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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bookstores

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.

Excelsior

3 comments:

Sandra said...

I like bookstores where the shelves stay at eye level and below--the Kramerbooks principle of browsing both books and people at the same time. Never actually bought books growing up though, other than Shel Silverstein in hardback and nickel paperbacks from the thrift store. I preferred to max out the Fairfax County limit on library books...

Thanks for listing my Monday reading on your site, by the way. Although it is wonderful when the people you know show up, it is also pretty amazing when people you don't know show up. =)

LadyLitBlitzin said...

Oh yeah... Crown Books. That's a blast from the past.

It's so weird how crappy Walden's seems to me these days. Give me an independent or a superstore any day... I guess we sure all spoiled now. But think about how closed in we were... now we not only have all those choices, we have Amazon.com too.

Hebdomeros said...

My mom's a librarian, so I practically grew up in a library. They are wonderful places when I'm in the right frame of mind. And Kramer's is fabulous store! Always surprised but what little things they have there.