Friendly places for the readers. [/caption]I’ve loved reading ever since I have memory. This love for books has taken me to step to uncountable bookstores throughout the years, and of course, as soon as I’m inside, it’s almost impossible for me to leave them.
So, of course I have to leave at some point, but not without some sort of pain, and in more than one occasion, with a great deal of nostalgia.
Throughout the year as well, there have been some special bookstores of which I’ve become truly fond of, such as Schoenhoef’s.
I remember I got there while wandering peacefully around those magnificent streets of Harvard, Massachusetts, and of course, I couldn’t resist the temptation to get in as soon as I saw that this place specialized in foreign books.
As soon as I got there, everything was like magic! I just didn’t know where to start, I wanted to see everything at once, so, while making up my mind, one of the guys at the bookstores came to me and asked me if I needed any assistance. Of course I almost jumped up to the ceiling, because my mind was only focused on those ‘delightable’ shelves full of books in so many different languages.
Still a bit surprised I managed to answer, “it’s just that there are so many books that I don’t know where to start”. By then my heart was pumping fast, all out of happiness.
After a very long, almost stretched, hour and a half, I had inspectioned every single one of the shelves and got some precious books, one of them La mia vitta e un disastro, the italian version of the book Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging, by Louise Rennison.
Another memorable experience at an international bookshop was the one I was lucky enough have, when walking around the Soho area in London. Unfortunately the name of the place has skipped my mind I this moment, I just remember me walking around the streets close to Oxford Street and the Charing Cross Station, where the bookshops area is, and somehow I managed to get right in front of this little store full of international books.
I still remember my amazement when I got to the Italian section and had the chance to hold in my hands, for the very first time, a book written by Umberto Eco, in it’s original language. While going through the pages of L’Isola del Giorno prima (The island of the day before), I felt as I were hearing music coming from the book.
Coming back to the States, I keep very fond memories of the several times I visited Daedalus Books at Belvedere Square, in Baltimore, Maryland.
I became really attached to this bookstore, that unfortunately closed down in 2011, leaving only for us book lovers, the warehouse and the online service , because of the unique combination that they managed to create among an incredible selection of well known, and not so well known but exceptional titles, very low prices and amazing service. Whatever question I had, I always got a kind answer that pointed me to the right book. Of course I got really sad when this retail store close, and I kept on thinking that no bookstore should ever close!
Also in Baltimore, there’s an adorable small place, that more than a bookstore is a book shelter. This place, called The Book Thing is the place where book lovers care for old books so much that they take there the ones that have already been read and in exchange anyone can take any book they want, just for free. The only rule here, is to love and to care for these books.
Jumping back to Boston, it comes to my memory an incredible bookstore located along the Backbay street. Again, the name escapes from my mind, but what I don’t forget is how big my surprise was when I saw what it seemed to be a very small bookshop, with a little green door, leaving the best part for the inside as it was so hard to believe how many aisles and shelved this store managed to have hidden from the outside world, as if they wanted to protect the readers from the constant activity that this street usually has.
A place I have never had the chance to actually be in, but that has a special place in my list of wonderful bookstores is the Moravian Book Shop, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Although I’ve only heard from this place, that was founded in the 18th century, I keep track of it thanks to its constant newsletters. What I like the most of this place, besides its historical value and charming presence, is the events that they prepared all the year round to support readers and authors.
Now I have to close this post of memorable bookstores with two big ones in which I’ve spent so many hours of my life, Barnes and Noble, and Borders (which painfully I have to say, it was also closed last year). To these two bookstores, I simply want to say: Thanks for all those wonderful times I’ve spent surrounded by books, music, and the right environment!