2018 was a swirl of a year when it came to traveling! I was able to visit such great places both in the domestically and internationally. Whenever I know I am traveling somewhere, I like to look up bookstores in the area to explore and of course, to buy books! Here are the wonderful places I got to visit this year.
In March, My then boyfriend (now husband) and I went to take a long weekend trip to DC. I have been there a couple of times, but it was the first for my husband. We got went to visit the majority of the main attractions and taken in the beautiful sites. During that time, I got to visit two bookstores; Second Story Books and Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. Second Story Books is a used and rare bookstore – it has many different books of all subjects. There are many bookcases full of books and even some random tinks. If you’re looking for something rare, this is the place to go. I then walked over to Kramer & Afterwords Cafe, where it was full of people looking through the many selections of books. In the back, there is a cafe where you can grab a bite to eat and a DRINK! It was great exploring around and I even purchased a book. Both bookstores are only a couple of blocks away from each other in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy in April. I got to visit Ancient Rome, take in the most breathtaking art in Florence and ride on a gondola along the Grand Canal. I wish I had the moment to visit a bookstore in each city that I visited, but I was able to stop by a shop in Venice – Alta Acqua Libreria. It was a huge bookstore with books in every crook and cranny – on bookshelves, on top of tables, even a bathtub. It was slightly overwhelming and full of curious book lovers. In the back, there are two photo opportunities; one is a chair you can sit on that overlooks the canal and the second place is a tower of huge books piled up that you can step up on. Majority of the books were written in Italian, but there were so many randoms ones and not organized in any kind of way. Still a great place to check out!
I took a long weekend to Chicago in June for a work trip and was able to take some time to explore the city. I went to check out The Bean, walk around the Art Institute and took a tour of the architecture of the building in Chicago on a river. During my short time there, I stopped by Open Books in West Loop. It was a great bookshop which sells both new and used books. I literally searched through every shelf while I was there and it was great to see the different selections. The best thing was the prices, I was able to score four books in great condition for a great price!
I was then back in Chicago in July for work as well for a whole week. I was mostly working but was able to check out a bookstore called Half-Price Books. I literally got lost in there for a very long time. Again, a great place with a great selection and affordable. Apart from books, there was a selection of DVDs, CD, and records. For a moment, I couldn’t decide which books I wanted to get, but I was able to get two books that kept me entertained while I was working in Chicago. Also, I didn’t have much space in my luggage to bring back so many!
In September, I made a trip to the other side of the country, to the Washington state. I explored Pike Place Market, walked by the waterfront and grabbed some ice cream at Molly’s Moon (so good!). Just around the corner from Molly’s Moon Handmade Ice Cream is Elliot Bay Book Company. I was in awe of how big this bookstore was. I love how the sun was coming in from the top illuminating the bookstore entirely. I was walking around the bookshelves for hours and was able to sit down in one of the many tables and chairs available. This bookstore also has a small cafe in the back. If you’re ever in Seattle, I highly recommend in making a pit stop here.