Critical Linking: May 19, 2015

There are some pretty great local and independent bookstores already — just look at places like Powell’s and The Strand, for instance. But we’ve seen and read about some truly amazing ones. I don’t know about you, but I can’t read or watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets without wishing for a Flourish and Blott’s of my own to shop in — even if it’s just to look! Same goes for You’ve Got Mail — I know it’s about a small neighborhood bookstore being crushed by a huge competitor, but I root for Meg Ryan every time anyway, despite knowing the ending.

There’s just something about these fictional bookstores that never fails to make me wish I could visit them myself. The sheer size of them, the book-loving owners, the stories they hold within them — everything, really. Here are 10 of the best fictional shops I wish I could get lost in for an afternoon — or maybe a little longer. 

I’d take a visit to any or all of these fictional bookshops (I wish Women & Women First was real, too).

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Part of the problem is that while art or books that white men put out is portrayed as universally appealing, culture produced by women or people of color is seen as specific to their gender or racial identity.

This piece by Jessica Valenti about sexism on your bookshelves is important — it’s part of why we dedicate space to talking about the importance of diversity, of women, and other underrepresented voices in books.

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Can you guess the children’s book from these emojis?

I got 14 out of 15. How about you?

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