Discuss: Bookstore Love


For most of my teenage years, Borders was my favorite bookstore of all time. This is where I attended the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and it’s where all of my birthday money went as soon as it came to me. My local Borders happened to be situated right across the street from a Barnes & Noble. Location, location, location — right? I was fiercely loyal to Borders, saying that it had a cozier feel inside and that Barnes & Noble was a cold, distant store. But then I started to get older and I saw the appeal of Barnes & Noble…especially the neat, large windows of the second story in my particular Barnes & Noble. I started going there more for my bookish needs and before I knew it, I heard the news that Borders was closing its doors for good. The competition, clearly, was just too much for them.

Bookstore loyalties are something you naturally develop when you’re a bibliophile. Bookstores become like a second home to some of us, a place where shelves upon shelves of reading material is housed. They are a comfortable environment in which we can huddle amongst our friends, the books, and browse for as long as we like. I started thinking about my own bookstore loyalties, and bookstore loyalties in general, when I read the Book Riot blog post, Why Do We Love the Bookstores We Love? In this post, the author expounds on all of her “Powell’s feelings,” and how her real favorite bookstore is Brookline Booksmith in Boston.

These days, my bookstore loyalties float around from place to place as I find better and better deals. My usual haunt is my local Half Price Books because of this one corner of the store where they keep all the books that are priced from $1 to $3. A-maz-ing. But I also recently made a trip to Frugal Muse and discovered how amazing its collection is. I found some books there that I’ve been seeking for a while now, so that certainly earns it some points…

Where do your bookstore loyalties lie? Do you think that bookstore loyalties are a thing that all bibliophiles harbor? Let us know in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


3 thoughts on “Discuss: Bookstore Love

  1. vfrancone April 23, 2013 / 10:45 am

    The finest bookstore I’ve ever been in was the one in which I worked, the now dead Aspidistra Bookshop in the Lakeview area of Chicago. It was my favorite before I got hired on and it remains the model of what a good bookstore should be: well-stocked, full of affordable books and rare editions, staffed by people who actually read and can make recommendations but will leave you the hell alone while you browse. We even had a dog for a while, and, sadly, rats. I loved the Seminary Co-op before they moved and spoiled the place with an above ground location. Powell’s on 57th is always worth a trip, as is the new store on Halsted. Shake, Rattle, and Read in Uptown is pretty great. Ditto Selected Works in the Fine Arts Building. Not a fan of Myopic and I thought New York’s The Strand was overrated. Worst bookstore: Shakespeare & Company in Paris. Coasting off their history.

    • Editor April 23, 2013 / 8:30 pm

      Aww, sorry to hear that the Aspidistra Bookshop closed. 😦 I still have to visit Powell’s. I know a lot of people revere their main branch in Portland, so I wonder what the Chicago one is like.

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