God I love bookstores. Not just the looking at books, the smelling of books (because, you know, used books have that great, bordering on mildew smell), the glancing through books to see if it appeals to you, the sitting-down-and-actually-reading-a-chapter of books, or even the, gasp!, pulling out the credit card and not even blanching at the total of books. Bookstores. Having lived in Portland for 15 years there was, of course, Powell’s Books, which I still miss terribly. (Once, when I was in college in Spokane Wasington, J, L and I made the road trip there, just to visit Powell’s. Parked and slept in the car up in Northwest, brushed our teeth at the McDonald’s on Burnside and had coffee and breakfast at the Anne Hughes Coffee Room, which, sadly, is no more. Of the many great memories from college, this is a favorite. And I still have all of the books I purchased on that trip.) I have very fond memories of Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, which my friend E introduced me to. Here in town we have Beers Books (at which I’ve furtively purchased really bad paranormal romance novels, and ashamedly at that, but I’ve also gotten some great books on ancient Greek, so that should balance out the trash) and Time Tested Books (which has a great military history section). But I’m always on the lookout for great bookstores. This website lets me live vicariously. I’m seriously thinking of heading to S.F. to check out the sci-fi bookstore, but those hairless cats scare me.
Oh, and not to be outdone, there’s also this site about libraries. Although my favorite is still the Reed College Library (Central Library in Portland runs a close second, but it doesn’t have an operating nuclear reactor a couple of hundred yards away.)