Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Shopping in SLC

I love books and I love bookstores. Some of the places I miss the most in Washington DC are independent bookstores such as Kramerbooks and Politics and Prose (if you are visiting WDC and looking to buy books, I highly recommend those places). It was heartbreaking to watch other independent bookstores shut down across that city over the years and I was always grateful for those that survived.

Moving to Salt Lake City, I wondered what I would find here in the way of book shopping. Don't get me wrong, I like places like Borders and Barnes & Noble for their convenience and selection, but there is nothing like that little independent bookstore. Just in the past few weeks I have managed to discover (thanks to my husband), and visit, several great local independent bookstores here in SLC. If you are visiting the area and want to check out some used and rare books or find some new ones, I recommend these places.

Sam Wellers. This bookstore has been around since 1929 and is now under operation by the third generation of Wellers. It currently has over 400,000 new, used and rare books in a large space with several floors and rooms and a coffee area up front. You can find it right downtown on Main Street.

The King's English Bookshop. This is a quaint little book shop in the 15th & 15th neighborhood selling all new books. It is in an old house, with lots of little rooms and connected to an Italian restaurant. They have an awesome children's selection. I found a number of book clubs advertised here. They highlight and sell the books and host many of the book clubs. I think this is where I am going to turn to find my new book club.

Golden Braid Books. "Books for feeding of mind, spirit, body, soul and heart." This is one of the first places I visited when I moved here. They focus on spiritual/new age type books and they also have a great selection of greeting cards and incense. They have an awesome cafe - Oasis Cafe - that has been one of my favorite places to eat.

Ken Sanders Rare Books. This is an interesting store with a focus on Utah, Mormons, Native Americans, and all of the West. They carry a large collection of old, rare and new books. In addition to books, they sell a lot of old posters and postcards.

Finally there is always the fabulous SLC Public Library, but you have to live here to take advantage of that fantastic resource. I haven't bought any books at these stores yet because I am busy using the library right now (just checked out "The Case of Exploding Mangoes" by Mohammed Hanif). I've been using one of the smaller library branches not far from my house, but this past weekend I finally visited the library's main branch. Wow! What an amazing place to hang out. I can't wait to go and spend the day there. My husband says I am such a geek...

The beautiful main library in SLC. Shops and cafes down there. The library floors are on the right, and on several floors you can cross over that open area and sit at couches, chairs and tables all along that wall of windows on the left and read your book.

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