Saturday, December 1, 2007

An Unexpected Treat

Today as I was doing some Christmas shopping in downtown DC I was struck with a sudden inspiration to visit this bookstore that I had seen a few times. At first I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to find it but after walking around for a few minutes in the general area I found it. Boy, it is it a find. On one side is a cafe but not like the cafes you'll find in Barnes & Noble or Borders. This one was way more intimate and personal. It was vintage, rustic, and genuine. The food and drinks were a little pricer but I immediately felt like it was a place where people just really sat with each other and talked. They have deep conversations, invest in each other and debate issues. This was in the air and upon observation was noted. People were interested and concerned; it was refreshing to see and hear.

One the other side was the actual bookstore and it, too, had the feeling of personality, rustic, authenticity and vintage. I felt like the books placed here were deliberate and done so with care. The books had prices like $5.38 or $8.63, totally untypical prices seen in big commerical bookstores. Sure they had the same books but this place had a slightly disorganized feel, kinda like a bookstore I'd have. This warmth just irradiated from it. It reminded me slighty of two other similar bookstores in other places. One is called the Tattered Cover in downtown Denver. This store is much larger than the one here in DC but had a similar feel of uniqueness and vintage. It catered to the ecletic and hip crowd. The other is a used bookstore found in Springfield, MO. (Sadly, eventhough I visited this place several times I can't remember the name). This store had all kinds of books and they were all used. It had the cluttered and disorganized feel along with layers of dust adding to the antique feeling, but it was a place I loved all the same. Those of you who have visited this place know what I'm talking about.

One reason I enjoy these types of places so much is because you really have to search for what you're looking for. There's no computers, no workers to point you in the right direction. You have to spend time and consideration to look. This envokes a sense of care and valuability. The commericalization is lost, personality is evident, and that can make all the difference.

When were you last felt genuiness? Seek it for it leads to an unexpected treat.


Debbi said...

You might be talking about ABC Books? I enjoyed that place.

Penn said...

I loved that bookstore too. ABC- thanks, deb, I couldn't remember the name either.