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America's Best Bookstores

America’s Best Bookstores: Prairie Lights

Ben Partridge

Prairie Lights, Iowa City

Next door to the University of Iowa and its renowned Writers’ Workshop, this store (est. 1978) is a cornerstone of a literature-obsessed town where embossed sidewalks display quotations from workshop alumni including Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O’Connor. Owned by a pair of poets, the shop features 40,000 titles leaning heavily toward fiction, travel, children’s, and—no surprise—poetry. prairielights.com

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