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 new books 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 pack and ship books all over the world. 

Our Author Events Calendar is one of the best and the busiest in America.  Each year we welcome a diverse array of authors to Kansas City, from debut novelists destined for greatness, to prize-winners, bestseller, and the biggest names in the news.  Most of our Author Events are held at off-site 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. 

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.

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.

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.  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 Jennings is a regular source for stories on books and publishing for trade publications, and mainstream media, notably including The New York TimesThe 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. 

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.