What do you look for in a book store, besides books of course? I look for character, and if the book store were a person, I’d say I’d be looking for someone eclectic and eccentric, warm, inspiring and wise. Just like there are ‘writerly books’, there are book stores for bibliophiles, and Alinea is one of them.
It’s narrow, and when you walk in, you feel a little cramped, which is how I like a book store to feel. There’s a tall winding staircase just a little ways in, and it leads to a second floor where there’s a children’s area toward the front, and rows and rows of bookshelves for grown-ups. There’s another staircase too, towards the back, that feels like a secret passage.
In between these two staircases and on the two floors, you’ll find thousands of books in different languages, biographies, travel books, novels, short stories, history, philosophy, art, design, humour, and they are neatly arranged on tall bookshelves and stacked in piles on big tables and absolutely fill up the entire space.
I like to just wander, discover, and dream. But if you are looking for something particular, the people working there love books as much as you do and can help. An added plus – I always find interesting gifts here too, like miniature book sets, puzzles, journals and my latest purchase – ‘I adulted’ stickers to reward myself when I’ve done something necessary but distasteful, like my taxes.