In praise of hedgehogs and indie bookstores

I am lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon, home of Powell’s City of Books and many other independent bookstores including one of my favorites–A Children’s Place.

Independent bookstores are more than a place to buy books.  They are places of knowledge.

For years, I had been looking for a beloved book from my childhood.  I couldn’t remember the title so when I went into A Children’s Place and asked Kira P. for “this wonderful book about a hedgehog who has plants grow on him” I was not that hopeful.

But I browsed and a few minutes later Kira asked if the book I was looking for was Miss Jaster’s Garden by N.M. Bodecker.  Yes!  Oh, yes!  That’s the book I wanted with little Hedgie, the flowerhog, and piano-playing Miss Jaster.

Neither Google nor Amazon could bring Hedgie back to me.  Hedgehog is NOT in the title making key word searching very difficult.  I needed Kira and her expertise.  My independent bookseller is smarter than the internet.  So there!


5 thoughts on “In praise of hedgehogs and indie bookstores

  1. Yes! The wealth of knowledge in indies is astounding. I will support them with my dollars, even if they are more expensive than Company Who Cannot Be Named but rhymes with Hamazon.

    And now I want to read about hedgehogs. You saw them all over the place when I was growing up in England–where do they hang out in the U.S.?

  2. Michael, sadly we have no native hedgehogs in North America. 🙁 I grew up reading stories with hedgehogs in them (though not this one–another one to add to my interlibrary loan list) and always wished I had them in my garden. 🙂

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