There’s something comfortable and familiar about chain bookstores, like Borders and Barnes & Noble: The vanilla latte always tastes the same, the photography books are always near the fashion books, and there are always comfy chairs. I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars at chain bookstores and I spent many a weekend during my high school years at their poetry nights.
But the bookstore most dear to my heart is a tiny little place called Bloodroot, half vegetarian restaurant and half feminist bookstore. My brother-in-law took me to Bloodroot when I was a teenager and it became a part of my identity. I came of age in the late ’90s and early aughties, when Britney Spears slithered around onstage and suburban kids wore Playboy bunny T-shirts to school, which, don’t get me wrong, is all enjoyable, yet nauseating after a while.
Luckily, the bookstore at Bloodroot proved to be a godsend for the feminists and freaks and gay kids who were trapped in the suburbs until graduation. We could have something we didn’t have anywhere else: a community. Keep reading »