Tag Archives: bookstore

Old Friends and New Places: Part 1

Today, I traveled on a short trip to downtown Pittsburgh to meet my high school for a short tour of the town. I hadn’t seen my friend Megan in years and I was excited to get out of the apartment to do something fun. We decided to walk to a cute bookstore nearby, then to a coffee shop afterward.

Side view of the special edition case

Walking down past the University of Pittsburgh, we stepped into Caliban Bookstore. In a previous post, I described my wish to find a bookstore close to me that I would be able to find awesome books at a good price. I walked into a little piece of book heaven. Shelves from the floor to the ceiling stacked with books! There was a glass case by the register full of rare first or odd editions of books. I walked around with my friend and discovered the world I had been missing.

Loved seeing this many books!It's like a candy store that never cures my sweet tooth for reading

As I browsed the  books available, I marveled at the time it took to acquire all of these amazing and interesting reads.

We went downstairs to the fiction section and I was right at home. I combed through the the shelves looking for books that I would benefit from owning.

I settled on two books from Issac Asimov, who will help me to understand science fiction. Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation  are now sitting at home with me along with a book I will need for my trip to Ireland. James Joyce’s Ulysses by Stuart Gilbert will be my guide to James Joyce after the horror of my Irish short fiction class.  I hope that I can return to the store soon because it was such a rewarding experience. It reminded me of the joy that comes with searching for a book and the love of carrying it home with you.  Below are some more pictures from our tour of the bookstore.

My wonderful finds

They even have a cabinet for tiny books

A look inside the cabinet 🙂

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Beautiful Bookstores

One of the most interesting things about buying books is the places we buy them. As convenient as online shopping is, bookstores can open a whole new world that normal stores just can’t provide.

Browsing the web today, I came across the 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores. It shows a slideshow and short description of each bookstore and the country where you can find it.


It made me think of how little I have spent in bookstores and the hidden treasures they hold. Most of the time I use Amazon, since the bookstores close to me have all closed. I would love to find a bookstore like the ones found in the link above because I would never leave. I’d walk in one day, marvel at the majesty of such a beautiful place housing my favorite things. I’d buy a book or two and go home. Then, the trips would increase. I would go once a week just to see if it was really as amazing as the first time and eventually I’d be going every day.

Because the environment of a book store is unlike anything you could imagine. While most people don’t give it a second thought, a book store is a place holding thousands of years of history, life, and love. All under one roof, no less!  I relish the moments I can go into even a chain book store and just lay my hands on all of the different books. I love to look at the covers, feel the book brand new. And no one in that store, employee or customer, will look at you funny if pick up a book, sit down, and start reading the beginning of it.

Sure, there may be policy about reading a whole book, but how can you know what a book is like without sampling it? So, just as you are sitting down to decide between two books, another person will be doing the same thing in another aisle. I smile knowing I’m not the only one that needs a chair to sit and sample all of the delicious options in the bookstore.

Since most bookstores don’t have places to sit, these unique bookstores provide an intimate element for their customers that brings the love back in to buying books. While I still enjoy buying books online because it’s affordable, nothing compares to the awe and comfort of a familiar, well-stocked bookstore.



Filed under Idea of the Day