Related to my post yesterday, Jonathan Safran Foer contributed to Writing Life, a weekly feature in Washington Post's Book World.
Although he now resides in NY City, apparently Mr. Foer grew up in D.C.---I had no idea. His essay in Writing Life is in part about growing up in D.C., although I don't think you need to know anything about D.C. to enjoy it. It's really more about growing up with bookstores.
My only bookstores growing up were the small Walden's Books located in the local shopping malls, and later Crown Books. I loved them, even if they put all the s/f and fantasy books in the back corner. Always made me feel like they were trying to put the outcasts in an area so the regular readers wouldn't have to interact with us. The first time I encountered the super-bookstores was when we moved my older step-brother down to UVa and I found my first B&N. It seemed mammoth, and I spent probably three hours in there searching through the seemingly endless rows of books and magazines. I remember thinking it was wonderful when I needed a break I was able to stop for a cup of juice, rejuvenate and start looking again.