The Books

#TopTenTuesday – My Dream Bookstores & Libraries

Another #TopTenTuesday post, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

And this prompt is easy.  I have only one dream library that I would love to visit — the Beast’s study from Beauty and the Beast.  Belle was by far my favorite Disney princess.  As I child (and even still as an adult today) I pictured myself on a ladder, sliding across shelves and shelves of floor to ceiling books looking for the perfect story.  That is my dream library.  Writing prompt finished.

Okay… with a bit more thought, there are others.  Such as…

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

In Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (currently reading and a highlighted recommended read!), Carmichael shares this story he hears of Malcolm X.  Rumor has it Malcolm saw a group of young black guys shooting craps on a sidewalk.  He walks up to them and

“either seized or put his foot on the dice…. My young brothers, you know what this building is? he asked.  Yeah, I thought so.  You don’t know, you do?  This is the Schomburg Collection.  It’s got damn near everything ever written by or about black people.  And what are you doing? Instead of being inside learning about yourself, your people, and our history, you out here in darkness shooting dice…” (Carmichael 105)

I think Carmichael’s retelling of this story pretty much explains why the Schomburg is on my list.

The Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

This archive is a part of Founder’s Library at Howard University.  I visited it once in my undergraduate career.  It was for a journalism class.  But I did not fully appreciate the experience, or explore the collection like I should have then.  The Moorland-Spingarn has so much material on the black experience, many of which is not processed and so unable to be accessed online.  Journals, magazines, personal papers of historical people and eras.  I definitely need to go back!


Now it gets tougher.  My mind drew a blank and so I turned to Google and discovered others:

Elliott Bay Book Company

I discovered this one on a Buzzfeed article.  It looked gorgeous.  And it is located in Seattle, which means it should be pretty easy to check out while visiting the in-laws.  I know nothing of its history and have no other reason to go there than because it is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The John K. King Used and Rare Books Store

I was in Detroit recently for work and stayed in a hotel that was one minute away from this bookstore.  The building is a warehouse, with a worn exterior that does not immediately look welcoming.  My co-worker joked, “It’s probably got a really good selection, though.”  But we were crunched for time and did not go in.  I did not think anything of this store until Google proved my co-worker was right.  The John K. King bookstore appears on just about every bookstore listing imaginable.  It is estimated that the bookstore has 1 million books in stock.  I.  Need.  To.  Go.  Back.


I won’t stretch this out to a list of ten.  Instead, I will continue getting lost in Google searches of bookstores and libraries….

Until next time.

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