Tag: bookshop

book tunnel

Do the Environment a Favor and Shop at an Indie Bookstore!

Do you have a favorite bookshop? No, Barnes and Noble doesn’t count. I mean an independent bookshop, small, cosy, possibly family run. Handmade signs and questionable color schemes. Sometimes dogs. The one where you can sit for hours, enjoying your unique surroundings, and forgetting about all your responsibilities and then end up feeling horribly guilty because you’ve neglected every other aspect of your life. You’ve been missing for days. Your family has called the cops. Your plants are withering. You have several hundred unanswered emails. You know, that bookshop.


guilty dog

You, feeling guilty | Via Giphy


Well, according to Indiebound, your hours spent there are actually very beneficial to the economy, the environment, and your community. So you can stop feeling bad, as the benefits, according to the Indiebound website, are pretty much endless.


happy dog

You, delighted that your time-wasting has been justified | Via Gif Finder 


In terms of the economy, if you spend $100 at a local-owned business, $68 of that stays in your community. However, if you spent the same amount at a national chain, only $43 will remain in your community. Local businesses also create higher-paying jobs for members of the community, and therefore more taxes are reinvested in the locality. Local businesses also donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains. Indiebound also points out that ‘more independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.’


Shopping local also has a positive effect on the environment as it means less packaging, less transportation and therefore a smaller carbon footprint. So you win points with Mother Nature too!


happy pizza dog

You, slobbering happily all over the news that your indie bookshop obsession is good for the economy, environment and community | Via Tenor



That’s all on top of the fact that local bookshops tend to put on wonderful, intimate author events such as Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, who host talks and readings every week! So make sure to follow any and all of your favorite indie spots on social media to keep up to date with what they’re up to!




Featured Image Via Publishing Perspectives

noelle santos

The Bronx Finally Gets Its First and Only Bookstore

In 2016 after a long and painful battle, the Barnes & Noble located in the Bronx Co-Op City shopping center finally closed down. It was the last general interest bookstore left in the Bronx, opened only after an assemblyman lobbied relentlessly for it in the late 90’s.


This left the borough in a literary drought – a county of almost 1.4 million residents with 10 colleges, a quarter million public school students, and zero bookstores to serve the public.



The Barnes & Noble shutdown was what inspired Bronx native Noëlle Santos to quit her day job as an HR director on Wall Street to follow her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and opening the bookstore / wine bar that has been dubbed The Lit. Bar.


Santos has built this dream from the ground up. Recently named as Essence Magazine’s Woke 100 Women, she has made a splash across headlines as the only person with the massive undertaking of opening the borough’s only bookstore. She quickly rose to be a part of the Bronx’s growing literary scene and has garnered an impressive amount of support from people all across the country. 



She’s also received a great deal of support from her original IndieGoGo campaign that raised 125% of its goal.


IndieGogo Campaign


I fell in love with the idea as soon as I heard about Santos’s story. As a fellow south-Bronx resident and CUNY graduate, I saw a lot of myself being represented in the Afro-Boricua who started her own book club and moonlighted as a Bronx book-lover on the side of a corporate job. As she states on The Lit. Bar website, “The Lit. Bar will be just as multifaceted as me: a bookstore/wine bar/community center. I dream of a graffiti & chandelier theme, much like my life.”


While the closing of the much-loved (but inaccessible – who was going to take a 45 – 60 minute bus ride to get there?) Barnes & Noble definitely opened the door for Santos, she also felt a massive amount of pressure on The Lit. Bar. She stated this on her blog, 1st Noelle, subtitled ‘Bossy & Bookish in the South Bronx’:



I appreciate everyone’s social media comments as it seems The Lit. Bar is a shoo-in for our fallen bookshop, but do not rejoice. The Lit. Bar is set to be a 2,100-2,500 square foot operation 10 miles from Bay Plaza; with over 1.4 million residents and 10 colleges, our borough will remain grossly underserved. Don’t get me started on the message this sends to our children.



Remember her face, her personality, and her big ideas: this Latina bookworm has come to stay. 


I, like many other Bronx residents, can’t wait for the Lit. Bar to open just a quick train ride from my home. While it doesn’t solve the problems present in the Bronx, it definitely is one of many great first steps in the right direction.


As one of the last counties of New York City to meet the cold touch of gentrification, the stigma of the dirty, dangerous boogie-down Bronx just won’t let up. Efforts like the Lit. Bar and the Bronx Book Festival are just some of the few grassroots community organizations that are trying to make a difference in the lives of these county residents. This is a borough saturated with low-income families, public schools, and creatives all wanting to make a difference – and I think we deserve a damn bookstore.





Featured Image Via BossynBookish Facebook

Cat in bookshop

7 Perfect Independent Bookstores from Across the Globe

If there’s one thing I love more than books it’s bookstores. And, if there’s one thing I love more than bookstores, it’s independent bookstores. Independent bookstores act as a sort of home. They’re the places you go when you want to get out of the house, but you also still want to sort of be alone.


And this is why it’s so very vital that we stand by, support, and shop at our independent bookstores. Our independent bookstores are small business that are constantly being threatened by the bigger, fortune 500 corporations; it’s up to us to keep ensuring that the corporations don’t win and that the independent stores are able to stay in business.


So, pop into your local indie bookshop this week and pick up that novel you’ve been dying to read!


And, check out these seven super-rad independent bookstores from all across the globe; who knows, maybe you’ll see your local shop on the list?


Housing Works – NYC


Housing Works

Image Via Boo York City


Housing Works is a beautiful place because, on top of offering every book under the sun within their shop, they are also an organization that helps provide housing, healthcare, and treatment to those affected with HIV/AIDS. (You can also rent out the bookstore for your wedding!)


Daunt Books – London


Daunt Books

Image Via Voyage Collective

This breathtaking shop opened in 1990 with one objective in mind; organize books by country rather than genre, so the reader can walk through the shop all the while traveling the world.


Women & Children First – Chicago


Women & Children First

Image Via Afar


This friendly feminist bookshop opened in 1979 and specializes in books by female-identifying and LGBTQ+ authors in all forms. They are one of the largest feminist bookstores in the world, containing more than 30,000 books!


The Book Lounge – Cape Town, South Africa


The Book Lounge

Image Via Your Local Book Shelf


This incredible little shop opened in 2007 and contains the most unique, eclectic selection of books. They also host story time every Saturday morning!


Leaping Windows – Mumbai, India


Leaping Windows

Image Via Homegrown


Leaping Windows was born of the idea to connect comic book lovers with all the books their hearts could possibly desire. They believe in the connection books cause between fellow readers, the power of imagination, and the ability to create a space for all to feel welcome.


Type Books – Toronto, Ontario


Type Books

Image Via Type Books


This adorable little shop believes in the written word, hosts events for authors and artists, and offers a wide variety of books under all genres. Check out their insanely beautifully curated window displays!


Flow Books – Hong Kong


Flow Books

Image via Hong Kong Free Press


This book shop opened in 1997 and, in the past twenty-one years, have seen more than half-a-million books flow through! 







Featured Image via The Book Man

Saint James Hotel

Read While You Get Wasted in These 10 Book Bars

You know when you’re out drinking with your friends and you suddenly wish you were home reading instead? There’s a whole world of bars out there designed just around this peculiar bookworm problem. They are all around the world, so it shouldn’t be too tough to find a literary bar at your nearest city. Here are ten of our favorites!


1. The Bookworm, Beijing


The Bookworm

Image Via TK Hunt


Founded in 2002 by Alexandra Pearson, The Bookworm has expanded to an admirable size since. Not only does the bookstore serve drinks, it also manages a press called the China Bookworm Press, which focuses on publishing contemporary Chinese fiction and nonfiction in translation. On top of that, the Bookworm also organizes the Bookworm Literary Festival. They’ve been organizing the festival every March since 2007, and it’s one of China’s largest bilingual festivals. It’s true what they say—big things have small beginnings!


2. The Wellesbourne, Los Angeles



Image Via LA Eater


This fancy bar is styled to look like a countryside estate found in 19th-century England. It’s lined with books, but also features a lovely games room and lounge area. All the lovely wood floors makes me want to curl up with a nice smokey whiskey and read some mid-20th century Italian magical realism. Right? Who’s with me?


3. The Fable, London


The Fable

Image Via Trip Advisor


Fill your belly with food or drinks at this London bar and restaurant. There are leather bound books for your perusal, and the walls are decorated with famous literary names. They also boast a sweet, vintage typewriter that would make the likes of Tom Hanks jealous. Their brunch menu, though, might be the best thing you’ll read during your time there.


4. Librería el Péndulo, Mexico City



Image Via Pendulo


This Mexican bookstore boasts a bar aptly called Bukowski’s Bar. Bukowski drank. This place serves alcohol. Specifically, they’ve got a killer selection of cocktails. Anybody want to try the “Red lust” with me?


5. Chaeg Bar, Seoul


Chaeg Bar

Image Via Archive – E


All the napkins have one slogan on them: “Keep calm and drink a book.” It’s definitely not a problem keeping calm here, as it’s lit low and feint jazz music plays in the background. Yep, I want to go to there.


6. Dyslexia Libros, Antigua


Dyslexia Books

Image Via abrasho


Owned by Bill McGowan, Dyslexia Libros is owned by its nextdoor neighbor Café No Sé. Dyslexia Libros’ categories are unusually laid out. You might browse Thrillers in one moment and Absurd books the next. My favorite category (in Dyslexia Libros AND in life) is Cheap but Good. If only everywhere had this option.


7. Bar & Books, NYC, Prague, and Warsaw


bar and books

Image Via Trip Advisor


With locations in Manhattan, Prague, and Warsaw, Bar & Books has been spreading its literary wings since 1990. The location closest to the Bookstr office is in the West Village, so I’ll be going there soon, hopefully on a date, and hopefully with someone who will split the bill. Because it looks expensive.


8. BookBar, Denver



Image Via American Booksellers Association


This Coloradan indie bookstore doubles as a sophisticated wine bar (is there any other kind of wine bar—oh, I just had another idea for a bar!) Best of all, you know what else is legal in Colorado? Food. Food is legal. And BookBar serves it! Enjoy some classy sandwiches named after famous authors, such as the Melville Melt and Salman Rushdie. By the way, did you catch the weed joke I just made? Ha. Marijuana makes you interesting.


9. Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar, Sydney


Sappho Books

Image Via Trip Advisor


This second-hand bookstore is the Batman of book shops. By day it is a mild-mannered cafe in a lovely courtyard. By night, though, it becomes a bar! So read whatever you like at this Aussie paradise. You might want to read some international Batman literature, such as Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc. By the way, meet the Australian Batman, called The Dark Ranger…


The Dark Ranger Batman Inc. Grant Morrison Australian

Image Via Comic Vine


10. Saint James Hotel Library-Bar, Paris


Saint James Hotel Library-Bar

Image Via Olielo


Okay so the Library-Bar at the Saint James Hotel is astonishing. It was built on the site of Paris’ first aerodrome (airport) in the 19th century, and is today a hotel that’s basically a beautiful chateau. Best of all, it houses a Library-Bar that was once the study. There are 12,000 books in there. You could drink there your whole life and not finish all those books! Not that I recommend that.


Feature Image Via Saint James Paris

Antiquarian books

Welcome to Hobart, Where There’s One Bookstore for Every 100 Residents

Two hours from New York City there is a town of 500 people with five bookstores. That means there’s one bookstore per 100 people. The town is called Hobart.


As Atlas Obscura reports, the story of Hobart begins with Diana and Bill Adams, a lawyer and physician, respectively, from Manhattan. They passed through Hobart on a trip through the Catskills when they came across a cornershop up for rent. They went in and asked the owner about it and rented the space on the spot. Thus began Hobart’s journey as a book village.



Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books. | Image Via Atlas Obscura


The Adams’ store, Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books, stocks antique books, as Bill developed a fascination with Greek texts. The other bookstores that populate the town have specialties as well. Blenheim Hill Books, owned by couple Barbara Balliet and Cheryl Clarke, has a wide selection of feminists and African-American studies books, for example. Balliet, a professor of Women’s Studies at Rutgers University, and Clarke, a poet and author, collected a stockpile of books by the time they were ready to retire, many of which now reside in Blenheim Hill Books. As does a little dog.


Blenheim Books

Barbara Balliet, Cheryl Clarke, and the cute dog in Blenheim Hill Books. | Image Via Atlas Obscura


Though it’s a mystery how a small town of less than 500 people can sustain five independent bookstores, it seems to be working out for them. One Hobart bookstore owner, Don Dales, hypothesizes that the bookstores don’t actually survive on competition, but coexistence. They bounce between the bookstores, filling up their bags. It doesn’t hurt that each bookstore has its own specialty also.


The idea of the book village has been around since 1961, when the first was founded in  Hay-on-Wye, Wales by Richard Booth. Since, book villages have sprung up across the world, including in South Korea, New Zealand, and Malaysia. I hope you have the necessary funds to buy homes in all of these places. I also hope all this attention on Hobart does not now ruin it. Maybe the answer is to start our own book village. Who’s down?


Feature Image Via Atlas Obscura