Road Trip!

Get a load of this shop: in Asbury Park, NJ, there’s a bookstore entirely devoted to all things paranormal from ghost stories to ghost hunting guides – to the equipment for getting that huntin’ done.

Plus, there’s ghost tours of the area, and classes on how to ghost hunt.

In a time when independent bookstores are few and far between, becoming a place for like-minded people to hang out seems like a growing trend. Publishers Lunch recently mentioned Schuler Books & Music in Michigan, which is trying to acquire a liquor license for their Grand Rapids store. Quoteth the Lunch:

Co-owner Bill Fehsenfeld says, “The vision is it’s an enhancement to the bookstore and our cafe and provides an alternate place where people can relax, browse the books and enjoy food from our cafe. We’re feeling this will be able to maybe lengthen our hours into the evening more.”

I hope these bookstores can survive the turning economy, because ghost hunting and wine drinking? ALL GOOD. I might have to roadtrip down to Asbury Park to visit the Paranormal store, because damn does that sound cool.

[Thanks to Noelle and NJMyWay for the link.]

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  1. 1
    Joanne says:

    How about books & beer? Or at the very least, an awww doggie?

    I admit I haven’t been there yet, but this bookstore http://www.thespottydog.com/index.html is on my must-visit places that are a bit of a drive and that I Know my husband will go to, too. (and that sentence is why I don’t write books)

  2. 2
    Jane O says:

    Many, many years ago, I was in a bookstore in Dingle (Ireland) that included a bar, in which a self-proclaimed poet was holding forth. I don’t know if it is still true, but Ireland used to be the country with the highest rate or books purchased per capita in the English-speaking world.

  3. 3
    Lisa Hendrix says:

    I’m with you in wishing these stores the best of luck.  I don’t want a world where all bookstores are B&N;any more than I want one where all restaurants are Taco Bell.

    There was a bookstore/bar/coffeehouse in Denver years ago.  Separate stores, I think, but all opened up to each other so people could wander back and forth.  I loved it.

  4. 4
    misti says:

    That store is about 3 blocks from my house! I’m just over the town border in Ocean Grove, which is also a really cool place. If you manage to make it down to Asbury Park, take some time to also check out Ocean Grove, which started out as (and still is) a town entirely owned by the Methodist Church. In the summer, there are rows and rows of tent-houses around the Great Auditorium and you can hear some awesome folk music floating through the air.

  5. 5
    xssa annella says:

    a bookstore with liquor, awesome! i love the idea of settling for a cup of something while reading. although, most people don’t live close enough to walk to a bookstore, and you are not supposed to drink and drive. i wonder how many books you could get into while waiting for a blood acholol level to drop? but i love the idea of coffee and bailey, or some fruity drink in summer, while browsing.
    happy nanowrimo. to those who particpate this month, anyway.

  6. 6
    Ciar Cullen says:

    Dang, wish they had an email address. Will have to call. Would love to set up a signing there, as I write paranormals. And it’s less than an hour away.

    I grew up in Baltimore, and there’s an awesome place (maybe it’s gone) call Peabody bookstore and beer stub or some such. It was so cool.

  7. 7
    Liza says:

    We have Davis-Kidd Booksellers in TN and they have a cafe in the store. You can get wine or beer with your meal, but you can’t carry either around while looking for books.

  8. 8
    Stephanie says:

    There is a little, used bookshop in downtown Titusville, Florida (it’s the town near Kennedy Space Center). Its specialty is romance novels. About 3/4 of the floorspace is dedicated to romance and variations of romance, and they take trade-ins and have bargain bags (usually categories that they put in a paper bag, staple shut, and sell for 12/$1 or so). I spent 2 1/2 months in Titusville last winter and loved stocking up on reading material!

  9. 9
    ev says:

    I admit I haven’t been there yet, but this bookstore http://www.thespottydog.com/index.html is on my must-visit places that are a bit of a drive and that I Know my husband will go to, too.

    that isn’t that far from me at all!Maybe 30 miles. I will have to go and visit it. Thanks for the heads up!

    In Oakmont, PA there is a bookstore dedicated to all things mystery,  The Mystery Lovers Bookshop. I have been getting their newsletter for quite awhile, (now available online) and use it to find out what is coming out. I am going to roadtrip it there one of these days too. http://www.mysterylovers.com/.

    I will have to check out the one in Ashbury too. I love any reason for a road trip.

  10. 10

    Ooh, this is timely.  I’m going to be hanging out in Asbury Park for much of the winter.  Is it a safe bet to assume that the store stocks paranormal romances?

    This got me thinking about my favorite genre-specialty bookstores.  When I lived in the Bay Area, I used to adore The Other Change of Hobbit, in Berkeley—it specializes in fantasy and SF, and also has a comprehensive collection of paranormal romance.  And then there’s Dark Carnival (also in Berkeley), which features SF, fantasy, and mystery.  (I never could find parking at that one, but I hear it’s fab!)

  11. 11
    Mary Stella says:

    Ahh, I spent over 10 years living and partying in the rock and roll world of Asbury Park and the rest of the Jersey Shore.  I never went on a ghost tour, but I can show you key things mentioned in Bruce Springsteen songs.  *g*

    After your tour of Asbury Park, shoot on over to Red Bank and visit Kevin Smith’s store called Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash.

  12. 12
    Dingle Mike says:

    About Janes experience in Dingle. It was common in the south and west of Ireland in the past to have stores that served two or more purposes e.g. a pub with a grocery store also, bookstore with a bar – this is not as common now – but personally I will miss this if it disappears altogether.
    Lovely article

  13. 13
    Melissa says:

    Nice post! Went to Beijing for watching Olympic games last summer. I’ve been a bookstore a few steps from my hotel, which is named O2 Sun. It’s also a coffee house, where you can read and buy books you cannot find in other stores. Loved the English books on Chinese art and culture. Spent a couple of sultry afternoon there, absolutely enjoyed that. Hope there could be a similar bookstore near my house.

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