Lazy Day Books
Since the summer of 2022, Kim Biddle at Lazy Day Books has provided kerbside bookish delight to sunny Los Angeles, California. Her thoughtfully curated collection of books cruises the streets of LA housed in her pink ’61 Chevy Rampside pickup-turned-bookmobile with canine bookseller/bookshop mascot Boomer along for the ride. Kim’s mission is to take her customers back to ‘a slower, simpler time, and invite more joy to your day’ which certainly identifies her as a kindred spirit!
We were delighted when Kim got in touch last year to enquire about stocking Slightly Foxed and it has been a pleasure to see our publications filling the shelves of her bookshop on wheels. Read on to learn more about Kim’s passion for books and pick up some reading recommendations along the way.
Please tell us about your bookshop. What makes it special?
My indie bookshop-on-wheels is quite the unusual sight. The 1961 Chevy Rampside’s odd shape, rosy colour and custom bookshop build-out brings joy and a little whimsy wherever she travels. It is a special and creative space that is quintessentially quirky and very Los Angeles.
But what really makes Lazy Day Books special are the books. Every title is thoughtfully chosen because space is so limited. If a book is on the Lazy Day Books’ truck, it is truly exceptional. Many of the titles are favourites of mine, my husband or our now teenaged twins. And my hope is by bringing these books out and into the community, readers will find something wonderful they never would have happened upon if in a traditional brick-and-mortar bookshop.
What first inspired you to become a bookseller?
Growing up in Iowa, the only child of two teachers, reading played an enormous part in my life. My parents instilled in me not only a love of reading, but a recognition that books can be an education unto themselves. Books were, for me, a source of world-expanding comfort and imagination. And owning a bookshop always seemed a natural extension of my passion for literature and a way to disseminate my love of reading to as many people as possible.
What are your all-time favourite reads and why?
My current answers to this question (as they are ever-changing with my state of mind and stage in life) would be The Summer Book by Tove Jansson because of its quiet, tender and subtle messages about family, love, acceptance and tolerance.
And The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, because it is not only beautifully written but taught me to slow down and marvel at the little wonders of the natural world. It is chock full of lovely, quiet discoveries and profound insights.
Who would be your dream bookshop party guests?
Douglas Adams (for his wit and humour), Jane Austen (for her company, of course, but also to plan the party), Mary Oliver (for her words and wisdom), and all the characters from The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (except, of course, for the murderer!).
Who has been your favourite customer?
Our friends brought their young daughter to visit the truck. She was so excited as she looked at each shelf very carefully weighing her options. The next day their mother told me her daughter said she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up – a mobile bookshop owner! How awesome is that?
What are your top picks for spring 2023?
The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer, The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn (newly published in English), and The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann (another recent English translation).
What is your favourite Slightly Foxed publication and why?
If I must pick, my top three would be: I Was a Stranger by John Hackett (incredibly moving and inspirational), Look Back with Love by Dodie Smith (such an enchanting, eccentric and warm memoir), and Letters to Michael by Charles Phillipson (so playful and loving – a treat to look at as well as read).
Lazy Day Books