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Tag: Bookstore

Chaparral Books – Portland, Oregon

Chaparral Books – Portland, Oregon

I stood outside of an obviously closed Chaparral Books in Portland, Oregon, anxiously hoping to hear the turn of an internal lock and the swing of an opening door. They’re probably just running a little late this morning, I thought as I glanced at my watch, which put the time at ten minutes past the scheduled start-of-business hour.  I hovered around the exterior of the shop, grabbed a drink at a neighboring convenience store, and was patiently waiting when I happened to…

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Rose City Book Pub – Portland, Oregon

Rose City Book Pub – Portland, Oregon

Rose City Book Pub in Portland, Oregon, sold me on its name alone. Combining two of my favorite indulgences – books and a nice cocktail – this neighborhood spot is a cozy, quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown.  Located in what was formerly an Irish pub, owner Elise Schumock opened Rose City Book Pub in 2018 with the intention of keeping much of the décor the same, giving the book pub a quaint, lived-in feel with old…

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Belmont Books – Portland, Oregon

Belmont Books – Portland, Oregon

They say good things come in small packages, and Belmont Books in Portland, Oregon, falls nicely into that category. While one of the smaller venues in Portland’s thriving indie bookstore scene, a top notch selection, a welcoming storefront, and friendly staff set this one high on the list during my recent PDX bookstore crawl. One of the city’s most recent additions, Belmont Books was opened last year by Joseph Witt, a financial planner who’d also worked in restaurants before becoming…

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Broadway Books – Portland, Oregon

Broadway Books – Portland, Oregon

The website for Portland, Oregon’s Broadway Books calls it “A Great Little Store with Great Big Service.” I can happily attest to the truth of that statement. As is often the case on my bookstore explorations, I prefer to browse quietly for a while, take some photos, get a feel for the space…and shop for myself. While doing so at Broadway Books, the store clerk offered assistance to a mother and daughter who were shopping the sizable children’s section, greeted several regular…

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Mother Foucault’s Bookshop – Portland, Oregon

Mother Foucault’s Bookshop – Portland, Oregon

My pre-trip research on Portland, Oregon’s Mother Foucault’s Bookshop led me to some interesting descriptions. Most glowed about the enviable antiquarian stock, with some varying descriptors ranging from the negative (pretentious) to gushing (old-world charm, eclectic, cozy, high-brow) to creatively unique (it’s setup like a 1900s living room, it smells like old book glue and whiskey).  Each of these (with the unfortunate absence of the whiskey smell) played a part in my rather unusual trip. Upon arriving, the gentleman working…

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Powell’s City of Books – Portland, Oregon

Powell’s City of Books – Portland, Oregon

Much has been written about Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. A mainstay on “best bookstore” lists not only throughout the U.S. but the entire world, the multi-location behemoth of a store has been serving Portland since 1971 and has become deservedly described as legendary. The shop’s family-owned history began in Chicago, where Michael Powell opened a bookshop in 1970. His father, Walter, spent a summer working in the shop and was so enamored with bookshop operations that, upon…

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Speaking Volumes – Burlington, Vermont

Speaking Volumes – Burlington, Vermont

Regular readers of Bookstore Explorer know I love a good used book shop, although when I actually began thinking about how I define “good,” I wasn’t necessarily sure. A trip to Speaking Volumes in Burlington, Vermont, however, has helped to provide some clarity. The inventory is vast and varied, covering genres across the literary spectrum. Décor is eclectic and spirited, resulting in what the shop’s website calls a “cozy living room atmosphere.” The shelves are tall and jam-packed with used…

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The Flying Pig Bookstore – Shelburne, Vermont

The Flying Pig Bookstore – Shelburne, Vermont

“It’s the symbol of the impossible dream,” says Elizabeth Bluemle when describing how her shop, The Flying Pig Bookstore, got its unique name.  Elizabeth cofounded the shop along with Josie Leavitt in 1996 after moving to small-town Vermont from New York City. Originally located in Charlotte, Vermont (pronounced shar-LOT), the shop moved to its current location in nearby Shelburne thirteen years ago and has served the community ever since.  Conceived as a children’s bookstore, the pair wanted a name with child appeal…

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Octavia Books – New Orleans, Louisiana

Octavia Books – New Orleans, Louisiana

Located in uptown New Orleans, the charming Octavia Books was voted Best Locally Owned Bookstore in Gambit’s Best of New Orleans 2018 poll, and it isn’t difficult to see why.  The shop is beautifully decorated, impressively stocked with a wealth of genres, and operated by a friendly and well-read staff that is quick to offer a recommended read or a cool place to grab lunch. (I took them up on the latter during my afternoon visit.) Octavia Books was established by Tom…

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Crescent City Books – New Orleans, Louisiana

Crescent City Books – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans’s Crescent City Books specializes in vintage, rare, and out-of-print books, plus antique prints and maps from around the world. The shop opened in 1992 and moved to its current location, across from the famous Roosevelt Hotel, in 2010. With section titles such as “Creative Non-fiction” and “Esoteric,” the shop’s inventory is vast, varied, and nicely organized throughout the large shop. Book-themed quotes are hanging throughout, as is a variety of beautiful artwork and prints. Near the back is…

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