Fictional libraries and bookstores I want to visit


The Sunnydale High School Library, featured in the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is on my list of fictional libraries and bookstores I would love to visit.

As I was listening to The Waste Lands by Stephen King (the third book in The Dark Tower series), I  suddenly found myself wanting to visit a particular shop described in the series: The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind. It occurred to me that there are a number of libraries and book stores described in literature (and television), that I would love to visit. So, here is my list:

  • Sunnydale High School Library: Hellmouth? Check. Ancient tomes on magic and vampires and demons? Check. Cute British librarian with a secret mission? Check. Who wouldn’t want to visit Giles in this West Coast landmark? I’ll need fair warning not to visit when the next big bad is attempting to open that nasty Hellmouth, though. (Featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  • Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind: Stephen King’s the Dark Tower features some strange sights, but this quirky neighborhood bookstore is easy to miss among the other outlandish settings. But Calvin Tower (Tower! Get the connection?) runs a fun themed bookstore that feeds the mind with hard-boiled detective works, southern-fried Faulkner and many more. (Featured in The Waste Lands, Book 3 of The Dark Tower series)
  • The Book Apothecary: Imagine a bookstore where you go to discover books to heal your soul. Nina George did, in The Little Paris Bookshop, which introduces us to Jean Perdu, the bookseller who retrofitted a barge to serve as his bookshop. One conversation with him and he can recommend the best book for solving your inner pain. For example, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is prescribed “for the world-weary and the dangerously naïve.” Get your own recommendations from Penguin House’s companion site to the novel. (Featured in The Little Paris Bookshop)
  • Hogwarts Library: You know I had to include a location from Harry Potter. What better one than Hermione’s favorite hangout, which deserved a mention for its intriguing “Restricted Section.” And, you have to respect the librarian’s reaction to Harry’s copy of Advanced Potion Making. (Featured the Harry Potter series)