Bookstore Quotes and Memories

Loving bookstores and libraries is a trait I inherited from my parents (and theirs) and probably share with many readers of this blog.

Sad to say they are a dwindling breed in D.C. (although far from extinct).  Years ago we had the Trover Shops (three, including a wonderfully quirky one on Capitol Hill), Chapters, on 15th, and Borders (various places including the one where a clothing store is now).  There were lots of others too…Crown Books (a  chain, but would suffice in a pinch. Walden Books similarly.)

There was a drama bookshop in Dupont Circle, as well as Lambda Rising (LGTB bookstores becoming a thing of the past provides a bittersweet touch to progress).  Olsson’s was all over, downtown, Georgetown, and a particularly charming one in Old Town Alexandria. Two stories and lots of wood.

We still have a good set. In fact, Politics and Prose has opened another branch in the Navy Yard, which is encouraging. But I do miss that downstairs at Trover Shop, where Congressional biographies, and tomes on tax law would jostle Chekhov and Shirley Jackson. You never knew what you would find.

And to wrap up, a bit from Calvino on the actual sections of a bookstore:

– Books You Haven’t Read
– Books You Needn’t Read
– Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading
– Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written
– Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
– Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First
– Books Too Expensive Now and You’ll Wait ‘Til They’re Remaindered
– Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback
– Books You Can Borrow from Somebody
– Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too
– Books You’ve Been Planning to Read for Ages
– Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success
– Books Dealing with Something You’re Working on at the Moment
– Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case
– Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer
– Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves
– Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified
– Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time to Re-read
– Books You’ve Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It’s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them”
— Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”  — Neil Gaiman, American Gods


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