Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's your favorite bookstore?


My recent post on book bloggers and newspaper reviewers got the attention of David Rosenthal, Assistant Managing Editor at the Baltimore Sun. He had some comments on my post and he mentioned the Sun's book blog, Read Street. (There's some great stuff on the site - check it out and say hello!) He emailed me about a great little side project on the site: a Google Map of great bookstores all across the country. They didn't have any Ohio bookstores, so I've added my favorite, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, pictured above. So, let's add a little to their list: What are your favorite local bookstores? What do you love about them? When we've compiled a few, I'll make sure David's got a link to our list, so he can add them to their map. Make sure you tell us where the bookstore is located, and include a link if they have a good website.

You can see their Google Map here.

13 comments:

maiac said...

It's been years since I've been to The Book Loft in Columbus' German Village. I trust it's still the same awesome block-wide, 32-room labyrinth of new and used books that it was when I lived in Columbus. A bibliophile could get lost in there and resist all attempts at "rescue".

thekoolaidmom said...

I know that Waldenbooks is a chain and all, but my Waldens (Logansport, In.) is really great. It's not so much the store and contents itself... like I said, it's a chain... but the people who work there that make it great. Jan, Sally, and Obie are especially great. They make book suggestions that are almost always dead on, know me by name, and they listen to my suggestions as well. I've been bragging up The Gargoyle since I read it and now it's finally out. I can't wait to hear what they thought of it, too!

Krista said...

Everyone in San Francisco, or at least everyone who loves books, goes on and on about City Lights Bookstore. But you know what? I've never been. I have no need, you see, because I live within walking distance of Green Apple Books.

The Green Apple has two permanent outlets, just two doors down from each other, and an occasional third when necessary, somewhere in the neighborhood. The first branch is filled with new book, publishers' overstock, games, and book-related toys. Not to mention the magnets, wrapping paper, greeting cards, etc. Not to fear, though- none of the accoutrement even begin to overshadow the books; this is first and foremost a bookstore. Whether you're looking for the perfect gift or a steal on n overstocked book, the new book section is always worth a visit.

A few doors down the block is the used book section, which also carries music, movies, and magazines. Personally, I find this part a bit overpriced so I don't tend to go often but several of my friends swear by the place. They do carry a good selection of unexpected used books, so while they might not be great if you're looking for a recent big hit, you might well have luck looking for something a bit more Bay Area obscure.

There are two final things, however, that should earn The Green Apple a place in any true book lover's heart. First is the sporadic sales. Every so often, when the moon is full and so are their stock rooms, the owners of the Green Apple rent out a nearby warehousey-type store and fill it to the brim with books. Highly marked down books. If you can wait until the last few weeks of the sale, which usually goes on for at least a month, you can get some amazing, overlooked books for 25 cents. But who has that kind of patience, really? Last summer I waltzed out of there with two huge paper bags, stuffed to the brim, for less than $20. Life is good.

But their number one path to my heart? The Free Book Bins. Outside the new book store, they have four big plastic bins that people are welcomed to use to deposit books that they no longer want. Although plenty of nonsense makes its way there, plenty of great books do too. Just last night I scores copies of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, McEwan's Saturday, and Amis' Lucky Jim, among many others.

In a city where you often find yourself paying 25 cents for 5 minutes at the parking meter, there's just something beautiful about a store like The Green Apple. Now if only our two thousand dollar apartments had room for more books . . .

inkhornplatypus said...

Oops- in my book store discussing frenzy, I forgot to properly log myself in. Krista, the faux Google Blogger, is actually me, a LiveJournaler, as per my handle in this comment.

Mojave66 said...

Green Apple! YES!

Three of my other favorites in San Francisco: Stacey's Bookstore on Market, which has a huge selection of non-fiction and technical books along with a decent selection of fiction.

Another favorite is Books Inc which is an independent Bay Area chain that emphasizes local events.

Finally, I can't praise A Different Light high enough. It's one of the oldest GLBTI-oriented bookstores in the nation, and has a huge selection of books from the political to the impolite. Its Los Angeles/Silverlake site (now gone) got me through my formative years. Going there is a must when visiting the Castro.

Gavia Immer said...

Hey, it's me, Katy M. I want to plug a small gem from our old neighbourhood in Oakland, The Laurel Bookstore:(510) 531-2073,
4100 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619. It's independent, lesbian-owned, has a huge selection of children's books and cookbooks as well as local stuff, GLBT content, and pretty much everything else. Luan, the owner, is a treasure, and will get you anything ASAP. The store is very involved in the community, which is great, since the Laurel is a neighbourhood on the edge, with fawncy houses up the hill and gang wars a few blocks away on the flats. They have reading groups and community meetings and provide an excellent place to hang out and browse.

Free gift wrapping, lots of interesting cards and pins, a line on the neighbourhood gossip, and well-behaved dogs are not only accepted but welcomed with a cookie.

Ruth said...

Mine is The Trappe Book Center. This was my favorite book store as a child. It remains incredibly special to me because it really helped foster my love of reading, just by being there at the exact moment my interest in reading was developing into the lifelong passion that it would later become.

The clerks are always a joy to talk to and full of great recommendations for any subject.

Jena said...

I don't consider it my favorite, necessarily, but Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green, Ohio, holds a special place in my heart--it's not a bookstore with a coffeeshop in it; it's both coffeeshop and used bookstore. and it seems to get bigger and more organized every time I go back. I also love a little coffeeshop/bookstore in New Bremen, Ohio, but I'm not even sure it's there anymore. I don't even remember what it was called (Books & More?), but it was run by two sisters, at least one of whom was a teacher.

And, of course, there's Powell's in Portland, OR. if you haven't been there, don't go by Portland without planning to spend at least a few hours (more like a whole day) there.

katefate said...

My favorite bookstore is Out Word Bound, 625 North East Street in Indianapolis. Wide range of books and magazines with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Big selection of greeting cards, giftie items and DVDs. One of my favorite things to peruse is the wall o' CDs. Big and small music names, dance music, and a section devoted to local musicians. They manage to have lots of author events, and I've seen some wonderful acts at Music in the Stax there.

For used books, I recommend Caveat Emptor in Bloomington, Indiana. I'll get lost there in more ways than one. Located downtown and close to the IU campus at 112 N. Walnut Street, the store seems to go on and on as you move from room to room and book topic to book topic.

bookfool said...

Pickin's are slim here..in a city of over 150,000 we have a Barnes and Noble and a Borders. All my favorite mom and pop stores have fell by the wayside in the last 10 years....sigh...

we also only have one...count it...one quilt shop, and only two stores that sell fabric...thank goodness for internet quilt shops!!

I SO don't belong in southern California.....

Dave Rosenthal said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions, I'll make sure to update the Read Street map. And Lisa, thanks for the Joseph-Beth recommendation. I found another favorite a couple of weeks ago when I visited Denver: The Tattered Cover. Now, I just have to find time to visit all the rest.

Cathy said...

This list definitely would not be complete without the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona--one of the best mystery book shops in the US and one of the best staffs as well!

http://www.poisonedpen.com

Laurie's Mind said...

My favorite local bookstore is Village Books, in Bellingham Washington. Locally owned, great, eclectic selection, lots of corners to nose around in, all-around great bookstore. Another favorite has always been Heartwood Books, in Charlottesville, VA. It's a used bookstore with a huge inventory, lots of academic books, pretty much a bit of everything.

www.villagebooks.booksense.com