Books. Bookstores. Coffee.

I’m feeling even more bookish than usual this week, so I’m going to hit you up with a good list of literary links today.
For the most part I’m not really interested in “Best Of” lists, simply because they are subjective and reductive. But NPR has a rather genius approach to the Best Books of 2016: the list is 300 books long, but you can sort it according to your criteria. You can specify your preferences (“Book Club Reads,” for example, and “For Art Lovers”) and they will whittle that list down appropriately. “Let’s Talk About Sex” gives me twenty intriguing options, but I can further prune that by adding “Books From Around the World” and now I’ve got four options. In other words, access to this list will either streamline your book buying, or absorb you for the rest of the day. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.
You’ve probably seen Ann Patchett’s recommendations of the best indie bookstores around the country whipping around the interwebs, and with good reason. It’s a fun read. I’ve been to several of the stores she mentions, and have many others on my bucket list. (Yes. Bookstore bucket lists are a thing. I know you get me.) I love all bookstores, to be honest. Big chains, tiny indies, mid-sized weirdo places with a hookah shop in the back. I can even get lost in the book section of Costco. All of it makes me happy.
Speaking of happiness in a bookstore, check out this fun list of 11 books set in a bookstore. I’ve read two (The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and 84, Charing Cross Road, and they are among my favorite books ever.) I own, but have yet to read, two others on this list. The rest look great, and are going on my list immediately.
If you are more in the mood for a library trip, check out this article about the best library in each state. I think New York is the obvious answer, but I’m still giving the win to Hawaii because books + ocean is a match made in heaven. Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nevada are also pretty spectacular.
Do you prefer your books in digital format? Or are you resisting the age of the E-book? No question, I prefer a real book. That said, I love the immediate access of e-books. This is a fun article, imagining what the book life would be like if digital books came first. The bottom line? No medium is perfect, not even the beloved book. To properly assess a medium, we need to first own our tendency to compare it unfairly to the one that is currently dominant.
You’re going to need some caffeine to get through all this bookish fun, and of course you know I’ve got you covered there, too. My fantasy day off would be a crockpot full of some coffee magic and a huge stack of books. And while we’re at it, Colin Firth to tuck a blanket around my legs while I read. I don’t know if I can make that happen anytime soon. Finding the time is harder than the books, the coffee, or Colin Firth. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

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