Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme.
This week’s theme was bookstores and libraries that I’ve always wanted to visit. This was such a fun theme for me as a librarian, since I spend much of my time day dreaming about beautiful and amazing libraries. And, have you ever wondered what librarians do when we’re not at the library? We go to bookstores.
BOOKSTORES THAT I WANT TO VISIT
1. Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago, IL
Women & Children First is a feminist bookstore that is focused on selling books by and about women. They also specialize in LGBTQ+ fiction and they work to promote stories featuring marginalized voices. It’s been women-owned since its opening in 1979.
This bookstore sounds amazing and like the kind of place I would never want to leave. I’m kicking myself for not making the time to go see it while I was living in Illinois for my master’s program!
2. The Montague Bookmill in Montague, MA
This is a used bookstore that is housed in an old gristmill from the 1800s, which is also home to a cafe and restaurant. I love visiting historical sites and the fact that this one is full of books makes it even cooler.
I visited a gristmill a few weeks ago and it was so intersting (but books would have definitely made it more interesting, of course).
3. Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, NY
This bookstore has only been open since 2017, but if you’re a part of the bookblogger/booktuber/bookstagrammer community, you’ve most likely heard of it (and seen TONS of pictures in front of their iconic wall!).
Books Are Magic has tons of author events, they work with local schools, and even have book subscription services. Plus, their aesthetic is too perfect.
4. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York, NY
This used bookstore is made up of donated books and staffed by volunteers. It’s owned by Housing Works, an organiztion that fundraisers to provide an array of services to those experiencing homelessness and/or those living with HIV/AIDS.
This is a cause that means so much to me, so it’s definitely a bookstore that I would not feel at all guilty about splurging at. I hope that I have a chance to visit it soon!
5. The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles, CA
The Ripped Bodice is the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States and it’s owned by two sisters. They do Diversity Reports to look at racial diverstiy in romance publishing, which is such an important topic.
I honestly didn’t care much about romance for a long time, but I’ve recently grown an appreciation for the genre! I’m especially partial to queer and POC-centered romance, and I know I’d find tons of great stuff at The Ripped Bodice.
LIBRARIES THAT I WANT TO VISIT
1. The Floating Library in Minnesota
The Floating Library is a public art installation that is essentially a collection of books on a raft in a lake. You make your way to it via a kayak, paddleboat, canoe, or any kind of small boat, and check out books.
This sounds so cool, although I’m sure I’d be terrified that I would drop a book in the lake!
2. Reading Club 2000 in Manilla, Philippines
Reading Club 2000 was started 18 years ago, when Hernando Guanlao wanted a way to share his love of reading with his community. He started running a free library (no membership, card, or ID required) out of his home with just 100 books. Now, he has thousands of books that he shares with his community.
I love Hernando’s story, and the Philippines is one of the top destinations on my bucket list (I’m 25% Filipinx). If I ever make it there, I’d love to visit Reading Club 2000 and meet Hernando!
3. Roscoe Public Library in Roscoe, South Dakota
This tiny little library was started by a group of women called the Priscilla Embroidery Club. The land was donated and the women of the club literally hauled the rocks for the chimney themselves. The 8 women of the club took turns being librarian.
Although this library closed in 2002 (with only 1,500 books!), I’d still love to visit the site. I love the story behind it and that it was a women-led comunity effort.
4. New York Public Library in New York, NY
Remember in the movie The Day After Tomorrow when the extreme weather causes a bunch of people to take refuge in the New York Public Library while they wait for Dennis Quaid to come rescue them? I DESPERATELY wanted this to be my actual life when I was a kid.
Obviously, now that I’m an adult, I don’t want an ice age to happen or to have to burn books to stay warm (although I’d be okay with meeting Dennis Quaid) but I still would love to visit one of the most iconic public libraries in the nation.
5. Cook and Book in Brussels, Belgium
A restaurant full of books? Pretty sure this is one of my ultimate dreams. All restaurants should have books, honestly.
I’m always eating while reading and have definitely spilled food on books. Let me know if you have any tricks for eating while reading without making a mess!
Have you visited any of these bookstores or libraries?