A Love Letter to Bookstores

By: Sarah and Kaitlyn

tumblr_mkurz0Cx2w1qajmeko1_500We grew up with books. Straight out of the womb, we surrounded ourselves with books from the moment that we could hold them. And have never put them down since. Even today if someone were to walk into one of our homes, there’s a good chance that books would be everywhere.

We’re constantly seeking new adventures that books can take us on. We’ve cast spells with Harry, Hermione and Ron, learned about love and loss with Hazel and Augustus, and roamed around New York with Oskar Schell.

So it’s safe to say that we’ve spent a great deal of our lives in bookstores. They’re magical places where your whole life is transformed the second you walk in. The smell of old and fresh pages, the colorful bindings of novels and the faint aroma of coffee and hipster fill the air. This is home.

I (Kaitlyn) randomly stumbled across my favorite bookstore when I was in San Francisco earlier this year. I think that the best discoveries are always the unintended ones, and that’s exactly what this was. I just looked into a store window and saw that it was a bookstore, City Lights Booksellers, so obviously I had to go inside. It was an adorable bookstore with closely-knit shelves of books that were only slightly organized. Nooks and crannies hid little treasures and it wasn’t until I was in there for a while that I realized something. This bookstore was probably one of the most important bookstores in American history. It was a meeting place for the “beatnik” generation and its publishing company published famous beat literature such as “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. It is also the first-ever all paperback bookstore. As someone who has a strong preference for paperback books, I was in heaven. At this realization, I had an only semi-embarrassing public nerd dance.

I (Sarah) also randomly found my favorite bookstore. I haven’t traveled as much as Kaitlyn, so I haven’t been able to discover far away bookstores. But, bookstores in your hometown are just as wonderful, I think. My favorite, called Downtown Books, Is in Milwaukee. Used books pile all the way to the ceilings throughout the whole store. I spend so much time in the fiction section that I think I may have most of it memorized. It’s definitely somewhere I could go and get lost (literally) in books. The rows seem like they never end. And that’s great because I never want them to. Sometimes, at the end of a row, a friendly face greets you. Those faces? Cats. There’s a fluffy orange tabby and a fat brown tabby. The first time I went there, I was so happy to see the cats. How wonderful to sit among stacks, while petting cats, and imagining every new adventure you could take in those books.

Along with our favorite bookstores, there are so many we wish we could visit. Some from books, even ;)

Best Famous Bookstores:

1. Flourish & Blotts Harry Potter

They don’t just have books, they have magical books. So … best bookstore ever. And Kenneth Branagh has guest appearances there. And, they probably have a full section devoted to potions.

2. The Shop Around the Corner You’ve Got Mail

Just seeing this bookstore gives you warm fuzzies and also makes you want to cry tears of perfect romantic love. We would totally give our business to this bookstore opposed to Fox Books.

3. The bookstore in Hugo

This bookstore is so fantastical. Stacks and stacks of books line the floors, scattered about and leather-bound.

Honorable mention: The library from Beauty and the Beast. It’s not technically a bookstore, but who hasn’t dreamed about that sliding ladder?

Give us a bookstore and we’ll give it our time and love. Whether it has cats or a famous writer started his or her career there, we’ll absorb the store into our hearts. Our love for books and bookstores is unending.

Oh, hello!

Oh, hello!
We're Sarah and Kaitlyn, roommates from Milwaukee who started this blog to promote creativity and life.
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