Bookstores in Berkeley

Today was a good day for books. I went up to Berkeley which has many lovely independent bookstores. I visited Castle in the Air to peruse their very small but lovely collection of illustrated books.

Castle in the Air is how I would imagine an old-world European/Victorian shoppe to be. It’s a lovely little store with a whimiscal collection of paper, pens, crafts, cards, antiquated knick-knackery, masks, and beautiful books.

Below you is a picture of a display in the shop. I imagine the 10-year-old me would’ve been completely wide-eyed and in awe in this store.

I came away with a lovely new Edward Gorey book, The Sopping Thursday, and a lovely edition of The Wizard Of Oz, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. They also had a lovely collection of books by a indie publisher called Calla Editions that designs beautifully illustrated versions of classics. They remind me of Folio in London, except at a cheaper price point. I will definitely be adding those to my wish-list for the future.

I then went down the road to browse Books, Inc., another indie bookstore with a great selection of contemporary literature, children’s books, and books of interest the would make great gifts for the reader in your life. This particular Books, Inc. is very well curated and a great place to browse for recommendations and inspiration.I found a book that really piqued my interest called Aurorarama—try saying that three times fast. It’s a steampunk novel that seems interesting, or maybe I just fell in love with the cover.

Lastly I checked out the Free Book Exchange in El Cerrito (very close to Berkeley) where they give books away for free. It’s not for everyone, since you have to dig around quite a bit for your books. But it’s a lovely idea to find new homes for unwanted books and props to the  people what are running it.

All in all it was a great day for books and I’m feel so lucky to live relatively close to so many great indie bookstores.

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