Welcome!

I love lists.

I love bookstores and libraries.

This is where I’ll be listing the bookstores and libraries I’ve visited since I moved to Portland in 2008.

This is a work in progress since I hope to write individual posts about each of the places I’ve visited- or, at least, for a good number of them.

What are some of your favorite bookstores and libraries you’ve visited?

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My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 3

For a detailed account of my Rochester trip, click here.
For my previous posts in this series, click here and here.

Day 1

On my morning walk in Rochester, I ended up in the ABC Streets Neighborhood. And, as I had hoped w there was a name like that, there was a Little Free Library!

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My friend took me to her alma mater, Nazareth College, and we explored Lorette Wilmot Library.

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It’s always interesting to see a Barnes & Noble that’s a university bookstore.

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One of my favorite places we visited was Writers & Books, a literary center located in Rochester’s arts district. It was truly a book lover’s and writer’s paradise. I could see myself spending a lot of time there.

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I loved visiting the Out Alliance Library. There was such a huge collection of books and other media.

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Our final bookish stop for the day was the Fairport Public Library. There were so many cool things to see there including the well curated Teen area, the time capsule in the Children’s, and the Book Bin store run by the Friends of the Fairport Public Library. You can even take a virtual tour!

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Day 2

Our first stop for my last day was the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. The fact that it was actually two buildings- the Rundel Memorial Library and the Bausch & Lomb Public Library Building- made it doubly exciting for me. And they were connected via an underground tunnel as well.

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We entered through the Bausch & Lomb Public Library Building. There was a beautiful Reading Garden and The Library Store run by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. My favorite part was the Secret Room in the Children’s area!

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We took the underground tunnel to the Rundel Library Building.

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I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that there was the Stonewall: 50 Years Out exhibit going on at the Anthony Mascioli Gallery.

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I was surprised to discover there were two children’s bookstores in Rochester. The first was Element of Fun in Village Gate. It sold books and toys.

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The next was Hipocampo Children’s Books, which just had their grand opening in April! Talk about where books are magic!

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My friend and I ended up chatting to Henry, one of the co-owners, about community, Portland, culture, and, of course, books. We could have talked until the end of the day but sadly I had a plane to catch. I’m definitely following them to see them grow.

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We managed to squeeze in one more bookstore. The Barnes and Noble in Pittsford Plaza was the nicest of its kind I’d seen featuring a Used Books section (Sale Annex) and a Community Room!

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Thanks to everyone who joined me in reminiscing about all the bookstores and libraries I visited during my Coast to Coast vacation!

The Ultimate Library Adventure of Marley and Pearl: Exploring NYPL

To celebrate a milestone in her life, Carly (aka Pearl thereby making me Marley) wanted to go to the Big Apple and one of the things she wanted to do there was visit the New York Public Library. It’s been something we’ve talked about doing maybe even before our library hopping days and I decided I should join her. So I did! And so we went!

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I don’t think any one could have been more excited than we were to go the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Even seeing the building from a distance and then reaching the main entrance getting to meet Patience and Fortitude, the Library Lionsthe Library Lions, was thrilling!

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We followed the large crowd of people in- after taking some pictures with Patience and Fortitude and in front of the library. We wanted to make sure we got tickets for the free guided tour. Then we had an hour to kill beforehand. But there was lots to see!

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The tour was helpful in focusing on certain aspects of the library because it can get overwhelming.

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I was confused that I hadn’t seen the circulating part of the library yet, I didn’t realize the building was mostly research- or for tourists. But the ground floor was a whole other story! And, unless I’m mistaken, this is the interim location called Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street.

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Naturally, I wanted to explore the Children’s Center at 42nd Street, particularly seeing the Adventures of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh.

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There were also two current exhibitions going on.

The one I was excited about was Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50.

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The second was Walt Whitman: America’s Poet.

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I still can’t believe that I was at the New York Public Library. It was more than I thought it would be. Bigger. Better. I’m glad we were able to experience this together!

My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 2

Continuing my Coast to Coast Vacation, which you can read about here– or, if you want the bookish version so far, here-, I arrived in Brooklyn, New York Friday night. And where else would I meet my friends but at a bookstore?

Books Are Magic is one of those author-owned bookstores (in this case, Emma Straub) that’s on my Must Visit list. Books are magic because they can bring people together and create friendships! We took the obligatory picture along their wall! Even though I didn’t really stay long enough to browse, I can see why it’s so popular. They even had an author reading going on.

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You can check out more of my New York adventures here since I’ll be focusing on the bookstores and libraries I’ve visited in this post.

While visiting the Stonewall Inn, a couple of people suggested we check out Jekyll & Hyde Club in Greenwich Village for the literary theme and for its hidden bathrooms! I wish I had more time- and energy!- to see everything about this place inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s story but it was late and we had a big day ahead of us!

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My friend and fellow library hopper had been wanting to visit the New York Public Library– as have I- so it was super special that we got to experience it together! You can read about that here.

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What I originally thought to be part of NYPL’s many programs, the Bryant Park Reading Room is its own entity. I love the idea of this “Open Air Library.”

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After that we went to the Strand Book Store. 18 miles of books! It reminded me of Powell’s Books here in Portland. It’s definitely a book lover’s paradise!

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We could have stayed there the rest of the day but we had lots of New York still left to see and not a whole lot of time. We parted ways as they did some more sightseeing and I, of course, went to more bookstores and libraries.

Books of Wonder, the famed children’s bookstore that inspired the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie You’ve Got Mail, was my first stop by myself. Old books. New books. Collectibles. Lots of Oz merchandise. There’s so much to love about this place!

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My plan of attack was basically to zig-zag my way up the streets of Manhattan. I did have a destination in mind. I stopped by…

the Kips Bay Branch of NYPL…

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Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue…

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the 53rd Street Library of NYPL…

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on my way to Sesame Street!

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I was hoping for more to celebrate the recent renaming of W 63rd St on Broadway as part of the show’s 50th anniversary.

Some people would have called it a day by now but I took the subway to Brooklyn to try and visit some more before they closed in about an hour.

One of the other places I really wanted to make sure I visited was Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab. I loved how much personality it had for such a small space. The person working there was super nice and she even gave me an extra copy of A Field Guide to Bookstores of Brooklyn that they gave out during Independent Bookstore Day the week before!

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Unnameable Books wasn’t on my radar until I saw it on the list but it was nearby so I went.

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Greenlight Bookstore is a great example of a bookstore doing it right.

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My last bookstore visit was probably my favorite- The Center for Fiction. I’m still not quite sure what exactly it is even after checking out their website but I love it! I would definitely come back.

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I think I did quite well during my time in New York City. But while we said goodbye, my trip wasn’t over yet!

In fact, leaving the Big Apple via Amtrak, I found Hudson Booksellerss at Pennsylvania Station! (I’m only counting this and not its Hudson News locations.)

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My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 1

My Coast to Coast Vacation was very spur of the moment and probably one of the most spontaneous thing I ever did. It’s truly something that I will always look back on with a smile on my face.

A detailed account of my adventures is detailed on my other blog here.

I’ll be focusing mainly on the West Coast part of my trip in this post.

Day 1- San Francisco

As I waited for one bookstore to open, I found a Little Free Library a block or two down from it at the Noe Valley Town Square.

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My first bookstore was Charlie’s Corner a relatively new children’s bookstore that opened up in 2015. They were at their temporary location since the original venue was going through some seismic retrofitting. They have multiple story times everyday, a membership club and other fun stuff. They also have Maggie Rudy’s beautiful Mouse City on display!

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While walking to The Castro, I ran into Folio Books. I loved they had a tent in the middle of their children’s area.

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In The Castro, I didn’t realize they had another Dog Eared Books location. They had lots of LGBTQ face outs.

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One of the bookstores I’d been wanting to go to but they always managed to be closed the other times I’ve gone to San Francisco was Arkipelago Books– a Filipino bookstore in San Francisco’s South of Market(SOMA). This tiny store got rather busy and there seemed to be lots of literary things going on. I’m glad I finally went!

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Even though I lived in San Francisco when I was younger and in Chinatown for awhile- not to mention my other visits since then-, I’d never actually gone to the Chinatown Branch Library (renamed Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library in 2010.) With my recent obsessions in visiting Carnegie locations, I decided to finally go.

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I went to Grace Cathedral to walk its labyrinths when, sitting in the courtyard, I noticed a room with shelves of books. Lo and behold, it was a library! The Marialice King Hale Library is located in Chapter House.

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Some other literary sights I saw that day…

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Day 2- South San Francisco & Berkeley

After all that walking, I was seriously considering staying in the next day and resting but I went off to see a Carnegie library in South San Francisco and a children’s bookstore in Berkeley.

I had lived in South San Francisco also and I don’t remember going to any libraries there. And who’d have guessed the Grand Avenue Library was a Carnegie?

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I hadn’t been to Berkeley before so it was nice to go there. I loved the Berkeley Central Library. My favorite part of was the listening station. They also had a Friends’ Store. I enjoyed talking to the children’s librarians there.

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I visited Pegasus Books, their downtown Berkeley location, and loved their mix of new and old books, CD’s and DVD’s. They’ll be celebrating 50 years in June!

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On my way to another bookstore, I saw Half Price Books so of course I had to check it out. I didn’t realize they were a Texas-based chain that has now over 100 locations nationwide.

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Books, Inc. also had a location in Berkeley.

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What I really wanted to visit was Mr. Mopp’s Children’s Books & Toys. A specialty toy shop since the 1960’s, they opened up their book annex in 2013. I had a fun time talking to the employee there about kids books we love!

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Later that day, I explored Museum of Modern Art and was delighted to find a poop up library. The Public Knowledge Library is a collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library focusing on the culture (history and perseverance) of the city.

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Day 3- Airports

In the San Francisco International Airport, Books, Inc. has two locations of their Compass Books. Since I was flying domestic, I saw the one in terminal 3.

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A layover in Denver International Airport meant I was able to visit the Tattered Cover Book Store there. But because I’m obsessive and it was easy to get around, I went to all three.

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I can’t believe I’d gone to so many bookstores and libraries on my trip already. But there was more to come!

15th Ever Library Hop: New Old Libraries Edition

What an unexpectedly fun day today turned out to be!

I knew I had wanted to hit up at least 2 libraries today but it turned out to be more than that. And I thought with one of them that it wasn’t going to be exciting because I was just going there since I hadn’t been back since they had renovated.

The first stop was the Oregon City Public Library. Funnily enough, the first location I visited of this library was when it was temporarily in a strip mall. Fortunately, they moved back to their old Carnegie building where they expanded a few years ago.

The renovations were gorgeous. It was so fun looking around and taking in everything new.

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The Friends of the Oregon City Public Library Bookstore moved to a new location closer to the library so, of course, I had to check it out.

On my way to the other library, the bus decided to have a 10-minute break so I was able to check out the renovated Canby Public Library.

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As it turned out, the design firm who did the renovations for both Oregon City and Canby also did Driftwood and Happy Valley!

The main library I wanted to visit was Woodburn Public Library which is part of my Oregon Carnegie Libraries Challenge.

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With Woodburn off my list, I only have 4 more Carnegie libraries to visit!

14th Ever Library Hop: My Bookish Vacation Edition

I recently went on a bookish vacation at the Sylvia Beach Hotel (staying at the Dr. Seuss room) as an early birthday present for myself. I wanted to use it as a writer’s retreat of sorts. But I knew I also wanted to visit libraries and bookstores along the coast since I wasn’t in that part of Oregon often.

Like all my travels, particularly my library hopping adventures, it relied on public transportation and if I missed one of the many connecting rides, it was game over. But everything went smoothly!

Days One & Two- Getting to Sylvia Beach Hotel; From Portland to Newport

Tillamook County Library (Tillamook County Library)

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My first stop was the Tillamook County Library. And, if this was any indicator of how my trip was going to be, I was definitely in for a treat! I loved the murals especially the one leading to the Children’s Room. But the one in the staircase was beautiful, too.

The Tillamook Library Foundation Bookstore was open and I talked to a very nice volunteer there. They’re currently raising funds to build a Library Park!

Literacy Park behind the Newport Public Library

On my way to Sylvia Beach Hotel, I walked past the Newport Public Library which I had already been to on a previous library hop. But I didn’t see Literacy Park behind it until now. It’s very tiny and has a small amphitheater.

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Aside from the authors’ books in each of its literary themed room, Sylvia Beach Hotel has a pretty impressive library including plenty of comfortable seats even by a fireplace!

Just a few doors down is Nye Beach Book House which I had already been to during my first visit to Sylvia Beach Hotel. But I couldn’t resist stopping by.

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I also went to Fireside Books, another used bookstore in Newport.

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Day Three- Waldport and Yachats

After realizing how long the bus rides were, I was ready to readjust my expectations of how many libraries and bookstores I was going to visit especially when I knew I wanted to dedicate some time for writing. Fortunately, I was able to do just that. And the following day, I was off again.

Waldport Public Library

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This little library was hosting an Easter Egg Hunt when I was there so that was nice to see.

After Waldport, I went to Yachats. And just walking around I ran across this charming used bookstore- Mari’s Books! It’s great this coastal town would have both a bookstore and a library.

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Yachats Public Library

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After Googling what other bookstores there were in Newport, I was super curious to see Canyon Way Restaurant and Bookstore because it was a restaurant AND a bookstore! It was super cool.

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Day Four- Going Home; From Newport to Portland

My trip home was full of unexpected side detours but all for the good.

Despite being in a time crunch, I was able to stop by the Book Warehouse in Lincoln City’s outlet mall.

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Driftwood Public Library (Lincoln City)

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This looked very unassuming from the outside but it was surprisingly nice and spacious inside. There was also a Friends of Driftwood Public Library Book Store which was sadly closed when I was there.

Apparently the firm in charge of the renovation was also responsible for Oregon City’s, Happy Valley’s, and Canby’s.

Bob’s Beach Books was one that people said I should visit. Fortunately, I was able to walk there instead of just idling about waiting for a bus!

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Grand Ronde Tribal Library

I really thought that would be my last library even though I had purposely took a different route home to see one other library. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find information about where it was and if it was even still open. I was happy at least to see a Little Free Library was by the bus stop when I got to Grand Ronde.

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But 10 minutes before the next bus arrived, I found out where the library was so I had to rush to visit it!

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At this point, I was content to call it a day- and I had three buses left. But I had ended up passing by another library so I decided to check it out. There was a super friendly librarian at the Sheridan Public Library.

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I even found a used bookstore- Main Street Books Revisited!

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Having visited 7 bookstores and 7 libraries made this a very fun trip for me!

You can read more about my vacation here.

Oregon Carnegie Libraries Challenge

With all the library hopping I’ve been doing over the years, I realized I’ve visited quite a number of Carnegie libraries in Oregon. Originally, there were thirty-two but only eleven are still being used as libraries. While others have been demolished, some have been repurposed. I like it when it becomes that town or city’s historical museum.

I decided recently it might be a fun goal to try and visit the eleven Carnegie libraries in Oregon. It’s definitely a challenge since I don’t drive and most of them are far away. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all by the end of the year.

Here are the ones I’ve visited so far.

North Portland (Portland, Multnomah County Library)

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St. Johns (Portland, Multnomah County Library)

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Oregon City

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Albany

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McMinnville

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Newberg

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The rest I have yet to visit are the ones in Woodburn, Hood River, Ashland, Enterprise, and Union.

Watch this blog to see if I end up completing this challenge!

13th Ever Library Hop: Last Minute First Library Hop of 2019

Somehow after my bookstore and library visits yesterday, I couldn’t sleep. So what did I do? I decided to go to a last minute library hop which required scrambling to buy tickets, plan out which places I wanted to see, and to get ready all within a short time frame.

Fortunately, I had free tickets for Bolt Bus to redeem and I saw they went to Eugene where I’d been wanting to go to. So, after being up for 24 hours straight, off I went.

The first thing I did once I got to Eugene was to actually head to Springfield (just across the river from it) and I came across the official Simpsons mural!

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The Springfield Public Library was located inside City Hall. I was really impressed by what they did with the space. There were people getting library cards, buying books from the Friends Book Sale, and checking out materials. There was even a school group there. Springfield Public Library is hoping to expand to better serve the community and I hope they’re successful at it.

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My next library visit was University of Oregon’s Knight Library. It was a beautiful building. A bookstore customer had told me they had an amazing collection of items related to children’s literature. While I didn’t see any in person, they do have a great resource available online of Twentieth Century Children’s Literature as part of their Special Collections and University Archives including manuscripts from Virginia Lee Burton!

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Finally, I went to the Eugene Public Library. My original plan was just to visit the Downtown Library but, since it was a day of last minute decisions, I ended up visiting all three locations which was sort of a time crunch.

The Downtown Library reminded me of Seattle’s Central Library which I’m honestly not a fan of. It had a cafe on the ground floor called Novella Cafe. The Second Hand Prose Book Store (operated by the Friends of Eugene Public Library) was unfortunately closed during my visit.

The Bethel and Sheldon branches were quite a distance away in either direction from the Downtown Library which was good in the sense that they were able to serve more people but bad for me since they took awhile to get to and from. They were in strip malls and took me less than five minutes each to look around but they were being used which was a nice thing to see.

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And, of course, any time I’m in a new city, I also like to visit bookstores. First up was Tsunami Books. I really liked the book mural.

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Then, I went to Smith Family Bookstore’s Campus location. I was surprised by how big it was.

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After that, I ended up at J. Michaels Books, apparently named as one of Huffington Post’s 50 Best Indie Bookstores in the country.

Finally, I went to Smith Family Bookstore’s Downtown location. It was incredible how many books they buy based on the number of boxes they had stacked all over the place. And, yet, both stores were well organized.

Enjoy some random pics I took while I was in Eugene.

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After visiting 5 libraries and 4 bookstores as a last minute trip to Eugene, I think I’m pretty set on library hopping for the time being! Then again, I can never say no!

Previous Library Hops:
The First Ever Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl
The 2nd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl
Library Hopping 2011 2.5: The Continuing Adventures of Marley and Pearl
The 3rd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl: LFL Edition, Part I
The 3rd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl: LFL Edition, Part II
The Road Trippin’ Adventures of Ericat and Muffin: In which She takes Him Library Hopping and wonders what She got Herself into
5th Annual Library Hop a.k.a. “More Adventures of Ericat and Muffin: In which They reunite and go Library Hopping Again.”
6th Annual Library Hop: Out of State Edition a.k.a. “Las Vegas Edition (Actually Henderson but who even knows where that is?) with Christine Claiborne”
7th Annual Library Hop: International Edition a.k.a. “An Eight-Hour Layover at the Taiwan Airport Edition”
8th Ever Library Hop: The Reinstated Edition a.k.a. “North Las Vegas Edition”
9th Ever Library Hop: Tacoma Edition a.k.a. “I’m sure I’ve done more before I started this list but who’s counting? Edition”
10th Ever Library Hop: Salem Edition a.k.a. “My Library Hopping is Back with a Vengeance This Year! Edition”
12th Ever Library Hop: Last Library Hop of 2018 a.k.a. “The Most Bus Rides I’ve Ever Taken”

First Bookstore and Library Visits of 2019!

Spring has sprung and what better way to celebrate than to visit bookstores and libraries!

All winter long I’d been itching to go on more library hops and bookstore crawls to no avail since the weather was bleak and I’d pretty much hit up all the places I could relying on cheap public transportation. And I admit I was spoiled by how many I did last year. I shouldn’t expect that to be the norm.

But I was thrilled to hear a new bookstore- and a children’s bookstore at that!- had just opened up in Vancouver, Washington. So, naturally, I had to visit! And, after doing some research, there were some libraries near it that I could go as well.

First up, I ended up at Clark College’s Lewis D. Cannell Library. I had decided not to want to visit university libraries anymore unless they were convenient to go to which this was. I immediately found their picture books selection which is part of their oddly named Renaissance Kids collection.

While Googling libraries in the area, I stumbled upon an interesting one- The Brautigan Library– consisting of unpublished manuscripts in categories like Adventure, Family, Future, Meaning of Life, Street Life, and All the Rest using the Mayonnaise System. It sounded so quirky that I needed to visit it.

Because I’m horrible with directions, on my way there, I ran across the Clark County Historical Museum and noticed it used to be a Carnegie library. I really didn’t want to have to pay the admission fee but I realized the Brautigan Library was inside the museum so I bit the bullet.

I was expecting something more after everything I read but it was just a few shelves of books. It was in the same room as the museum Research Library but at least I was able to add two more libraries to my list! It was cool that I got to visit another Carnegie library building even though I wasn’t seeking it out. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pics.

Finally, I went to the main reason of my visit- Dicken’s Children’s Books and Publishing Lab. What a delightful place. I loved the mural of beloved kidlit characters. They had a stage with a puppet theater and a reading tent. The publishing lab had typewriters and writing utensils for when the creative juices start flowing. I really enjoyed it. I like to tell people we’re in a golden age for children’s books so I’m always happy when a dedicated kids bookstore opens up.

After returning to Portland and after my library volunteer shift, I decided to hit up a new bookstore I’d been meaning to visit ever since I met the own in a bookseller’s conference. Two Rivers Bookstore is located in the St. Johns neighborhood sharing its space with a coffee shop. I love when independent bookstores reflect their communities’ needs.

I’m so happy that I got to enjoy a bookish day!

12th Ever Library Hop: Last Library Hop of 2018

One of the highlights for me this year was definitely reinstating library hops– even if it was just by myself when other times I had a friend tagging along. I decided to go on one more for the year. This time, I wanted to hit the libraries in Washington (of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District) which were accessible by bus.

This library hop was the one with the most bus rides taken (17!) and the longest I was out (the sun was setting as I reached my last library but then again it’s wintertime so it gets dark quite early).

Library hopping is not for the faint of heart. It takes quite an obsessive mind and some dedication. I had originally planned on visiting just two libraries. I ended up going to five! It takes a lot of planning to make sure everything runs on time to get to all the places. Even then, you also need to be flexible especially when taking public transportation.

The first library I went to wasn’t even one I had planned on going to but one of the buses I was supposed to take left early and I didn’t want to wait and waste my time. So, five buses and over two hours after leaving my place, I reached my first library of the day.

Three Creeks Community Library was worth it. I loved everything it had to offer.

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Three more bus rides later, I reached the Battle Ground Community Library. My favorite part aside from the cozy reading area with an equally inviting fireplace was the Friends of the Battle Ground Library bookstore- Ben’s Books- “named in honor of Ben Franklin, the father of free lending libraries.”

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Cascade Park Community Library was very spacious and welcoming.

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The next library was another unintentional visit. I didn’t realize the Camas Public Library wasn’t part of FVRL which was why it wasn’t showing up on my map search of “FVRL locations.” Luckily I tend to do a Google search if a town or city I’m passing by has a library or not.

Camas Public Library was beautiful. At first, I thought it was a Carnegie library by its design. I wish I had more time to take things in and to get a library card to add to my collection.

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My last library was the Washougal Community Library. I was glad to see that even such a small space, they made room for a Friends of the Washougal Community Library Book Nook.

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What a long day it was but I love getting to visit libraries!

Don’t miss my previous library hops:
The First Ever Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl
The 2nd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl
Library Hopping 2011 2.5: The Continuing Adventures of Marley and Pearl
The 3rd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl: LFL Edition, Part I
The 3rd Annual Library Hop Adventures of Marley and Pearl: LFL Edition, Part II
The Road Trippin’ Adventures of Ericat and Muffin: In which She takes Him Library Hopping and wonders what She got Herself into
5th Annual Library Hop a.k.a. “More Adventures of Ericat and Muffin: In which They reunite and go Library Hopping Again.”
6th Annual Library Hop: Out of State Edition a.k.a. “Las Vegas Edition (Actually Henderson but who even knows where that is?) with Christine Claiborne”
7th Annual Library Hop: International Edition a.k.a. “An Eight-Hour Layover at the Taiwan Airport Edition”
8th Ever Library Hop: The Reinstated Edition a.k.a. “North Las Vegas Edition”
9th Ever Library Hop: Tacoma Edition
10th Ever Library Hop: Salem Edition
11th Ever Library Hop: Yet Another Long Bus Ride Edition

Recent Bookstore Visits

For a book lover like me, I’ve been spoiled by how many bookstores (and a couple libraries, as well!) I’ve gotten to visit the past few weeks.

Don’t miss the ones I already wrote about during my recent library hops:
9th Ever Library Hop: Tacoma Edition
10th Ever Library Hop: Salem Edition
11th Ever Library Hop: Yet Another Long Bus Ride Edition

Being as obsessed as I am about going to bookstores, it’s always surprising to me when I realized there’s one I haven’t gone to having lived in Portland (Oregon) for over a decade. One such bookstore was Chaparral Books which I happened to randomly come across walking around and taking different routes. Their focus is on used and rare books.

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A short drive away in Troutdale was Book Warehouse. It was actually while looking for bookstores in other Oregon cities that I found out I was near one.

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With a name like that, I was expecting something huge and cold and devoid of personality. But I was pleasantly surprised by its layout and its selection. The owner was nice and friendly and seemed to genuinely want to help customers find a good book for them.

Randomly popping up on my Facebook feed was a post from De-Canon.

“De-Canon: A Visibility Project is a “pop-up library” and web resource project that will showcase literary art by writers/artists of color. Our goal is to put forth an alternative literary “canon” — or multiple canons — that are inclusive, diverse, and multi-storied in their approach to representation. De-Canon wishes to challenge existing ideas of what constitutes the North American literary canon, especially in our current culture.”

I loved the mission behind this reading (as opposed to lending) library. I’m excited to see this space getting used.

There’s been a whole slew of new bookstores popping up in Portland so naturally I had to visit all of them.

First up was Belmont Books which opened up just a few weeks ago.

This tiny space was super crammed with books but fortunately they were titles the owner was either passionate or knowledgeable about. The couple times I was there, there was a customer or two browsing and shopping.

Opening up even more recently was The Stacks Coffeehouse, a cool new coffee shop and library.

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I loved the look and feel of the place. The library card catalog was a nice touch. And I enjoyed seeing people bookmarking the books they’ve been reading. I can just imagine coming here regularly. (Apparently, one can get a library card which I should have signed up for since I also love adding to my library card collection.)

Another new-to-me bookstore that’s actually been around a long time was Bearly Read Books, specializing in used paperbacks.

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Over in Gresham, Books Around the Corner just celebrated its grand opening.

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And, here in Portland, Rose City Book Pub opened just today.

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I love visiting independent bookstores because, for me, they are symbols of hope. That in this day and age of constant distraction and technological advancement, people are still picking up books and loving them and getting enriched by them makes me happy. Book people are the best people and let’s continue to be the kind to support one another.

11th Ever Library Hop: Yet Another Long Bus Ride Edition

On my way to Salem during my previous library hop, I was excited to pass by a couple libraries I could go to that were on the same route I was already on. So, of course, I had to visit them as soon as I was able to!

First stop was Dayton, Oregon to visit the Mary Gilkey City Library. According to the website, “The Dayton Public Library, also known as the “Mary Gilkey City Library” was founded in 1923. The library was named at a dedicatory service for Mary Ann Robinson Gilkey, who was the first girl child born in Yamhill County of pioneers. It is rumored that Mary Gilkey donated the land that City Hall now sits on with the condition that a Public Library is always open.”

 

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After that, I headed to Newberg, Oregon. I had time to kill before my next public library so I decided to hit up George Fox University’s Murdock Library.

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I wasn’t going to since I’m trying to be less obsessive and more selective which libraries I go to but I’m glad I did because on the way there I stumbled upon an independent bookstore Chapters Books and Coffee and what a delightful surprise that was!

 

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There was even some kidlit street art nearby!

 

The main attraction of this library hop was the Newberg Public Library.

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This is one of the only eleven remaining Carnegie libraries in Oregon that is still being used as such. Originally there were thirty-two. The rest have been torn down or being used in some other capacity.

 

The Newberg Library Friends have their Book Sale Shelves in the Lobby.

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They even have a Library of Things, “a service that offers things for patrons to checkout – from knitting kits to ukuleles to cake pans. The collection supports lifelong learning and creativity by providing the physical tools necessary to explore new areas of interest and learn new skills.”

 

I enjoyed their other design choices as well.

 

All in all, I had a great time!