The Bookstores of My Life

I’m fortunate to live in a city with a plethora of independent bookstores (and I’m looking forward to visiting as many of them as possible on Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday!). I could write a whole post just listing Chicago’s amazing indies, but I thought I’d feature some favorite bookstores from other places I’ve lived too.

Women & Children First
(Chicago, Illinois)

First up, though: my very favorite independent bookstore in Chicago. This fierce, feminist shop in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is where I’ll be having the launch party for Temper, and I can’t wait! It’s co-owned by my friend Sarah, who’s seriously one of the most badass people I know. Right now I live about a 10-minute walk from the store, but I’ll be moving a bit further away in a few weeks – I’m sure I’ll still visit often, but I’ll miss popping in there for a few minutes while I’m out walking the dog.

Loganberry Books
(Cleveland, Ohio)

This shop was just a short walk from my apartment during the year I lived in Cleveland’s Shaker Heights neighborhood – but tragically, I didn’t discover it until a few months before I moved away! Loganberry looks unassuming from the outside, but it’s got a cavernous interior with floor-to-ceiling shelves and lots of cozy reading nooks. Walking in there feels like slipping into a book-filled dream. And it has a cat, as all great bookstores should in my opinion.

Voltaire & Rousseau
(Glasgow, Scotland)

As a hyper-organized person, this tiny shop piled high with books honestly stressed me out a little – I just wanted to alphabetize everything!! But I spent hours there when I was studying abroad in Glasgow, and it always felt like a hunt for buried treasure. They also had resident cats, and paying them a visit helped assuage my homesickness for my own pets during that year.

The Book Loft
(Columbus, Ohio)

The only word for this bookstore is EPIC. Thirty-two rooms of books – THIRTY. TWO. I’ve been here countless times and I think there are still rooms I have yet to visit. They give you a map when you arrive, and you really need it (although I can think of far worse fates than getting lost in this literary labyrinth).

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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.

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