Tag: local

Bookstr: Support Independent Bookstores!

We Want to Know YOUR Favorite Independent Bookstore!

Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of any community. Recently, the passionate book-lovers of New York’s Upper West Side crowdfunded over $50,000 to save beloved local independent bookstore Westsider Books from an untimely closure. People love their bookstores, and that love transcends what’s on the shelves. Independent bookstores support local authors, diverse books, and the neighborhoods that love them so.

These literary hotspots are more than safe (and beautiful!) spaces. They represent a community of people who are truly passionate about books and reading—a community that Bookstr is proud to support.

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE!

 

We need local bookstores now more than ever, and, here at Bookstr, we’re passionate about raising awareness of the importance of these places, these sacred spaces that at once cozy and enormous enough to contain a thousand worlds.

We want to know about your favorite bookstore, the one that always makes you feel like you’ve come home. Is it that cozy nook down the block with personally curated shelves? Is it the one that brought you some peace when you were at your most stressed-out? What about the bookstore you stumbled into that rainy Wednesday and never really left? We want to know.

 

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE YOUR BOOKSTORE!

Bookstr: Support Independent Bookstores!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

 

Click here to tell us all about what makes your favorite store so special, and it could be featured on Bookstr, made available to our international audience of 1.5 million fans! Include photos, gushing testimonials, memories of a sunlit afternoon—anything to show how much you care. Earn your beloved book spot free publicity, and earn yourself a huge THANK YOU across all our social media channels in the form of fun articles, interviews, and more!

(And hey, if those bookstores don’t give you a free book or two after the enthusiastic promotion, we can’t be held responsible.)

Brooklyn's The Center for Fiction

Brooklyn’s New Center for Fiction: A Space for Writers and Readers

When you step foot in Brooklyn’s own The Center for Fiction, you’ll be ready to book your membership. Bookstr was lucky enough to snag an afternoon tour of the new space, but you’re going to want to stay a lot longer than that.

Recently relocated to 15 Lafayette Avenue, The Center for Fiction is more than just a bookstore—if anything can be ‘just’ a bookstore. It’s an impressive feat to fit thousands of worlds within the space of a single room… even if that room is spacious, modern, and beautifully lit. The Center for Fiction is an exceptionally curated bookstore, complete with thoughtful staff recommendations and indie releases. While browsing the high shelves (complete with rolling ladders like something out of a fairytale), I spotted one of my own niche favorites in the stacks: Kirk Lynn’s Rules for Werewolves, a dark and inventive 2015 release from Melville House—more notably, one I’ve never seen in another brick-and-mortar store.

 

The Center for Fiction Bookstore

 

Adjacent to the bookstore is the Center’s café, a charming spot whose walls are lined with 19th century novels. If you’ve ever fantasized about being peers with the historic greats (so, if you’re a writer) this is a dream that won’t require all that much fantasy. Sip an espresso, read a first-edition manuscript, and get lost in this novel idea.

 

The Center for Fiction's café, complete with paintings and first-edition 19th century manuscripts

Each table in the café is artfully topped with literary quotations.

 

Members have access to an even more impressive selection of features: a second-floor library with a 70,000 book collection. The basement, appropriately, is the 16,000 book crime & mystery library. Trust us—this is the only time you’ll want to be below ground with so many serial killers. (You could say it’s a collection to die for.)

 

The Center for Fiction has a sleek, modern decor juxtaposed with the antiquated and cozy.

 

The spacious upstairs features a sun-drenched reading room, complete with an adjacent outdoor patio. Plans are in development for an outdoor bar, so you may as well start planning to drink there. The reading room is a laptop free zone, which will enable you to concentrate fully on whichever book you’ve chosen and leave the world behind. A unique combination of the modern and refined, you’ll feel comfortable and inspired by this one-of-a-kind space.

 

The Center for Fiction Reading Room

 

 

The writers’ room offers a secluded yet inspiring space for those in all stages of their craft, be it an excited beginning or a far more frantic conclusion. Windows look out onto a vibrant neighborhood; inside, the atmosphere is peaceful and modern. Desks are spacious and outfitted with dividers (so, no direct eye contact with the person sitting across from you). With an adjacent kitchen, you’ll have everything you need to write all day… if you’ve got the concentration.

But The Center for Fiction has more than an updated space; it also has a vibrant, new community. Literature lovers can participate in a series of reading groups with varied prices for members and nonmembers—explore writers like James Baldwin, Aldous Huxley, and Henry James with high-level reading groups and discussions. Writing workshops are also available across a wide variety of disciplines, from genre-based courses on speculative fiction or crime writing to craft-based courses on dialogue and structure.

Individual membership is $150, dual membership is $275, and family membership is $325 annually. Although membership doesn’t cover the fees for writing and reading groups, it does count towards a 10% discount on all courses and special events. Of course, membership does include full borrowing privileges from both of The Center’s libraries, access to the reading room, and admission to the private bar.

 

All Images Via The Center for Fiction.

5 Times Library-Loving Cats Made the News

Everybody knows the Venn diagram of people who like reading and people who like cats is damn near a circle, but what about cats who like reading? Yep, seems people are pretty into them, too. Here are five instances of particularly persistent book-loving felines whose love of libraries made the news:

 

1. Max

 

Image Via The Washington Post

 

Max made the news back in 2017 with his relentless attempts to gain entry to his local library, despite the protests of his owners and staff. He was so persistent that the library was forced to put up a sign discouraging patrons from allowing Max into the library with them, explaining that it was in nobody’s best interest, least of all his own, for him to be in there.

 

2.  Browser

 

Image Via The Guardian

 

Browser the cat’s eviction from his library of choice sparked ‘international outcry’ when it made headlines in 2016. Thousands of people around the world expressed their support for the cat who resided, and still resides, at the library in White Settlement, Texas. After the local council decided to evict Browser on the basis that his presence prevented some members of the community from utilizing the library, other library patrons objected. The Guardian reports that at a local meeting regarding Browser’s fate, “a woman spoke about the history of cats in libraries. A man mentioned WebMD statistics on the low prevalence of cat allergies. Others talked about how the cat brought children into the library to read. A little boy was sad he had only been able to pet the cat once.”

Luckily for the town’s beloved Browser, the decision was overturned and he was allowed to remain at the library.

 

3. Dewey

 

Image Via iheartcats.com

 

Dewey, full name: Dewey Readmore Books, was deposited in the returns slot of a library in Spencer, Iowa when he was a kitten. Dewey captured the hearts of the librarians and became the library’s very own cat, even inspiring his own book,  Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The WorldNo YOU’RE crying.

 

4. Mu

 

Image Via Maynooth University

 

Mu is Ireland’s Maynooth University’s library cat, who very kindly provided an interview with a student journalist for the Maynooth University Times this past October. During the interview, Mu provided many insights into his life, including: “I have resided here for many a year, and, by many a year, I mean I do not understand the concept of time.”

 

5. Penny

 

Image Via Jezebel

 

Penny is another library cat whose proposed eviction sparked objection. Jezebel reports that she had lived at Massachusetts’ Swansea Public Library for nine years before her presence was raised as an issue due to concerns over allergies. A petition in favor of Penny on Change.org garnered over 1,800 signatures.

Patrick Higgins, the man behind the campaign to have Penny removed, was gobsmacked by public support for her, and, in response, gave one of the most ‘I’m the baddie in a children’s film wherein the cat is the hero’ statements of all time: “We’ve got pictures of the cat on Facebook laying on top of a laptop, and they think this is okay!” quoth Higgins, presumably slamming his fist on an oak desk. “I just don’t understand it. The cat has gone all over the world. You’ve got the petition with over 2,000 people over a freaking cat.” And what, Higgins?

Unfortunately, Penny passed away in 2014, but lived in her beloved library until her final days.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Today Show

This Library Lets You Go on Blind Dates With Books

The phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” is pretty common, but people quite literally still do it when checking out books, but this new game at Roanoke County Public Library will make you think a little differently!

To play, all you have to do is grab a book from a special little table in the library. All of these books are wrapped up in special wrapping paper. The only information that you are given is a small little blurb on the front that describes the genre that you are reading. You aren’t allowed to unwrap the book until after you check it out.

Billed as a “blind date”, the library then gives you a sheet to fill out once you return the book titled ‘Rate Your Date’. You can answer questions based on how your “date” went, whether or not it was a “good match” as well as rate your date with a number of hearts.

This new game arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day, so if you’re looking for something intimate this holiday, there’s nothing more heartwarming than a good book.

You can read the full article here.

 

 

Featured Image Via AARP