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Rainy Day Books, a Legacy of Literacy for Kansas City


Rainy Day Books is a Full-Line, Full-Service Bookstore, carrying an array of carefully selected Hardcovers and Softcovers for adults and children alike.  We produce 300+ Author Events each Year.  We make accurate personal Reading Recommendations for individuals and their families & friends.  We also carry a wide selection of boxed and individual Greeting Cards.  Among our other Personal Services:  We Special Order Books Daily, provide Complimentary High Quality Gift Wrapping, and we carefully select appropriate Gifts for In-Store Pick-Up or International and National Shipments. 

Our Author Events Calendar is one of the best and the busiest in America.  Each Year we welcome hundreds of Authors to Kansas City, from Debut Novelists destined for greatness, to Prize-Winners, Bestselling Legends, and the biggest names in the news.  Most of these Author Events are held Off-Site, at venues that comfortably seat the large crowds that we draw.

Our Loyal Customer Program rewards your faithful patronage.  Purchase One Book In-Store, and we'll add you to our Loyal Customer Program Database.  You'll save 10% on most In-Stock Books, and 20% on Hardcovers currently listed on The New York Times Bestseller List.  No Membership Card to carry, and No Annual Membership Fees.  You'll automatically remain in the Loyal Customer Program as long as you make One Purchase every 6 Months.

Rainy Day Books is a member of IndieBound.org, the National Community of Independent Booksellers.  Join Indiebound.org's Social Network, download the IndieBound.org App for your iPhone, and be a part of our ongoing conversation about Books.

Vivien Jennings is the Founder & President of Rainy Day Books, Inc., Kansas City's Community Bookseller, and the oldest Independent Bookstore in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.  Since 1975 Vivien has led Rainy Day Books in promoting a Legacy of Literacy throughout Kansas City.  In the early 1990s, Rainy Day Books began placing a greater emphasis on Author Events as a form of community outreach.  Through community partnerships and innovative Author Event planning, the Bookstore quickly became known Nationally for the new strategy.  Authors and Publishers alike began to solicit appearances at Rainy Day Books.

Rainy Day Books has developed an intricate marketing network of Corporate Partners, Community Leaders, and Non-Profit Organizations in Kansas City.  By matching special interest groups with touring Authors, Rainy Day Books maximizes the benefits to all parties.  Partners receive publicity and exposure to new markets, and many save money by delivering top-quality Presentations to their Membership without having to incur a Speakers' Fee.

The community as a whole benefits by having a regular slate of authors who otherwise might not make an appearance in the Kansas City area.  Today, serving third-generation customers and anchoring the same shopping center where it started in 450 square feet, the business is internationally famous for its knowledgeable staff, exceptional customer service, and commitment to the Kansas City community.  Rainy Day Books also helps provide support for dozens of metro area book clubs. Store employees assist book club members with suggested reading, tips and suggestions for developing engaging discussions, and occasionally lead discussions for both newly formed and long-term groups.

Vivien Jennings serves on the Advisory Council for Reach Out and Read Kansas City, a Bi-State Coalition of 38 sites, having helped found the Project and having provided support at cost for the initial launch period of almost 2 Years.  Rainy Day Books is also a Partner in the Hooked on Books Project collaboration between The Kansas City Star and The Junior League of Kansas City.  Though The League and The Star collect Books during their Annual Drive in the Autumn, Rainy Day Books collects Books for the Project all Year long, and at their Author Events.  Vivien serves on the Advisory Council for Saint Luke's Breast Cancer Center, and personally helped them build a substantial Library that is available to Patients on a lending basis for information and support in their fight against Breast Cancer.  Vivien serves on the Program Committee for Rotary Club 13, and provides a variety of Speakers to them for discussion and enlightenment on timely subjects that may impact the community.

Rainy Day Books is considered one of the leading Independent Booksellers in America, profiled in the National Publishers Weekly (PW) for having "set the Gold Standard" for the industry for Author Events, which Rainy Day Books averages 300 per Year.  Rainy Day Books has been nominated for National Bookseller of the Year by the American Booksellers Association, on whose Advisory Council, Vivien has served.  Rainy Day Books has also been recognized by Fortune Small Business as a Winning Workplace.

Rainy Day Books has served as a Case Study for the Entrepreneurial Program at the Block School of Business at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), which included students from UMKC, University of Kansas (KU), and Rockhurst University.  The Case Study was subsequently Published in a Textbook which is used Nationwide in Business Curricula at many leading Colleges and Universities.  The Study focuses on how Independent Businesses have adapted and compete with National and Online competitors.  Vivien was a Speaker in 2008 for the Entrepreneurs Speakers Program (ESP) at the UMKC Institute held at the Polsinelli Law Firm.

Vivien Jennings is a regular source for Stories on Books and Publishing for both Trade Publications, and Mainstream Media, notably including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  Vivien has also been a Consultant and Packager for the major Publishers, and consults on Retail Trends and Strategies for major Corporations.

Vivien was honored by The Kansas City Business Journal as one of the "Top 25 Women Who Mean Business" in 2001," and was named "Business Executive of the Year" in 2002 by Rotary Club No. 13 of Kansas City, Missouri, the first woman to be so honored.  Rainy Day Books was Voted 2009 Best Independent Bookstore by the readers of KC Magazine.  Rainy Day Books was also recognized as one of the Top 25 Under 25 Winners for 2009 by KC Small Business Magazine.

Vivien and her partner Roger Doeren participated by special invitation from Steve Forbes of Forbes Magazine, 2009 Global CEO Forum in Scotland to cover the topic The Global Innovation Machine: Fueling New Growth in Tough Times.

Since Vivien opened the doors on November 4, 1975, Rainy Day Books has provided the Greater Kansas City community with a gathering place, a wellspring for ideas and creative thought, and an ongoing voice for literacy and awareness.  Vivien and her partner Roger Doeren support many local charitable and civic organizations in raising both funds and awareness through many of the community Author Events.  Their philosophy is: "Bigger isn't better. Better is better."  They are interested not so much in what they have done, but more in what they still want to do.  Vivien & Roger find it thrilling to watch people leave their Events with the knowledge that Authors and their Books can expand the attendees' awareness, improve health, make them laugh, touch hearts, and encourage people to achieve a better life in a better World.  This is truly the spirit of the 'Legacy of Literacy' that Rainy Day Books hopes to contribute to the community.



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Store Info

We are OPEN Mondays through Fridays from 10 AM to 6 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM.  We are away on Sundays and some Holidays with our families and friends, when we read and rest!

Rainy Day Books is located in The Fairway Shops on the Northwest corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway (56 Highway) and Belinder Road.  Our Street Address is 2706 W 53rd Street, Fairway, Kansas (KS) 66205-1705 USA

Phone:  913-384-3126