Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Neighborhood Notes: Top Bookshops of the World

Via Andrew, I caught this Guardian piece on the "top ten bookshops of the world". I was curious to see what might be on it. I had expected to find Powell's Books, of Portland, Oregon, which in my experience is probably the most awesome brick-and-mortar bookstore I've been to in terms of mind-boggling selection (not just mass market, but thoughtfully selected stuff in a wide range of fields of inquiry). Alas, Powell's was not on this list. I also thought maybe to find City Lights, the literary landmark in San Francisco, but not that either. Being a world list, most of the selections were around the world in places I haven't been -- Maastricht, Buenos Aires, Kyoto, Porto, Mexico City, etc. But much to my surprise, the list included a comic book store in my own backyard called the Secret Headquarters. We walk past this place often, on our usual Friday night beat between the great neighborhood Mexican restaurant and the awesome gelato place. The place looks really cool, like a place you'd want to hang out, in fact, I thought it was a cigar bar when I first saw it. The Guardian piece describes it thus: "Nestled in the creative cluster of Silver Lake, just east of Hollywood, this boutique store offers a sophisticated alternative to most of its rivals and has a reputation for being one of the neatest, friendliest comic stores anywhere. Canadian science fiction author Cory Doctorow rates it as the finest in the world." You can check out photos of the place here. Just when I thought our neighborhood couldn't get any cooler.

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