Since I visited Portugal’s famed Livraria Lello bookstore this week, I decided to ask the MissDemeanors to share with me some of their favorite bookstores and why. Here’s what my colleagues in crime (writing) said.
Tracee de Hahn: “The Livrario Lello in Porto is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. But the library in Coimbra deserves a shout out… complete with bats in residence (to eat the bugs that would destroy the books).
D.A. Bartley: I have a soft spot in my heart for used bookstores. In college, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I would go to a little place on Newbury Street in Boston as a cheap date. It was the sort of bookshop where browsing and full-on reading was not only tolerated, but encouraged. We always ended up discovering something wonderful. If memory serves, I bought an edition of Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. I spent the next year studying in the USSR.
L.A. Chandler: I love bookstores of all shapes and sizes. But the one that sticks out most in my mind is King’s in Detroit, Michigan. https://www.johnkingbooksdetroit.com/ It’s floor upon floor of used and rare books. When I was a kid, you could find first edition treasures that now boggle the mind. It felt like the best kind of treasure hunt. If you check it out, plan on getting lost for hours. Maybe days.
Susan Breen: When I was a kid, I was obsessed by the Doubleday bookstore in Garden City. It wasn’t especially charming. Just a clean and well-lit sort of place. But I lived in a very suburban spot in Long Island and it was the only bookstore I knew. I remember buying I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven and I was beside myself. In this century, I am quite partial to my local bookstore, The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville. It is a very warm and welcoming place and it is located right across from a chocolate store. That covers most of my needs!
Connie Berry: Cate, the bookstore in Portugal is amazing! My favorite local bookstore is as unlike that one as possible. The Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, occupies a series of pre-Civil War buildings in German Village, a historic neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. They advertise 32 rooms on different levels, but I wonder if anyone really knows. Seriously, one could get seriously lost in there—and not just lost in reading. The Book Loft is a Columbus landmark, and they were the book seller at my launch party for A Dream of Death last April.
So readers and writers, what’s your favorite bookstore?