Reading does so many things to the reader; you can be sweep away to a desert island, taken back in time, see the future, watch someone’s life unfold before you, help solve a mystery, teach you a new skill or help you with a project, just to name a few things. When I was younger, I hated school because I did not fit in anywhere and eventually I dropped out all together. Reading, though, was always a passion for me. I read about girls who were just like me and I read about the “perfect” families that I wished for at the time. I made friends and gained knowledge. Reading helped me through some very dark years and it has helped me mature into the person I am today. Reading has helped my marriage, my health, and even my cooking skills. Many years later I ended back at college and reading skills were a definite advantage to have.
My first independent bookstore is the Fireside Book Shop located at 29 N. Franklin Street in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The offerings are amazing, every nook and cranny is full of a book, magazine or something else fun. There is an upstairs and a back room. You can spend hours here listening to the wood floors creak, smelling the books and listening to the lively conversation that happens during the day. They can conduct searches for out-of-print books and will help you find any book you have been seeking. This bookstore is a mainstay in beautiful downtown Chagrin Falls. Once you have all the books you want, try some of the other stores or restaurants all within walking distance. You can check out their website at www.firesidebookshop.com.
My second independent bookstore of choice is The Learned Owl located at 204 N. Main Street in Hudson, Ohio. Much like Chagrin Falls, Hudson is a beautiful town with lots of shops and restaurants. The Learned Owl has three floors of books, really something for everyone. They also host book signings and book launch events. They are active in assisting local book clubs with suggestions and they offer book club discounts. You can find out more at www.learnedowl.com.
My third choice is The Village Bookstore located at 8140 Main Street in Garrettsville, Ohio. Like the previous two choices, Garrettsville is a lovely, quant town. Although it is not a big as Chagrin Falls or Hudson, it is still a great drive and worth the stop. Check out their book stock as well as other items. Enjoy the atmosphere of large windows, brick walls and wooden bookshelves. Look at their website (http://villagebooksandbears.com/) for upcoming events and news about their own book club.
There are so many smaller bookstores in the area, I just picked three. I am sure the advent of the big and pretty corporate bookstores has hurt their business, but many of them are still here. Which is a testament to their staying power. The next time you want a book, why not try a small, independent bookstore in your area. You never know what magic you will find there.