Stephen King, the man with an infinite imagination once said, "Books are a uniquely portable magic" and I stand by that statement. Bookstores are the gateway to boundless creativity through the eyes of diverse perspectives. They offer imaginary and real-life stories to expand one's "mind palace" (yes, a reference to BBC's Sherlock). Stories in books are the inspiration for many marketing campaigns, songs, TV shows, stories, and other media.
I love independent bookstores because they are the underdogs of book retailers, especially after the rise of big chains and online booksellers. Their tangible locations provide a safe haven for me to visit and drool over the architecture and the multitude of books stacked on shelf after shelf. In the last year, I've checked some off my To Visit list including The Last Bookstore and The Iliad Bookshop. The Last Bookstore is a maze of books where you can find art displays of flying books and a tunnel into an alternative universe. The Iliad Bookshop is an incredible odyssey that contains more than 100,000 volumes of mostly used books.
I HAVE A LIBRARY CARD
I'm also a big fan of libraries as they provide resources for the local community. From a young age, I'd walk a mile to my local branch to pick up my share of books. My school library was also a great source of attaining books. My middle school librarian was familiar with the number of books I consumed, so every time she'd get a new book she'd let me read it before putting it out on the shelf. (Funny enough, I worked at my old middle school as an adult and asked her about that girl. She remembered her and it was quite entertaining to see her recognize who I was).
I truly believe that books are an opportunity to gain a new perspective, learn from others, and expand one's mind. I have become a better writer and a better speaker because of reading. Books have always given me an alternative universe to visit when I need a pick-me -p. Like Ernest Hemingway once said,
"There is no friend as loyal as a book."
TOP BOOKSTORES I'D LOVE TO VISIT
1. Lhooq Books in San Diego, California
2. John K. King Used & Rare Books in Detroit, Michigan
3. The Book Barn in Niantic, Connecticut
4. Westsider Rare & Used Books Inc. in New York, New York
5. Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, Louisiana
6. Myopic Books in Chicago, Illinois
7. Brattle Book Shop in Boston, Massachusetts
8. Baldwin's Book Barn in West Chester, Pennsylvania
9. Strand Book Store in NYC
10. The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, New York
11. Daunt Books in London, England
12. City of Lights Booksellers & Publishers, San Francisco
TOP LIBRARIES I'D LOVE TO VISIT
- Library Gall in Clementium, Prague
- George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
- New York Public Library (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building)
- Mortlock Wing State Library, Adelaide, Australia
- Trinity Colle Library in Dublin, Ireland
- Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library in New Haven, Connecticut
- The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario
- The British Library in London, England
- Seattle Central Library in Seattle, Washington
- Geisel Library in San Diego, California
- Boston Central Library, Boston Massachusetts
- State Library of Iowa’s Law Library in Des Moines, Iowa
I'm still currently expanding my list of independent bookstores and libraries I'd like to visit. What are some of your favorite and why?