About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The World's Largest Library, Part II

Inside the Capitol

The Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

During this hot, dry summer, it seems hard to remember when I actually resented a rainy day. Our fourth day in DC was one such day. When I left the hotel that morning, the rain had not yet begun to fall, but a quick glance at the sky left little doubt that the morning weather predictions would prove accurate at any moment. I had plans to meet up with a former student and book club member later that evening. By sheer happenstance Ryan was, at the very time of my trip to Washington, completing an internship with a Michigan congressman. (Coincidentally, Ryan is the same bookstore enthusiast who introduced me to the fascinating Mecosta Book Gallery.) We had planned to meet a couple of blocks from the Capitol, and since I had never actually been inside that grand building, I thought it would be a great place to wait out the rain.

The top of the Capitol Dome
I enjoyed a couple of pleasant, informative hours in the beautiful and stately building culminating in a guided tour that is the only way by which visitors can actually get a first-hand look at the impressive dome. Now, you might be wondering what my visit to the Capitol has to do with the subject of this post, the Library of Congress. Well, as it turns out, the rain was still coming down at the end of my Capitol tour, and just as I was thinking that I may be spending another few hours there, the tour guide informed us of a very special feature of the building--a tunnel to the Library of Congress. That's right; I could enjoy another visit to the LOC without ever going outside. I immediately headed for the tunnel.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marble, Marble Everywhere, The World's Largest Library

The Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

Now I know the Library of Congress is not a bookstore, but it does have books, and it does have a store. And those who have been reading my blog for a while already know that the retired librarian in me can't help but write about a library once in a while, especially if it is a fantastic library. (See Hong Kong, IV) And believe me, the Library of Congress is a fantastic library, so special in fact, that I will be devoting two blog posts to it. It is the world's largest library, after all, and I think that's pretty special indeed.

On our first full day in Washington, D.C., during a recent trip, (See Capital) my husband and I decided to forego our original Smithsonian plans to dodge the heat and the Girl Scouts in the Library of Congress. Even if you don't particularly care for libraries (although for the life of me, I can't see why anyone wouldn't love a library) the Jefferson Building's architecture alone is spectacular and well worth a visit. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Holy Cow This Is Great

That was the subject line of the email my son sent me with a link to this story. I too think it's great--too great not to post. Check out this story and see what you think:
Where Wal-Mart departs, a library succeeds

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In And Around Our Nation's Capital, Part III

Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20008

 Just ask my husband and he'll tell you that at times I can get almost as worked up about politics as I can about books. We jokingly refer to each presidential election year as yet another test of our marriage. So what more appropriate bookstore for me to visit in the D.C. area than Politics and Prose, a name which encompasses both highly charged interests. This store had come highly recommended to me by a number of people, so I was looking forward to seeing it for myself. I was not disappointed.

Politics and Prose is about a mile walk from the Metro, but worth the trip. Its long, awning-covered, glass storefront is situated on a wide sidewalk in a semi-residential area. I felt at home right away upon seeing a sign in the window stating, "We love local blogs." Barely through the door, I was greeted by a friendly staff member. As a matter of fact, the entire staff was incredibly helpful. Everywhere I turned, someone was asking if I needed any assistance.