You know that feeling when you walk into a library? Its peaceful yet bursting with excitement at the same time because you are surrounded with endless possibilities of learning, discovery, and escaping into adventure.
I have discovered that a place I love even more than libraries are bookstores. Not the big, fancy bookstores with shelves of glossy, newly printed books. I'm talking about those cute little independently owned bookstores full of character and personality.
You often find them on the Main Street of charming touristy towns, and they are one of my favorite stops whenever I'm out adventuring and exploring new places.
My kids also love to go to these bookstores with me. Just a couple days ago, we visited a museum in a town nearby, and though my kids were excited to play at the children's area of the museum and see all the cool things there, they were even more excited to visit the little bookstore across the street. I tell you, it's like magic! As soon as we walked in, my kids headed straight towards the back where there were shelves and crates full of kids' books, and after collecting a stack of books, they settled into the rocking chairs set in just the right places and devoured their newfound treasures. I let them each pick a couple to enjoy on the ride home, and it was the highlight of the day.
I remember the used bookstore on Main Street of the town where we lived a few years ago. It used to be a house, and so instead of being one large room, there were several different small rooms, each with a different theme- a Biographies room, a Fantasy room, a Romance room, a Historical room, a room with encyclopedias and almanacs on gardening, cooking, medicine, you name it. We loved visiting this bookstore and came home each time with wonderful additions to our home library. Unlike new, never-opened books, each book at a used bookstore has character--maybe some creases here and there, some dog-eared pages from its previous owner, or even some favorite quotes highlighted. It's used, so it's been loved and cherished before, and I don't know about you, but that makes me love it even more.
Recently, I listened to a broadcast that had a blurb about libraries and the power of the written word, and I loved this quote:
"The time you invest in reading a
good book is richly rewarded with a
heightened imagination, enhanced
empathy, and the thrill of peering into
the minds of some of the world’s
To me, indie bookstores capture the essence of reading so well. They are each unique and full of personality themselves, often offering other thoughtful accompaniments, like old-fashioned candy sticks, boxes of tea, puzzles, and local, handcrafted wares.
I encourage you to look for the used
or independently owned bookstores near you. Not only are they full of treasures, but it's also a delight to strike up a conversation with the owner or worker at the bookstore- at least in my experience. They are book-lovers just like us, and love to help you find the perfect read. And they often have lots of good stories to share, too. :)