Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Collect Bookshops!

Many people like to collect items during their travels: postcards, snow globes, spoons...you name it. I used to do that too, until I got a digital camera. Now most of my souvenirs are photographs, but I still try to pick up bookmarks in my travels. Cheap, light, and extremely portable. There's another thing that I collect: memorable bookshops, so it made me smile when I read this article about a family that does the same thing. In it Erin Gehan lists some of the memorable bookshops she and her family have discovered on their travels. Her list reminded me of a few of mine, some of which (very unfortunately) no longer exist in places like Water Street in Port Townsend, Washington, just off the beach in San Diego, California, Sam Weller's in Salt Lake City, Utah, and that old converted railway station--Barter Books--in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. The photo above is one I took at Barter Books. You can click on it to view it full size.

Do you make it a point to visit bookshops when you travel? What are some of your favorites that you've discovered?


  1. Found you on bookblogs. I love your blog layout!

  2. I almost always make bookstores my first stops wherever I go. I have maintained a list of bookstores (and their specialties) in Hong Kong (my hometown), Singapore, Malaysia, London, Paris, and Japan. I allocate at least half a day to browse the warrens and canyons of these foreign bookstores. I stock up on postcards and send them home because I think they are more endowed with a personal touch. I mean, you take time to write them and put into the effort, To me personally a postcard means more than a souvenir.

  3. I agree, Matt. I also allocate time to bookshops when I travel, and I send postcards when I travel. I've known people who collect postcards and never send them to anyone.

  4. Cathy, I like the new art on your page, do you change the painting every once in a while? I'm just noticing now that the other (Reading Corner?) is gone.

    Thanks to J. Kaye, my kids and I are "postcrossing" now (www.postcrossing.com). We haven't received any yet, but 4 we've sent have been received at the other end.

    Would you be interested in writing a guest post for my "spotlight on bookstores" series?


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