Oooh, that’s great to know about!
City Lights in San Francisco is among the most iconic in the country. If you were at all fond of the Beat Poets and the avant-garde writers of the sixties this place is a shrine to be visited. I believe Lawrence Ferlinghetti still runs it. I recommend reading Coney Island of the Mind before you visit.
Totally agree on this!
We just lost my favorite here this summer. I was very grateful to have had the chance to get in one last time (I live an hour away now and didn’t drive for 6 years until those little brain surgeries for epilepsy) before Patty finally packed it in. I got so many used books here in my 20s (I’m 42) that it was really formative for me. I made sure to tell her as much and give my hear felt thanks. Boo. -lamenting the demise of mom and pop used book stores.
Word on Water in London. It’s a floating bookstore.
Rodgers Book Barn in Hillsdale, NY - a huge, eclectic selection of used books at great prices in an old barn in the woods, with a potbellied stove to warm you in the winter, free self-serve hot beverages (and a bathroom!) upstairs, and lots of old chairs and benches and ottomans on which to sit and read to your heart’s content.
Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, is a wonderful book store. New and used. A lovely cafe and a great restaurant next door. It’s good for at least 4 hours.
Chop Suey Booksand_**Fountain Bookstore **_ are both excellent independent bookstores in Richmond, Virginia. Fountain is on East Cary Street in Shockoe Slip, close to Jefferson’s Capitol and the historic slave trading neighborhood. Fountain carries a carefully curated selection of excellent contemporary books.
Chop Suey is on West Cary Street in Carytown, at the start of a mile of mostly independent, locally owned businesses. It is not far from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, and the Science Museum of Virginia. Chop Suey has a strong selection of books by local authors and independent publishers. They also purchase and sell used books. It is easy to spend several hours browsing.
The Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago has some of the best bookstores in the city. Highlights are the Seminary Co-op and it’s sister store, 57th St. Books. https://www.semcoop.com/ Both sell new books, 57th St. is general purpose, Seminary has a focus on literary and scholarly work. Powell’s Books (not affiliated with the wonderful store in Portland) is mainly a used store, but also has probably the best remaindered book section in the city. https://www.powellschicago.com/
Hyde Park is home to the University of Chicago, and the entire neighborhood has a comfortable college town/urban vibe. Check out the UChicago library-it’s a really interesting building, and right next door to this: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/nuclear-energy
City Lights in San Francisco is more than a bookstore. It’s a testament to the tenacity of the First Amendment and the vision, creativity, and enlightenment of those who persist in writing and reading broadly.
When I find myself feeling assaulted by narrow thinking and marginalizing influences, I remember that City Lights exists. I remember how restorative it is to be in the presence of books curated by open and bright minds. And I feel better.
If you feel like visiting France, there are at least 3 villages dedicated to books:
- Bécherel, in Bretagne (NW of France) http://postcardsfromlina.com/fr/2017/06/18/becherel-la-cite-bretonne-du-livre-mondial
- Montmorillon, in Poitou (Centre-W) http://www.citedelecrit.fr
- Montolieu, in Occitanie (South) http://montolieu-livre.fr
Each of these places features a bunch of book stores of all kind, for all tastes…
Here is a map showing their situation: https://goo.gl/maps/UgMCQ1beVk92
The Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado, is outstanding. In this multiple-storied place (!), a half-floor is devoted to children’s literature, and a whole floor to Colorado, Denver and west. Years ago, they had a fine selection of guides for actors who wanted to learn to speak with a particular dialect.
Livrario Lello in Porto, Portugal
I have never been to this book store, but will soon.
It is said to be the book store that inspired Rowlings to write Harry Potter books
Strand Bookstore in East Village, NYC
Not in US but if you ever get to Europe, you can spend two weeks in incredible book stores in Lisbon, Portugal…especially worth going to is Livraria Lello bookstore in Porto. * **Opened in 1906, the bookstore was once a haunt of the city’s literary scene, and many say it was a direct inspiration for J.K. Rowling books. Rowling lived in the city from 1991 to 1993 and was a frequent customer.Portugal bookstores are amazing…enjoy
What a great idea. Washington, DC has become a great bookstore town. For new books there are multiple branches of Politics & Prose, along with East City Books on the Hill and Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle. For used, Capitol Hill Books is a short walk from East City and Second Story Books is near Kramerbooks.
Every time we visit Portland Oregon, we visit Powell’s. New books, used books, collectible books are all there. Easy to get lost and then end in the coffee shop to explore the treasures you found.
Burt’s Bookstore in Ojai California. It is an outdoor bookstore. Great selection and charming town. Not far from LA. City Lights and Powell’s are must sees in The West.
Point Reyes Books in Point Reyes Station California is a great little independent bookstore. Other, bigger wonderful shops that I love have already been mentioned. Part of the beauty of this store in Point Reyes, is that the town (all 3 blocks) is fun to roam and the National Seashore, only 5 minutes away is a must!
I lived in Philadelphia in the early 1980s, and visited The Book Trader, then located at a corner of 5th and South. They are now located at 7 N. 2nd Street, and I understand there is still a store cat lounging around the store. I spent many lunch hours browsing here, and I recommend that you be prepared to spend a good chunk of time there. Of course, that’s how I plan any time I’m visiting bookstores!_