We, the editorial team at Vinyl Me, Please, started on our Best Record Stores In The United States series, where we found a local writer to write an essay about a record store in each state, in the summer of 2017. The idea came out of a few casual conversations discussing how varied and full of wonder our formative experiences in bizarre little corners of bizarre little record stores were. The deeper we dove, the more we began to realize that any given record store is just as overflowing with stories to dig through as it is with vinyl, and we made it our mission to record some of them. We were faced with quite the task: Were there any writers in Kansas? Were there any record stores in Alaska? And moreover, how do we find them? But we moved forward with the blind confidence that we could find 48 other people who wanted to put on paper a small celebration of these truly speciala places and the vibrant communities surrounding them.
The feedback was tremendous. After two years (almost to the day), hundreds of pitches, countless emails and rounds of edits, a thoughtful foreword by the Mark Farina, brilliant illustration and design from two of our favorite artists in the game right now Clay Hickson and Elise Rigollet, and an over-caffeinated crying session over which type of linen would grace the cover, we are so proud to bring you The 50 Best Record Stores In The United States. We know all of this effort was only a fraction of what it takes to keep a record store in business, and we hope this book at least gives these stores — and those like it — a fraction of the thanks they deserve. Isn’t she gorgeous?