Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Best Bookstores (I have been to)


I wanted to say "The Best Bookstores in the World" (sounds a lot catchier) but the truth is I haven't been around the world, in fact, barely out of N. America so obviously my list is going to be biased. So please feel free to add your favourites to the Comments at the bottom of my list!

So, the Best Bookstores I Have Been to are (in no particular order):

1) Chapters/Indigo(most places in Canada - my favourite is in S. Surrey BC)

I know this is a "big box" store that is "putting independent booksellers out of business". And yes, inevitably the book that I am looking for (if it isn't a best seller) isn't there but when I walk through those big, alarmed doors I am in my happy place. Why? Because there are lots of shiny, new books displayed so attractively just begging to be read! I can find all the British magazines I like to read (for an exorbitant amount of $$). The kids' section is really fun, lots of educational toys and I also like the gift section. Yes, I do need a new woolen throw and a tape dispenser shaped like a shoe.

2) The Strand(New York city)

I don't know if this is the largest bookstore in the world but I do know it would take me several days to go through it. I only got through the kids' section during a family trip. But really - any children's book you can think of is there. I was excited to see some of my old childhood favourites - A Cricket in Time Square, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" (both happen to be about New York). I was also introduced to the Penderwick series - a new series of books about fun-loving sisters set in the East Coast, written in kind of a throw-back to Enid Blyton et al. My spouse felt really cool because he bought a Strand book bag and t-shirt.

3) Village Books (Bellingham WA)

Kind of like the Strand but much smaller. It's in a super cool part of town called Fairhaven and has that woody, independent bookstore feel. Fabulous coffee house (Tony's) is down below.

4) Eastwest Bookstore (Seattle WA)

You know when you are looking for a book about dreams(Check out my dream blog ImagesinDreams)and most bookstores have like half a shelf housing anything remotely "Spiritual" (let's just lump religion, occult and Philosophy altogether, shall we?) Well, you will not have that problem at this bookstore. A whole, pretty large store devoted to everything spiritual/religious/environmental etc. You don't have to feel embarrassed about bringing up a Sylvia Browne to the check out because everyone else is doing the same thing. There are also some really cool brass gongs there.

5) The Book Man (Chilliwack, BC)

This was one of the first used bookstores I had been to. My spouse and I used to make it part of our Saturday routine - walk into town, go to the Book Man and get Florentines at the bakery. Alas the bakery is now gone, and the part of town where the store is has really gone to seed but the Book Man has a great selection of classics and will go the extra mile to track down a volume he doesn't carry.

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