Intrepid former Algonquin intern David Bradley and his trusty sidekick, Lucky the Leprechaun, hit the road for a tour of (almost all) the coolest, hippest, greatest indie bookstores in the United States. Join us for the journey…
NEW ORLEANS — The thriving atmosphere for independents in New Orleans all started at a tiny former residence on Maple Street. Maple Street Book Shops is a mainstay in uptown New Orleans and it has grown from one small store into four thriving shops throughout the area. The first two are next door neighbors; one dealing in used and rare books, the other selling freshly printed product.
As Lucky can attest, this converted house will remind you just how far you are from having the perfect home. Why doesn’t my living room have an island of new fiction releases in it? Why doesn’t my bedroom have posters signed by authors? Why doesn’t my neighbor stuff his house full of used books? I have no answers to these questions, but I’m ready to revolutionize interior design.
When did Maple Street Book Shops first open?
Maple Street opened in 1964, but its first location was actually next door where our used books store is now.
What is the rarest book currently on your shelves?
We have some copies of Walker Percy books that are very rare. Percy was a close personal friend of Rhoda Faust, the longtime owner of Maple Street Book Shops before Donna Allen bought it in 2007. The Percy books we have were published by Faust’s personal company and are not in general circulation.
What is your favorite recommendation for the Summer? And what is your favorite Algonquin book to recommend?
Is there a staff cocktail of choice?
Margaritas. Definitely margaritas.
I’d say our Children’s room is the most popular. It’s in the back of the store and we sometimes don’t see the kids come back to the front for hours.
What is the strangest question you’ve been asked in the store?
Maybe not the strangest, but almost every day we have get the vague question, “Do you have that book? You know, that one? I don’t know the name or the author…”
Next stop: Garden District Books in New Orleans.
*Note: The Lucky Tour posts are not in real time. David and Lucky have returned from their travels with great tales and many, many books. Stay tuned for more road stories…