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While Googling libraries in the area, I stumbled upon an interesting one- The Brautigan Library– consisting of unpublished manuscripts in categories like Adventure, Family, Future, Meaning of Life, Street Life, and All the Rest using the Mayonnaise System.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!