Every reader has a “My Bookstore”

Just had to tell you about a new book to be released on November 13 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, edited by Ronald Rice with an introduction by Richard Russo.

My Bookstore features essays by 84 authors, including Ann Patchett, Ian Frazier, Chuck Palahniuk, Rick Bragg, and Terry Tempest Williams.

So far, I’ve visited three of the bookstores: Powell’s in Portland, Oregon; Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle (see my post about Elliot Bay and a few other Washington bookstores); and The Strand in New York City.

Looks like California and New York are well represented, as you might expect. Sorry to see nothing listed for Cleveland (my hometown) or Rochester, NY.  Suggestions, anyone?

I’m adding this book to my holiday wish list.

Oh, and if you have a favorite bookstore, tell us in the comments.

Bookstores (of course) and tombs in Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Cuspide Libros

We visited Recoleta, a well-to-do neighborhood in Buenos Aires, and browsed at Cúspide Libros, a popular chain in Argentina. Here we found a collection spanning many subjects – politics, history, travel, art, design, cooking, current fiction and nonfiction, the classics, and more.

Cúspide Libros is in an upscale shopping mall.  In the U.S., you might not expect to find a bookstore with such a broad, deep selection of titles.

Our traveling companions, who live in New York City, commented that Buenos Aires seems especially devoted to bookstores and reading.

La Recoleta Cemetary is across the street, where many Argentinian notables have elaborate tombs. It’s a fascinating place, a dense grid of narrow walkways lined with mausoleums, some crumbling and in disrepair, others pristine. Despite the somewhat morbid undertones, it’s quiet and peaceful, a stunning outdoor art gallery.

Recolate angel

recoleta statue

Mother and children statue

Recoleta vault

recoleta angel

Recoleta cemetary

Recoleta angel

Recoleta cemetary

Eva Peron's final resting place
Eva Peron’s final resting place

El Ateneo in Buenos Aires

El Ateneo stage cafe

Monday was a holiday in Argentina, Dia del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural, and many businesses were closed. We’d come across town to visit El Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the largest and most beautiful bookstores in the world, and we were relieved to find it was open.

El Ateneo bookstore

This former theater in the Barrio Norte section of Buenos Aires featured some of the greatest tango artists and premiered the first sound films in Argentina.

El Ateneo ceiling

There are Italian ceiling frescoes and original theater boxes where you can relax and browse through books.

El Ateneo bookstore

We spent a couple of happy hours in the cafe located on the former stage.

El Ateneo bookstore