Posts Tagged With: bookgasm

the best of places

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.”
― Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book

Bookshops are really and truly magical.
I’m fortunate to be able to frequent some seriously
Used bookstores are a fascinating combination of the scent of excited humans and the slightly mildewy smell of old paper. One thing I love about them is using mad detective skills while searching. There’s a sort of Indiana Jones feeling about it, never knowing what treasure you’ll find mixed in with dog eared paperbacks.

Right here in Manassas we have McKay’s. Y’all this place! From vinyl to blu ray discs, from board books for babies to fat biographies. McKay’s is our go to for donating and shopping. They’ll take your old books and give you store credit. (Much to Thing 2’s chagrin, you can’t use it to buy vinyl.) They also have this free bin out front, that if you time just right, is filled with the most random collection of books you can imagine. Occasionally I’ll choose some with cool fonts just to use for future projects. As a matter of fact, I have a stack under my work table, waiting for the perfect project.

I don’t get to Capital Hill Books as often as I’d like. But, it’s one of the coolest used bookshops I’ve ever entered. And the truth is one could actually get lost in this shop. Not because of the size, my God, it’s teeny and so packed with books you almost can’t get around them, much less other browsing humans, but because of the sheer volume of merchandise in the store! The owner is knowledgeable but crotchety, so be prepared to ask well thought out questions, he suffers no fools.

Prospero’s Books is here in Old Town Manassas. I don’t really like visiting this shop as much as McKay’s. There’s something about it that feels…well, off, somehow. I’m not sure how to explain it. I always feel like something bad is going to happen when I’m in there. But, it does have that delicious mildewy smell about it, and you know you’re in a building that’s seen a century of life in Manassas. This shop has an excellent first editions section, especially if you’re interested in the American Civil War.

Second Chapter Books in Middleburg, and Page Master Used Books in Front Royal are also good for a look.
In the five points area of Columbia (SC) there’s a little shop called Dr Books. Y’all this store has it’s own kitty! The people who run it have been doing so for a couple of generations. Eight or nine years ago, I was tickled to find a f.e. of Homage to Clio here for less than ten dollars!

Sometimes it’s simpler to get on the internet and search. I buy loads of books from both Abe Books and Alibris.

And while Amazon is handy for online shopping, and and B & N has a in store selection, I’m much more inclined to visit independent booksellers.
I adore Bard’s Alley! Vienna is a quick trip and grabbing a glass of wine and a snack in the bookshop is pretty much Heaven! The ladies here are well read and seriously helpful! I’ve been delighted by the books I’ve picked up in this shop. I swung by recently because I was early for an appointment and had just enough to browse, make a selection, and purchase before arriving on time at my appointment. Sometimes those are the best moments!

Politics and Prose has two locations in DC. The one at the recently revitalized Warf is chock full of great reads, fun little gifties and a knowledgeable and well read staff. They’re displays are playful and interesting. I love that! I think it makes it more of an adventure finding your next read! And I’m all about book adventures! The other location hosts some seriously cool authors on a fairly regular basis.

When spending time with Jessica, a trip to Kiawah to visit Indigo Books is always on the schedule. This shop has a small, but well thought out children’s section. The staff is helpful and can order pretty much anything into the store for pick up. This shop feels more casual than the ones in VA and DC, I mean of course it does! It’s on an island. It’s laid back atmosphere makes you want to search for beach reads and books to spark your imagination, but I’ve found some pretty cool serious reads there too. A mystery book for Thing 1’s Christmas Eve book came from this shop. My girl loves mysteries!

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
Dude knows what’s up.
I love to find my portable magic in these unique spaces!
Where do you get your book on?
What do you love about those spaces?
Let me know in the comments!

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

the magical gift of words

20150825_204834

February 11. 2011 6:11 pm EST
~The fire went on leaping and taunting and sucking up great turbulent currents of air that set the flames snapping like brilliant red sails in a violent wind~
John Berendt – the city of falling angels pg 11 & 12
WOW! To write like this!!

I was at the airport waiting for a flight to board. I always travel with a journal and a book. This particular trip, I was traveling with a Tiffany blue journal (natch) and a book I’d read once before. I have a very vivid memory of writing this…where I was sitting at the gate, what I was wearing, the diet Dr Pepper sweating as it sat on the arm of my seat, and the small dark-skinned woman speaking hushed profanities into her phone.
Inspiration comes from all manner of places. This night as I waited for a plane to bring me here to YBW I was inspired by this compilation of words.

Whether or not you like his writing is of no consequence to me. I adored Midnight in the Garden but I absolutely loved The City of Falling Angels. I like the way he novelizes the factual events. I liked the story of Venice from the master glass blower, Archimede Seguso, to “The Rat Man of Treviso”, Massimo Donadon. The political corruption is fascinating, of course we have our own American brand of that here at home.
Anyway, I dig the book.

I was getting a book for Thing C to borrow and passed this book on my shelf. Just seeing the spine reminded me of this moment.
It’s so random how and when something moves you. I do still love this sentence. But would it have made me write it down if I read it tonight? I don’t honestly know.
What I do know is inspiration is all around us every single moment. The more we read, the more music lyrics we hear and sing, the more we talk with people, the more chances we have to be inspired.
Words are a constant inspiration to me…to be a better writer, or at least to write more.
That’s a promise I’ve made to myself while I’m not working: healing my brain, finishing up wedding plans and writing more.

After all, as Albus Dumbledore said: Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a bibliophile’s bookgasm

The bibliophile in me is having a total bookgasm!
I discovered the coolest website called litographs.com.
This site has over 100 books printed on tees, posters, and tote bags. The actual text!
And for each tee, poster, or tote you buy, they donate a book through the International Book Bank!
I’m DYING to have this one.
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.
secret garden tee

“Promoting literacy never looked so good.”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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