Posts Tagged ‘books’

Send me info about your favorite bookstores.  I have been posting information about some of my favorite bookstores I have visited across the U.S.  Please send me your bookstore stories, introductions, reviews, pictures of some of your favorite bookstores.  We have to support our independent bookstores.  They are a dying breed.  When you send me the information about your favorite bookstores tell me about things to do around in the neighborhood of your favorite bookstores, especially good places to eat.  If you like also include some information and maybe pictures about you as a book lover.

I will then post the information that you send to me on various other websites.

Whenever I go to NYC I ALWAYS stop at The Strand.  They say they have 18 miles of books.  They do have one of the larger selections of books at any bookstore I have been to in the United States.  They have 2.5 used and new books. This is a a cool destination for a trip.  You can spend an entire day in this bookstore and there are tons of places to each within walking distance and lots of other stuff to do.  The instant my wife starts planning a trip to NYC city I start planning how all of the others things we have to do can fit around my day at The Strand.

Their main store is located at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. They have a kiosk at Central Park located at 60th Street and 5th Avenue directly across from the Pierre Hotel.

In addition to an incredible collection of books at great prices they also have a full slate of author/speakers at their store.

James Franco at the Strand

Here is their story in their own words.

Where it all began: Bound by a Family

The Strand was born in 1927 over on Fourth Avenue on what was then called ”Book Row”. Book Row covered six city blocks and housed forty-eight bookstores. Ben Bass, the father, was all of twenty-five years old when he began his modest used bookstore.  An entrepreneur at heart, a reader by nature, this erudite man began with $300 dollars of his own and $300 dollars that he borrowed from a friend. Ben sought to create a place where books would be loved, and book lovers could congregate. He named his bookstore after the London street where avant-garde writers like Thackeray, Dickens and Mill once gathered and interesting book publishers thrived. The Strand quickly became a Greenwich Village institution where writers went to converse, sell their books and find a hidden treasure to buy. Today, the Strand is the sole survivor of Book Row’s colorful past.

Ben’s son, Fred, by the age of thirteen was learning the family business.  He too a lover of books took quickly to the book trade. After Fred completed a tour of duty in the Armed Forces, he came home to New York where he worked side-by-side with his father.  By 1957, Fred moved the store just around the corner, to our current space at 12th Street and Broadway. Fred came to spend most of his time at the buying desk, cultivating relationships with regulars and scoping out the next great find…

The next in the Bass family to take to the business was Fred’s daughter, Nancy. After college and a short stint in Louisiana, she came back to her roots and joined the Strand team at the age of 25. Today, she co-manages the store with her father.  The jury’s still out on whether one, two or all three of Nancy’s kids will be next in line to join the Strand team.

Where we stand today: Guided by the Customer

Today, the Strand carries over 2.5 million used, new and rare books, covering topics as far-ranging as occult to philosophy to finance. The store also offers an ever-changing array of literary gifts and goods from Moleskines to coffee mugs, and everything in-between.  Really, we mean everything in-between from a Shakespeare insult mug to the wildly popular Strand onesie.

 Our employees are not only knowledgeable about books; they’re also passionate about them.  Not only can they help you find a book, they can also recommend something you might love if you give them a quick description of your literary tastes. With our famous dollar carts outside you can always find a gem, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hidden treasure inside the store — like a beautiful Rabelais for $15.  Strand continues to house old treasures for reasonable prices while providing one of the largest, most diverse selections of books in the country. 

 Our in-store events feature some of today’s most interesting and provocative personalities from James Franco to Patti Smith to dialogues between such greats as Junot Diaz and Hilton Als to Robert Caro and Frank Rich. If you are looking for a relaxed, intimate evening where you’ll both be engaged and entertained, we have the programming for you.

Where we’re going: Driven by You

In all seriousness, at the Strand, you, our booklovers, are our number one priority. As we change and grow with the times, we will never lose sight of our roots – we are a community bookstore first and foremost. We are forever invested in you and want to make your shopping experience with us a memorable, enjoyable and easy one.  The Strand is a place where books are loved and book lovers of all kind are always welcome—

Iliad Books in North Hollywood is still growing.  Over the last couple of years they have doubled their physical space.  Their brick-and-mortar store is located in North Hollywood, California, they are one of the largest used bookstores in the Los Angeles area, specializing in Literature and the Arts (but carry books on most subjects, except business). The LA Weekly named them “Best Bookstore, Valley” in their 2012 “Best of L.A.” issue, the L.A. Times “Readers Choice 2011” named them as the favorite bookstore for the Valley/Ventura area, the April 2007 issue of Los Angeles Magazine listed them as one of the best used bookstores in L.A., the L.A. Times did a feature article on them, and they have been home to numerous movie and television shoots. they have over 125,000 books in stock, a convenient location with free parking, long hours, an experienced staff, and air conditioning.

You can park in the back and enter through the back.  Their always seems to be ample parking.  If you are going North on  Cahuenga Blvd., you will go over a set of raised railroad tracks that can obscure your view when you get ready to make a right hand turn onto Chandler Blvd. to get into their parking lot.  They are at 5400 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601, (818)509-2665.  There are no good eating places within walking distances, but this does not detract from the good vibes you get when you visit Iliad Books.

The store is extremely clean and the staff super knowledgeable.  The one thing missing is adequate places to sit.  If you get tired of standing your only relief is to pop a squat.  To give you a flavor of the political leanings of the owners I remember a few years there was a picture of then president Bush with a target on his face with the number of days he still had in office.

Iliad Books



The Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.  This is one of my favorite bookstores.  It keeps the independent bookstore spirit alive in Denver.

Tattered Cover Bookstore - Denver

The Tattered Cover Book Store began as a small store with only 950 square feet of retail space and 2 employees in the Cherry Creek North district of Denver, Colorado. It has grown for 40 years into one of the premier bookstores in America with 3 expansive locations in the greater Denver Metro area:

  • Colfax Avenue, south of City Park
  • Historic Lower Downtown, near Union Station
  • Highlands Ranch Town Center, south of C470

Tattered Cover is an indie bookstore with lots of nooks & crannies that offer the intimacy and comfort of smaller bookshops, furnished with lots of sofas, overstuffed chairs, and antique tables for lounging and study; a cafe with free wi-fi; and a world-class newsstand in each location. Tattered Cover bookstores also sell used books, a rapidly growing part of the inventory in addition to new books and bargain editions. Tattered Cover is a Denver institution, a literary landmark, a community gathering place, and an experience you can’t download.

Tattered Cover Store Front

When you walk into one of their bookstores you immediately realize you need to call home and tell you spouse, significant other, kids the dog, that you will not be home for a while.  They make you feel welcome with their plentiful couches and other places to sit. I love this place.

Tattered Cover Couch

You can not get this experience shopping on line.  You have to transport your body there and let Tattered Cover interact with your senses.

Bart’s Books in Ojai, CA. If you was to see California at its best throw your backpack in the back seat and head for Southern, California.  Ojai is a little resort town near Santa Barbara, CA.  You don’t go there if you want an exciting night life or if you want to go clubbing.  BUT, is it an awesome place to go and unwind.  Bart’s Books is just off of the only main street.  It is a HUGE outdoor bookstore.  They claim to be the largest outdoor book store in the world, maybe so.  If you happen to arrive after the store is closed they have a lot of book outside the main gate.  If you find a book you like you just toss the money over the wall. Pretty cool.

Barts Books, really cool outdoor bookstore in Ojai, CA.

Barts Books, really cool outdoor bookstore in Ojai, CA.