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11 of the Coolest Bookstores in the US

11 of the Coolest Bookstores in the US

You don’t have to be a bookworm to appreciate what this assortment of bookstores has to offer! They have anything from interesting architecture to niche reading materials to a unique attraction. You’ll want to start buying all your book-related goods from these shops—or at least plan a road trip to check them out. Here they are, in no particular order: The Coolest Bookstores in the US.

1. McNally Jackson Books

McNally Jackson Books in New York City seems to have every book and magazine in print! As a fun twist, they arrange their books according to nation! Don’t worry, they have a knowledgable staff to help you if you get lost in the wrong country. In addition to a killer cafe, they also boast an Espresso Book Machine, which prints library-quality paperbacks in minutes!

2. The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles started in owner Josh Spencer’s loft, but it was basically just an online store. After several moves, the store is now called a “cathedral of books” and takes up almost 20,000 square feet!

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3. The Montague Bookmill

The Montague Bookmill in Montague, Massachusetts will pique your interest with its catchphrase alone: “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” Challenge accepted! Located a few miles north of Amherst, Massachusetts, this bookstore is housed in a gristmill built in 1842! It overlooks the Sawmill River, and you can sip coffee or beer while watching the nearby waterfall.

4. Quimby’s Bookstore

Quimby’s Bookstore isn’t your typical shop—you won’t find the latest on the bestseller list here! Quimby’s has a wide selection of what they call “unusual publications,” which includes zines, underground comics, and small press releases.

5. Square Books

Square Books calls Oxford, MS home. This shop is located on, you guessed it—the town square! It’s a small, quaint shop—so small, in fact, that it has a few spin-off locations elsewhere on the square! Square Books Jr. has a huge selection of children’s books, and Off Square Books, which has front windows that roll up.

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6. Powell’s Books

You can’t talk about bookstores without mentioning the king of them all, Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. This is quite possibly the world’s largest bookstore, selling both new and used books. They have a wide variety of strange and contemporary books, as well as a strong online presence that ensure you don’t have to be in Oregon to shop at one of the best!

7. Bart’s Books

Bart’s Books in Ojai, California is—get this—an outdoor bookstore! It started when owner Richard Bartinsdale realized he had too many books for his house. He built a few bookcases to put outside, and encouraged people to stop and look and leave money in coffee cans on the shelves.

8. Rizzoli Bookstore

Rizzoli Bookstore takes up six stories of a townhouse in New York City. It has been called “the most beautiful bookstore in New York,” and for good reason! It has vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and a Diocletian window that lets in loads of natural light to ensure the books’ natural beauty is on display.

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9. Magers & Quinn

Magers & Quinn started as a small bookstore—so small, the books were laid out on tables instead of displayed on shelves! It’s now the biggest bookstore in Minneapolis, MN. The collection includes current releases, but also rare and hard-to-find books—all at discounted prices!

10. Maple Street Book Shop

New Orleans isn’t all about voodoo and Bourbon Street—Maple Street Book Shop has been around since the 1960s and is still going strong. It started as “five rooms of paperbacks,” but expanded as the owners special ordered books for customers and allowed people to hang out on the side porch sharing avant garde ideas.

11. Blue Bicycle Books

Blue Bicycle Books has a lot of volumes about its hometown of Charleston, SC. Their 50,000+ volumes, however, also include history, science, philosophy, and literary fiction, just to name a few. An extra cool thing about this bookstore is that they host a creative writing camp for kids every summer—this year marks the 11th anniversary of this workshop!

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Featured photo credit: Germán Póo-Caamaño via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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