Whenever I travel, I love to look up local indie bookstores and pay them a visit. Sometimes they’re used bookstores, and sometimes more focused on new. I’m a happy bibliophage either way.

This week, we’ve been visiting family in Las Vegas. I scoped out two bookstores, and made it to just one this time. I decided to skip the second because I’ve been missing my usual reading time. Sometimes reading books is better than buying them. I suspect that part of my decision also has to do with how satisfying my visit to The Writers Block felt.

Located near the downtown Fremont Street district, The Writers Block is easy to find but a little blah on the outside. Never fear, the inside makes up for it. The walls are filled with books, of course. But they have all kinds of kitsch on the beams and above the shelves.

Plus, they have a bunny! It’s not uncommon for indie bookstores to have pets, but cats and dogs are more typical. It was fun to see the a different choice.

As is my habit, I asked the lone book seller if they featured any local authors. He showed me the shelf of books about Vegas, and then pointed out two Laura McBride books. McBride is a community college professor and Las Vegas local. I picked up her first book, We are Called to Rise. It’s a novel with a combination of disparate characters. So far, it’s delectable!

As I browsed the shelves, I also happened across a medically-related memoir called God’s Hotel. The author has been a physician at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital for 20+ years. Laguna Honda is the nation’s last almshouse. This one looks like it’s right up my alley!

Because I’d like to give to a friend, I also snagged a print copy of On Tyranny. Having just read and reviewed it, I know I’ll be talking about for months to come.

Hunting down bookish gifts for exchanges with reading friends is fun at a new bookstore. At The Writers Block, I found cards with sentence diagrams on them. I chose sentences from two books I’m planning to read soon. Throw in a few bookmarks for good measure, and I’m all set!