I put the ‘taco’ in Tacoma

Just when I thought my luggage was already too full of books, I discovered a great bookstore in Tacoma where I was attending a meeting. The gorgeous weather had me out on the streets walking, walking, walking and it didn’t take me long to find King’s Books. I had plenty of time to browse so I decided to do a slow troll from A to Z. (I’ve tried going Z to A in the past, but it never seems to work.)

As I browsed I read the shelf talkers describing various staff members’ favorite books. I soon realized that some guy named Kenny had reading tastes that are diametrically opposed to mine. You know, the kind of books that I find too complex and non-linear to be able to enjoy. And then the store’s phone rang and the guy at the desk said “King’s Books, this is Kenny”.

So that’s Kenny.

Always in the mood to have a book natter, I decided to strike up a conversation. Unfortunately, my opening line was about how we didn’t like the same kind of books. Kenny was extremely friendly but I could tell I was one ill-chosen word away from going down in his bookseller’s diary as being one of the annoying ones. When I went up to make my purchases I thought I would give it another go. I think I said something lame about my blog (this was harder than a blind date) but we eventually turned the corner from wary bookseller/boring customer to novelist-bookseller/not-as-boring-as-he-may-have-originally-thought-at-least-it-beats-staring-into-space, customer.

We even talked about, wait for it, A Little Life. He took my measured ranting in stride conceding a point here and there but never once waning in his love of the book. Simon Savidge may have to up his game as Kenny loves the book so much he has read it 3 or 4 times.

I love the sign. (And the blue sky.)
Now that I look at this picture, I feel like I didn’t spend enough time here.


This made me think of Booktopia in Petoskey.
A Virago I don’t have. A Cusk I don’t have with a really weird cover. And a Sarton I do have (and love), but not in hardcover.
If only the bridge would move a little to the left.
An arboretum-like park just steps away from King’s. Given the gorgeous weather, I spent a lot of time here.
I watched some crows picking on a seagull here. I was feeling sorry for the seagull until I realized it probably had an eye on some nearby crow’s eggs.
Allium at UWTacoma


I stumbled across Tres Hermanos taco truck one day and went back the next for a second round. Really, really yummy tacos. I wish I had gone a third time. Four tacos, rice, beans, soda, 9 bucks.
Many things at Legendary Doughnuts looked better than they were. But that fritter on the bottom was strawberry/banana and it really hit the spot.

13 thoughts on “I put the ‘taco’ in Tacoma

  1. BookerTalk June 29, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Id loved to have been a fly on the wall when you were having that difficult conversation!


    • Thomas July 23, 2017 / 8:21 am

      If I had been a customer not participating in the conversation, I probably would have been rolling my eyes.


  2. Su June 29, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    Yay Petoskey! Your talk with Kenny cracks me up.


    • Thomas July 23, 2017 / 8:23 am

      And the thing about Petoskey is that the weather was so beautiful when Simon and I were there and my hotel room had a window that opened fully and faced the lake. It remains an extremely idyllic memory.


  3. Ruthiella June 29, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    What? No picture of Kenny? Did he have a mustache? That is how I imagine him.


  4. travellinpenguin June 29, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Laughing at Kenny. Have met a few Kennys in my travels. I am now on a quest to find the literary map of Michigan having grown up in the wintry state.


    • Thomas July 23, 2017 / 8:24 am

      Keep in mind we are laughing WITH Kenny, not at him. He was a stand up guy.


    • Thomas July 23, 2017 / 8:25 am

      That would have just added the word creepy to Kenny’s description of me.


  5. Karen K. June 30, 2017 / 2:25 am

    I’m also from Michigan and would love a literary map! And would love to have eavesdropped on that conversation. I have checked A Little Life out of the library but returned it unread.


    • Su June 30, 2017 / 5:56 am

      That’s the second book I read that Ann Kingman talked me into that I thought was a bad idea. Love her for what she did for Booktopia, but man oh man, I cannot take her book recommendations ever again. 🌸


  6. Nadia June 30, 2017 / 5:59 am

    I am loving these posts about your travels and the books stores you hit up. Its like you are taking us along on a walking tour of each place :) Thanks for sharing!


  7. quinn June 30, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Thank you as always.
    I have a computer folder of bookstore reviews across country from your blog. Started w/ a dream that …well …never know…i might be in this city someday, any city…and I know any bookshop that you love I would.
    So many thanks for your good taste and honesty.


  8. Liz Dexter June 30, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    Love your conversation with Kenny! I have a friend who likes very different books to me, so it can be useful in helping one to avoid things!


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