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!

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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!

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!