-90 lure tourists to stop and see the animated T-Rex, pan for fossils, and visit the train station. The drug store is one of America’s great icons. So, too, is Hole in the Wall Bookstore, right in the heart of Wall Drug.
I love this bookstore. A mountain man stands by the front door. The wood floors creak, and old black and white photographs decorate the walls. A ladder runs up close to the ceiling where books are stored. Tourists, before heading on to Mt. Rushmore, roam the aisles. What I love most, though, is the incredible selection of western-based books.
I spent hours in this bookstore while I did research for Rachel DuPree. I had a four-week writing residency at nearby Badlands National Park and a few times a week, I made the half-hour trip to Hole in the Wall. There, I scooped up books about women in the West. I bought books about the Dakota Sioux tribes, buffalo soldiers, and cookbooks with recipes for homesteaders. There was cowboy poetry, and books about outlaws and ladies of the night. I found books about African-American homesteaders and miners. There were Willa Cather’s novels, Louis L’Amour’s westerns, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series.
It was far more than a free glass of ice cold water on a hot summer day. It was manna from heaven.
It still is. I stopped in a few weeks ago while I was in the area for the South Dakota Festival of Books. The floors still creak, and the mountain man is still by the front door. Tourists from France were drawn to the section about George Custer and the Black Hills. A little girl sat on the floor reading about dinosaurs. I bought several books and if I hadn’t been flying back home to Texas, I would have bought a suitcase worth.
Hole in the Wall Bookstore, you are a dear friend to those of us who love the West. May you continue to thrive!
Thanks, Ann, for sharing your thoughts on – and the photos of – this unique bookstore!
This Spotlight on Bookstores post is part of Ann’s blog tour with TLC Book Tours; please visit these other stops on her tour:
- Tuesday, November 1st: nomadreader
- Wednesday, November 2nd: Peeking Between the Pages
- Thursday, November 3rd: Linus’s Blanket - author Q&A
- Monday, November 7th: A Bookish Libraria
- Tuesday, November 8th: Man of La Book
- Thursday, November 10th: Unabridged Chick
- Monday, November 14th: Book Dilettante
- Tuesday, November 15th: Book Chatter
- Thursday, November 17th: Book Club Classics
- Friday, November 18th: Historical Tapestry - guest post
- Monday, November 21st: Raging Bibliomania
- Tuesday, November 22nd: The Brain Lair
- Wednesday, November 23rd: Broken Teepee
- Friday, November 25th: Historical Tapestry
- Monday, November 28th: A Bookworm’s World
- Tuesday, November 29th: My Bookshelf
- Wednesday, November 30th: Elle Lit.
- Thursday, December 1st: Melody & Words
- Monday, December 5th: Book Snob
- Wednesday, December 7th: Life in Review
- Thursday, December 8th: The 3 R’s Blog