Going to Rainy Day Books in Fairway always puts me in a good mood. If you’ve never been there or live outside of the Kansas City area, you’re missing out; Rainy Day Books is one of the best independent bookstores in the nation. They are the Platonic Ideal of Reader’s Advisory: each member of the staff is a world-class reader who can recommend excellent books in pretty much every genre. Victorian lesbian vampire mystery-noir? Check. Non-fiction regarding the inner lives of former Undersecretaries of Agriculture? Check. Australian surrealistic gothic historical romances? With dragons? Check.
Rainy Day used to be a chain of used bookstores back in the day – my mom and I used to go to the branch in Raytown where I grew up (yes, I was born in Raytown, shut up) as a wee lad would devour fantasy novels and Steven King books by the armload. I bought my first tattered Raymond Chandler novels there, too. A rich part of the Kansas City landscape that makes this town a kick-ass place to live.