It feels as if it wasn’t that long ago when a visit to the local bookshop was as commonplace as a trip to the grocery store. Picking up a new read is as vital to the mind as food is for the body. Life gets hectic, and nothing compares to stopping by the bookstore, whether on a quick trip or for hours, and taking a moment to roam the aisles, stumble on unexpected reads, and receive recommendations from an actual human being — no disrespect to our Kindles. Here in Richmond, we are lucky to have three distinct independent bookstores, which many of us in the office frequent often.
Black Swan Books
Located at a busy intersection in the Fan neighborhood, Black Swan Books specializes in used and rare books in a variety of fields. Black Swan maintains an impressive collection of antiquarian books, such as an incredible first edition publishing of The Great Gatsby that sold for a mere $900.
Chop Suey Books
On the heels of their 11th anniversary, Chop Suey Books is a Carytown staple that offers two floors of thousands of gently used and approximately 800 new books. Their collection of philosophy and large-format art books ranks among the best in the area, and David Sedaris is known to drop by when he’s in town. Their unique name originates from the bookstores original location at 1317 West Cary Street, which was the former home of George’s Chop Suey – a neighborhood dive that lasted through the early 1970s. If the books weren’t enough of a draw, Chop Suey’s black and white shop cat, Wonton, has been elevated to the status of local celebrity.
The Fountain Bookstore is located no more than two blocks from our showroom in Shockoe Slip and many of us walk past it everyday on our lunch breaks. The exposed brick, hardwood floors, and natural wood shelves makes Fountain feel like the archetypal independent bookstore. Throughout the month, it isn’t uncommon for local and national authors to host book signings here.
In the lookbook for our current collection of Short Run, Great Works, we pair classic novels with the shirts of the collection.