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Blog > Always Push the Envelope: Bob Eckstein on the World's Greatest Bookstores


Bob Eckstein is an award-winning writer, New Yorker cartoonist, and author/illustrator of The New York Times best-selling book (and postcard box set!), Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores.

A picture of the Bob's postcard set, alongside an illustration from the set featuring a bookshop façade

Last summer, in a webcast interview from his New York-based studio, Bob shared with Clarisse (aka CStar9) his love for endangered bookstores, admitted he used to send toast through the mail, and urged creative people not to work alone.

Three frames from Clarisse's conversation with Bob, featuring Bob gesticulating
For your World’s Greatest Bokstores project, why bookstores? And how did you narrow down your bookstore choices?
A colorful illustration from a bookshop façade. The big awning reads BOOKS

There were many different reasons why a store would be chosen: its historical significance, its importance to the community, maybe its beauty. Main-Street bookstores play so many important roles in a community, and I wanted to capture these in the book.

I have a great interest in story: people want to read something with meat on the bone. Luckily, bookstores are magical places. I profiled about 150 to 200 bookstores, and then had to choose half. I was hoping there would be a sequel!

You’ve written books about the bookstores of the world, but you’ve also written about snowmen, cats, Arctic explorers, and more. What does research look like for you?
A selection of books written/illustrated by Bob

Each of these books would have taken much longer without the internet. I make every attempt to visit and learn from a subject in person, but that is not logistically realistic, so sometimes research comes from surfing the web.

Once I find out everything I can, I try to simplify and curate the interesting stuff. That’s the glamorous part of writing a book. But eventually there comes a point where you have to stop doing that and just start writing.

You write for TV, you write prose, you paint, you are a cartoonist… Is there a medium that feels most like home for you?
Bob's cover for the New Yorker

It’s so much fun to create a cartoon that makes people laugh. And writing is something that I am certainly at home with.

I juggle many different things in my career. I’m a public speaker, I teach, I do cartoons for different magazines, I do illustration. It’s hard to make a living from this stuff. You have to produce a tremendous amount of work. At the moment, I’m working on four different books.

I write almost every single day. For the last few years, I’ve been waking up by 5:30 a.m. to start writing. By 9:00 a.m., I usually finish a piece. Then I can get started with the rest of my workday. That discipline is how I get so much done. I also don’t watch much TV!

You’ve said in an interview, “My deadlines are relentless [and I don’t doodle for fun]. If I’m drawing, it’s with a purpose.” Do you ever get creator’s block and if so, what do you do about it?

I have lists of ideas I don’t have time to get through.

An illustration of two men doing yoga. One of them is in a very elaborate pose. The caption reads: I have had a lot of free time this year

I don’t get writer’s block, where I’m just sitting around for an idea or joke to fall into my lap. The way I teach others how to get out of ruts is this: usually it’s a matter of tuning in to the voices and ideas in your head. These days the world is a very loud place. We are all inundated with distractions and sensory overload. Taking a walk or just even taking a bath to be alone with your thoughts…it’s surprising how easy it can be to come up with ideas during those times.

You also can’t work alone. I believe the best gift a creative person can have is the ability to surround themselves with talented people.

Anything I’ve had success with can be traced back to someone who helped me: someone who gave me encouragement, who inspired me to explore something new, or who gave me a professional opportunity.

How do you narrow down your ideas?

There is so much rejection in this field. So, basically, I fold up as many paper airplanes as possible, and then I chuck them out of the window and see which ones stick.

A group of balls resembling a Newtons cradle sculpture swings from the side of a building

I never actually intended to do postcards. But the opportunity came, and I went with it. I didn’t appreciate initially that the Bookstore postcards would go over so well. I always just cross my fingers that people will have a chance to see the things I work on. I know I usually sound like a have an ego the size of God’s cigar, but I was genuinely surprised to hear that for example, students were wallpapering their dorm rooms with the Bookstore postcards.

What’s your relationship to postal mail?

I love postcards. I have sent thousands of them – really! I used to send out mailings in groups of a thousand to potential art clients. I also sent jokes like poly-ethylening slices of toast and writing “Keep in toast” in yellow plastic that looked like squeeze-on butter. I eventually mailed them in plastic bags after sending hundreds with just putting a stamp on the piece of toast. Today I probably would be arrested.

I dearly miss the age of regularly corresponding with hand-written postcards. This year I sent maybe only a hundred. Email has ruined it, postage increases has ruined it, younger generations who don’t even write in script anymore has ruined it. I know I sound like an old man yelling from his porch, but it seems everything I love is going extinct -—from old-fashioned postcard correspondence to vinyl LPs, MAD magazine, and gag cartoons. I try to be a help. I raise awareness about the plight of disappearing bookstores. I’m writing a book now on our most important museums, and I’m working with a friend on a film that’s partly about climate change.

You do live drawing for events. How did that come about?

When I was a kid, I loved Sports Illustrated, and they would do drawings of sporting events. I eventually worked for them and was also a sports reporter of sorts for The Village Voice and The New York Times. So, it was natural for me to incorporate my humor and artwork to coverage.

A Super Bowl themed cartoon, in which the players, MCs and mascots all dance in the rugby field

I used to take-over the Times website front page for the Super Bowl, Olympics, or World Series. Then I did it for The New Yorker: the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. I still live-draw occasionally to promote cultural events. It’s perfect for today when people want to see stuff as much as they want to read about it.

It’s also an example of how I like to always push the envelope, which artists and writers should always do. I’m always asking “what if?”.

It’s like the squirrel operetta I tried to make. What if?

What are you most proud of, outside of your writing and art?

It used to be my hair.

I’m very proud of my wife. She is a well-known book artist and a total bad-ass—she will hate this answer and I will pay for it later. But that’s what being a bad-ass is all about.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

Growing up, there was no one who said, you’re funny, or, you should be a cartoonist. That didn’t happen until I was surrounded by friends very late in life.

A person is on a stage, while others comment negatively on their performance with snide, witty remarks. The caption reads: Hecklers on poetry night
Bob’s first New Yorker cartoon

My friend and mentor Sam Gross – who happened to be a cartoonist for the New Yorker – organized my birthday party one year. That party also happened to be the regular New Yorker staff lunch. The food was very good. I asked if I could come the following week and he said sure, but you also should make a cartoon and submit it to the magazine.

So I took up his dare, and the New Yorker ended up buying and publishing the first cartoon I drew. I realized later it wasn’t as easy as that. But it opened the door.

I always say to my students, you’re never going to have these things happen if you don’t show up. 80% of success is just showing up – being willing to listen to and learn from people. You never know when something life-changing is right there in front of you.

What’s next for you? And importantly: what postcards can we expect next?
A cartoon of a psychologist's office, with a snowman on the patient's sofa. The caption reads: so where do you see yourself in five years?

This summer, I spoke at the Humor Writing Conference. A few times a month, I produce my Substack newsletter, The Bob, which has turned into a huge, pleasant surprise. I have a handful of magazine assignments to complete. As I said, I’m working on four books.

And I am looking to make a box set of postcards in 2025, of museums in the U.S.

We can’t just leave on that cliff-hanger! Tell us about the museums postcard project!

I covered 155 museums for this project. Like with the bookstores project, I visited as many of the museums as I could in person. But for those I couldn’t visit, I sent friends and other ambassadors to report back to me with their impressions and photographs.

When I went to a museum myself, first I would just go and experience the place holistically. But in the back of my mind, I was always thinking, what’s the best angle or the most unique view of this place that would create an incentive to people, to say, Oh, I’ve gotta add this place to my bucket list.

An example is the American Museum of Natural History, which has an iconic blue whale that hangs in the main room of the oceanic division. I felt like it would be delinquent on my part not to give people what they expect and want to see in a view of that place. And then I would make supplemental illustrations to pique additional interest. I hope people will feel a real sense of wonder when they’re exploring this project, whether they’re looking at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston or the SPAM Museum in Minnesota. It’s just mind-blowing that all these places exist.

I want to add that I’m still sad that the bookstore book ended. It was the same with the museums project. I did three illustrations a day. I put my heart and soul into this project and slept very little. But I didn’t mind the long hours because it was such a fun thing to do.

Editor’s note: Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums is about to be published — it’ll be out on May 14. Hopefully the corresponding set of postcards will soon follow! 😊

To learn more about Bob, check out his website and newsletter! Bob has given interviews about the long and winding road to becoming an author and cartoonist, about humor, about his book The Complete Book of Cat Names and also been interviewed for the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest podcast. For the aspiring writers out there, he has some tips on publishing and writing on Writer’s Digest.

And now, for the sneaky giveaway: Clarisse is going to send 4 postcards from Bob’s World’s Greatest Bookstores set to 4 randomly picked postcrossers! 🎉 To participate, leave a comment below to share your favorite bookshop. Come back this time next week to check out the winners!

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… weesnet, traceyinwd, JillRock and MZLA! Congratulations, and thank you all for participating!

115 comments so far

snowflake1, Australia

My favourite bookstore, New Edition, is in a historical building in the harbour-side city of Fremantle, Western Australia. I've been a customer for 30 years enjoying the cosy inviting atmosphere and combination of new & classic books. They support a great selection of local authors and fabulous cards! Thanks for the great interview Clarisse :)

K8Fern, Germany

My favorite bookstore, Anakoluth, is in Berlin. It's a bookstore with the focus on women's literature, poetry and graphic novels. The store had its 25th anniversary in November and the owner became a great friend over the years. She's wonderful, strong and courageaous to still be there. It's an oasis! I truly recommend to visit her if you ever be in Berlin! Yes, and from me as well, thank you for the interview - funnily enough - I got Bob's box of 100 cards two weeks ago and already sent some away into the world. It's a wonderful collection for a booklover like me. Greetings from Berlin! Kate

dulcey, United States of America

Whenever I travel I search for bookstores and I pray I can find postcards inside. I look for books written by the locals or cookbooks w foods from that region. Keep up the great art and write more postcards Bob!

Lies76, Belgium

The postcardbox is one of the first I bought when becoming a Postcrosser. Beautiful postcard, really.

pamspeidel, United States of America

Such a great interview! Bob's personality fits his career. I've been thinking about purchasing this set as so many postcrossers are also book lovers. As for my favorite bookstore, most all of them, but especially a used/vintage one!

suvimmmm, Finland

My favorite bookstore is Suomalainen in Finland.

Flourchild, United States of America

There is a great little bookstore in Woodstock, Vermont that I visited many times when vacationing in Woodstock. One of those small stores packed full of great books, puzzles and cards. Perfect when on vacation and you need something to pass the time while relaxing. Last time I was there it had been purchased by a young couple and was their dream to own a bookstore in a small town and they were doing a great job.

Jolanda4, Netherlands

My favorite bookstore is "The Shop around the Corner" in the movie "You've got mail" with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Even in the movie it doesn't exists anymore, but it would have been so great to visit this magical place!

BionicBookLover, Canada

My favourite bookstore is Barely Bent Used Books in beautiful downtown Dundas, which l bought so that it wouldn't close when the founders retired. I love the eclectic mix of previously loved tomes & the interesting people, both regulars & newbies who while away hours perusing the ever changing inventory for the perfect read or gift.

teacher33, United States of America

I judge bookstores by the smell! They have to have the aroma of dust and book bindings and pages yet to be turned. Add in some salt water ocean smell and it's a winner

Michaela-SK, Slovakia

Martinus Stanica NIVY in the capital city Bratislava. It is the most beautiful place to spend time or read a book (with a cup of a coffee and a cake). But every Martinus bookshop is something.

traceyinwd, United States of America

One of my favorites is called Bank Book Store in Martinsburg, WV. It used to be a bank many years ago. Another one is at a Flea market in Melbourne, FL.

sealed4ever, United States of America

Great interview. Thanks for the glimpse into the life of Bob

sealed4ever, United States of America

Oops! Favorite book store is Act 2 in Flemington NJ. Rare and used books. So many gems there.

bookmeg, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Three Dollar Books in Dayton, OH. They have a big collection of books in all sorts of conditions, all for $3. You probably won't find a specific book you're looking for, but the hunt for something interesting is part of the fun.

JonathanChua, Singapore

A very popular bookstore called "Popular Book Store" near my place selling books, stationaries, electronics, cards, stickers....etc. Very convenient n a one stop store for all our needs esp stationaries.

PeggyLoh, Singapore

Stationaries' need can be easily fulfilled by a bookstore in my estate. No need to travel far distances to acquire them. Super convenient n the stuff affordable........

cherrycity, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Powells Books in Portland, Oregon. It's a huge old store that has been a landmark for many years. It has old books, new books and used books. You can find almost anything there you are looking for.

frau_schill, Germany

as I‘m living in the countryside, my „bookstores“ are all the public bookshelves in the small villages around, which is exiting and interesting, because you never know, what you‘ll find there :-) thank you for the interview, I really enjoyed reading ...

beesknees, United States of America

ooooohhhhhh, museums postcards, cant wait........

Liudmyla_Kh, Ukraine

In general, I really like the book market near the Pochayna metro station in Kyiv, not the usual bookstore. I also love to visit the second-hand bookstores where you can find real book treasures.
Speaking of bookstores, my favorite bookstore in Kyiv is "Readeat", which is a wonderful place of comfort amidst the bustle of the big city. A place for reading books, working, dating or relaxing.
On the ground floor there is a coffee shop where you can take a variety of drinks and desserts and enjoy them. And what about books - on the ground floor you will find new releases, bestsellers, and thematic selections.
Go up the stairs and enter the world of books, music, and events. More than 8 thousand titles, including not only the best editions from Ukrainian publishers, but also top books in English.
On the second floor, there are several areas where you can sit with a book, drink coffee, and meet friends. In the middle of the space, there is an area with a sofa, armchairs, and a grand piano, where you can sit, read a newly purchased book, and listen to a pianist play every evening.
At the end of the hall is the Gryffindor Living Room with cozy furniture and a fireplace. Next to it is a vinyl record store with a huge selection of records, which is always a popular spot for music lovers.

penguinmail, United States of America

shout out to Nowhere Bookshop in San Antonio!

Angelthepup22, United States of America

No need to fear being arrested- mailing plasticized toast is still perfectly legal here in the states, with or without a plastic bag around it.

Matvey-, Belarus

My favorite bookshop is House of the Book in Belarus,Minsk

Rajath, India

My favorite book store is Sapna Book house in the Bangalore City. They are friendly and a lot to choose from

hola_olaaa, Spain

All the bookstores are so tempting with all the glossy, new books and their smell. 😀 I particularly like vintage shops or fairs with used, old and vintage books and postcards sometimes you can find really nice things.
Looking forward to museums postcard set. 🤩

RyabovaSonya, Russia

My favorite bookstore is Bukvar, it’s not so popular here in Tula, but nevertheless my favorite books are sold there!)

SalishSea, United States of America

i love his work,, so looking forward to the museum notebook and postcard set. yowza

Nadia_Jang, Korea (South)

My favourite bookstore stayed in my childhood, in a tiny town where my grandparents lived. I remember going there with my granny. She would let me choose a picture book and buy it for me. I would get lost among the bookshelves, listening to granny's voice chatteting with a friend... I remember the smell of that place, the colours of the pictures in the books, the rays of sun through the shop windows, the feeling of quiet joy.. It was such a happy peaceful place! ❤

mlandman, Netherlands

A favourite bookshop of mine is De Boekenboer It‘s really great fun to snoop around and find some lovely bargains. You can also find old postcards there.

Zulhma, Argentina

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for sharing this note. I find it very interesting to read about how the work of someone so creative develops, in my city there are no postcards in bookstores or museums. I would very much like to live that great experience. Thank you very much for this note, it is a window to another world. Greetings

bell91095, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Powells Books in Portland, Oregon. Sooo large you lose yourself in the variety and depth of books available. I go every chance I get!

petrini1, United States of America

I love the cartoons! And the bookstore postcards. I guess my favorite bookstore is Powell's. I fell in love with it the first time I was there, when I found a long out-of-print collection of stories I'd been searching for since college. I live on the other side of the country, but when I'm in Oregon, I love stopping by Powell's.

an-foxy, Belarus

I haven't been to many places... At the moment my favorite is the "Respublika" bookstore in Moscow, Russia and "OZ" in Mogilev, Belarus.

inlostdreams, United States of America

The bookstore in Port Angeles, WA (featured in the Twilight book). I went there a few times over the years when visiting WA. One time I asked to clip a baby spider plant off of theirs that was growing throughout the shop. That baby made its journey back to IL with us on the train. And now, almost 10 years later, is a beautiful healthy mama hanging in our kitchen! 🥰🌱

inamcginley, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Changing Hands in Tempe, Arizona. It's an independent book store that has been around since 1974, nearly 50 years! I like to browse through with my adult daughters and we always have a nice time.

Flippie, Canada

My favorite bookstore is "Munro's" in Victoria BC. I bought a long time ago a postcard box with bookstore pictures . Release now it was from Bob Eckstein. So a lot members at Postcrossing got a card from him at home trough me. The bookstore Munro's is 60 years old and was featured in the bookstore box.

RosieT1, Canada

I have just purchased the box of The World's Greatest Bookstores! Love them! These are the postcards that I am sending out now. I love to browse through bookstores where ever I go.

SankaBy_OR, United States of America

Robert's Bookshop, Lincoln City, OR. Amazing place, so much fun to shop in. Winding, tight aisles, books stacked to the ceiling, stacked on the floor, stacked in old hutches and bookcases, an old fireplace, closets, etc. Up a set of stairs, around corners, into little rooms (I swear every time I go there I find new rooms!), books are everywhere. Artwork on the walls, antique items sprinkled throughout. And on the outside of the building, the nose of a plane. No idea why, just adds to the charm!

rubber_ducky, United States of America

John King Used Books in Detroit is great! Also for just being a beautiful space, Livreria Lello in Porto.

weesnet, Luxembourg

I‘ve recently been to Maastricht and fell in love with Boekhandel Dominicanen. It‘s inside a church and is breathtakingly beautiful. There is a huge choice of books - and postcards 😜!

bigskycrafter, United States of America

I'm so glad you did postcards, so fun! My favorite book store is A Few Books More here in our home town of Billings, MT

Chirp2lou, Canada

Munro's Books in Victoria BC is my favourite bookstore. We have many independent bookstores in Victoria but Munro's is my go-to. An old bank building with huge, beautiful, fabric art pieces on the walls. Not only can you find books for everyone, cards, magazines and maps, they host authors, and have live music during the Christmas season. Yes, the store was started by author Alice Munro and her husband Jim.

secondhandrose, Australia

Thanks for the great interview.
My favourite bookstore is Dymocks 234 Collins Street, Melbourne Australia. They have a great selection of books, stationery, gifts and a bargain section. I'm a Gold member there which means I spend way too much money on books!

CStar9, United States of America

Toadstool Bookshop of Peterborough NH is my favorite!

Coylin, Russia

=) I’ll join the discussion of my favorite bookstores. My favorite is "Young Guard" in Moscow. The atmosphere, books, sellers - everything is great)).

Tisfortexan, United States of America

This postcard set is fantastic and so far fellow Postcrossers (who love books, bookstores, libraries, etc.) have all appreciated the artwork when I've sent postcards from this collection. The illustrations are truly beautiful!

My favorite bookstores are: Booked Up (Larry McMurtry's legendary bookstore now being transformed into a online bookstore and may reopen as a physical bookstore), Hatchards (despite the corporate ownership) and my local bookshop Interabang Books which rebuilt itself after a devastating tornado and is a Dallas gem.

Tisfortexan, United States of America

I'll also add Persephone Books to my favorite independent bookshop in large part because they return out of print and neglected works to today's readers with their imprint and have a beautiful shop (now in Bath). Each book features exclusive, period-appropriate endpaper with a matching bookmark so you learn about the author, endpaper artist and contextual details of the place and era when the book was originally published/written.

raya_mir, United States of America

Chamblin Bookmine in Jacksonville, Florida, USA

rachkatt, United States of America

There's a great bookstore in the German village of Columbus, Ohio near my hometown called the Book Loft. It has something like 34 rooms of books and you can definitely get lost in there, but you're lost in the midst of great books, so it's a great experience 😁

jrowley, United States of America

Thank you for the interview. My favorite bookstore is Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. They specialize in Natie American authors.

Andi1909, Germany

My favorite bookstore for many years was “Bücher Krüger” in Dortmund, before a large chain took its breath away. I'm always looking for a bookstore that still preserves magic and enchants.

I really liked your report!

Valentina_, Russia

My favorite store is Bukvoed on Vosstaniya Square, it’s inexpensive and there’s always a choice.

Toome2, Netherlands

Great story!

clara6201, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is The Press, which is a combination coffee shop and bookstore! Love the interview and all the artwork.

jjmedusa, United States of America

Wow! What a nice surprise to read this. I actually have Bob's bookstore postcard box in my Amazon wish list. I haven't bought it yet, so I would love to win some postcards from it. As for my favorite bookstore, well, I just have to choose my local bookstore which is called Bold Fork Books. They are located very close to where I live and I love supporting local shops.

NaturalistNatalie, United States of America

How fun! My favorite bookstore is the new bookstore that just opened in my town called Tia Bookstore.

MythOwney, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is any that sells used books! But I do have a soft spot for those with furry staff members. Dog-Eared Books in Ames, Iowa, has a dog whose favorite spot is an upholstered chair in a sunny window. And The Book Shoppe in Boone, Iowa, boasts two white cats, one who is often stationed at the checkout. :)

Nalara, Türkiye

Thank you for the interview Clarisse! :) My favorite bookstore in Istanbul is called Minoa.

yurakana, Japan

My favorite store is Huckleberry Books in Japan.
This is a small bookstore that sells books, mainly children's books such as picture books, and selected miscellaneous goods. The owner's pet owl sometimes watches over the store.
The second floor is a rental space where solo exhibitions and workshops are held.
I like reading picture books and looking at solo exhibitions.
Thank you for sharing this project and interview 😊

pink_poodle_pal, Canada

I love the bookstore for the Netflix series 'You' ;) That's the type of bookstore I love (minus the basement built to lock people in! ;) )

kimbh, United States of America

This was my first set of Postcards that I got to send out. I love going into bookstores and just staring at all the books. I loved Walden's books in the Mall where I live, but of course it closed. It was my place to go and just be and see the books and find a new author. As an adult I love going to book sales and finding out of print books and maybe even a little surprise inside, like a forgotten bookmark or pressed flower.

estromberg, United States of America

When I lived on the Central Coast of California I loved to go to Phoenix Books in the town of San Luis Obispo. Nestled in a building built in 1885. The smell of the place is fantastic!
Now that I am in Northern Cali I like to go Healdsburg to visit Levin & Company and to Copperfield's Books only a block away. I love that a little town can have two successful small bookstores!

little_coffee_bean, France

My favourite bookstore is "Le Bal des ardents" in Lyon, France. I would be really happy to see it on a postcard one day 😌📚

minrimmon, Australia

My favourite unfortunatey shut its doors recently - Antique & Collector's Books in Southport, Queensland. Two enormous storeys of every category and genre you could possibly think of and comfortable chairs upstairs. So Annie's Books on Peregian has been promoted to my new favourite, a small owner-operated shop by the beach on the Sunshine Coast. Real passion, real customer service.

MZLA, Netherlands

I like to go in a bookstore that s not in my own city and let it suprise me. The most special one was in a church in Zwolle, the Netherlands.

steviewren, United States of America

Reed Books: The Museum of Fond Memories is my favorite Birmingham, AL bookstore. It has everything paper, and it it's not in the store, he probably has it in the warehouse. My second favorite bookstore is McKay's in Chattanooga TN. You can turn in your used books for credit on more used books.

Sunflowerrrf, United States of America

My favorite book store is Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Santa Fe, NM. We visit every summer and always bring home lots of treasures!

CharleneDallen, United States of America

This illustrated conversation is great fun! Postcrossing is more than just a postcard, that's merely the start of multidimensional conversation. I've met and corresponded with people from all over the world... It's actually a kind of book because it has opened my mind to places, ideas, and people. Bob Eckstein is an inspirational fellow! Please ask him to come to my favorite bookshop which is in Berryville, VA.

bookendss, United States of America

My favorite bookstore I’ve been to was the last bookstore in California! And I love this set. It’s my top favorited card I’ve sent out!

stacyj25, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Powell's in Portland, Oregon. It's worth the drive from my home in Washington. Powell's is a great place to get lost in books. I enjoyed this interview and seeing all the ways Bob expresses his art and humor.

JillRock, United States of America

Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. I had no prior knowledge of it before we wandered in as it was near our hotel and only after we left did I learn about it’s history there. We visit every time we go to Paris now. Wonderful !

WalkinMomma, United States of America

An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA is my favorite bookstore. It is owned by Jeff Kinney the author of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. It is a cozy little bookstore with a large children's section, a cafe and the most helpful, friendly staff.

Geminiscp, Portugal

Great interview! :)

My favorite bookshop is the oldest operating bookshop in the world according to Guinness Book of World Records, Bertrand, in Lisbon:

debbiemilly, Canada

I completely agree about everything being ruined, this is the main reason I joined postcrossing. I hope the art of writing and book stores will live long.

Feliz78, United States of America

Hello! My favorite bookshop is always the one closest to me:) Right now, it is a small, crowded bookstore/coffee shop called Elements in Biddeford, Maine. It has mostly used books, and I have found a few gems there that I would have never seen in the big-box stores.

GoCindy, United States of America

Buttonwood Books in Cohasset MA

Jupie, Italy

My fav bookstore is Il Minotauro in Verona, Italy
It is huge, it has a cafè and there is room for a postcrossing meetup too, we love it

QBert, United States of America

The Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio, USA is my favorite local bookstore. They have an amazing children's section! I once worked in a children's bookstore and it was one of the happiest jobs I ever had. I dream to open one someday but sadly I feel those days are gone.

CarminaBurana, Canada

My favorite bookstore is Alto, a french editor in Québec Canada, They always have great authors from all around the world that are translated in french. I also knew a lot of great english Canadian authors too by this editor. Since french is my native tongue, I prefer to read in french.

kburrell, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is Paperboat Booksellers in West Seattle, WA. With their regular new books, book clubs, signings, and especially their effort to get books to people during the pandemic, they were a lifesaver for those who wanted a real book during the dark days.

valeri20, United States of America

Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon, USA has over three different levels in a maze-like atmosphere where you can easily get lost in the store or in the thousands of books they have to peruse. Always a highlight of a trip to Portland for me.

bunnywithatoolbelt, United States of America

Everyone talks about Powell's in Portland, but we have so many lovely small bookstores here--some that sell just art books, sci-fi, cookbooks, and my very favorite is Green Bean Bookstore that sells kids and YA titles. There's magical things to discover all over the store--an antique barber pole with rotating critters inside, an old cigarette machine with finger puppets, and a fake mustache dispenser!

Asiya-, United States of America

Either Barnes and Noble, or Wonder books (used books)

wendyquilter, Canada

Two of my favourite bookstores are in the Comox Valley (Vancouver Island) B.C. Laughing Oyster in Courtenay and Blue Heron in Comox. I’m also a huge fan of libraries!

Luziaceleste, Brazil

Lovely to read over creating process and the perspective of more nice postcards. Great interview.
Now, regarding bookshops, El Ateneo in Buenos Aires is terribly special and I do recommend anyawyone that could visit, to go there once.

alterego, Canada

Snail mail is such a lost art and has truly been saved by postcrossing! I own Bob's box set of bookstore cards and love sending them. I have even received a few, myself!

Toronto used to have so many small, independent bookstores; now, only a handful remain. I used to love a now-gone store called Writers * Company, that featured books about baseball and literature.

Sidolix, Germany

My favorite bookshop is PUSTET in Landshut, Altstadt, Germany.

merlina, Germany

Felix Jud in Hamburg Jungfernstieg is one of my favorite bookstore - old german history, magic ambiente

Katsiaryna_, Belarus

My favorite bookshop is Svetoch in BELARUS MINSK

GBliss, United States of America

Great interview. Just ordered the boxed set of bookstore postcards -- like i need more postcards! Ha. I can't stop.

Lenoraseven, Canada

Love your interview. Where I live we have a small book store called Bacchus Books and Cafe. I really enjoy my visits there.I am going to check out your postcards.

PatteHen, United States of America

My favorite bookstore is The Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, NY. My kids' teachers always loved getting a gift certificate from there!

Reader_7, Ukraine

Even though there is war in my country, I new book shops. Many Ukrainians found some peace in reading, they want to know more about their history and identity. There are some of my favorite book shops: Sense (there are 2 of them, one is newly opened with 3 floors), they have cool book club with discussions; then "The glow of the book" (this is the oldest bookstore in Kyiv. It was opened back in 1944); "Сity" (decorated with a mosaic panel depicting important buildings of Kyiv and they have art master classes)

veronikkkkka, Ukraine

I love the bookstore “Книгарня Є” in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine.

lunar_eclipse, Ukraine

The most outstanding bookshop I've ever met was in Bucharest while I traveling with my twin sister last year. It is located in the old town and is called Cărturești Carusel. This bookstore has five floors with a coffee shop on the top. I was stuck there for the whole day and the next day I brought my sister there and the two of us were stuck there for the whole day too:)

Hrustik, Ukraine

Hi. In every city l visit, i search for bookstores or markets. In my own city Lviv we had big 4-floor bookstore Litera, and they had web through the city in different supermarkets,etc. So I regularly made tours through them, because assortment was different. Now this shops don't exist, and I visit mostly stores with old books. You can often find there some pearls. Most amazing bookshop for me as postcrosser was in Prague with dozens of postcards depicting little towns or villages of the country. I bought them all!)))

YFW, United States of America

Such an interesting interview! My favourite bookstore is the Sideshow in LA (because I live in the city).

Nerissa_, Singapore

I love bookstores in general and don't really have a favourite. I love new books and old books alike so places like small vintage stores or big ones like Popular or Kinokuniya all calls out to me because the joy is in finding a hidden gem amongst all the books 🥰

Mavis02, China

I love SISYPHE Bookstore best!My friend bought a gift from there on my birthday.

Yamuna, Italy

My favorite bookstore is small, it's called 'Librificio del Borgo,' and it's a magical place where it truly feels like stepping into another dimension.

Rosey1050, United States of America

I miss the store The Stars our Destination which was a store in Chicago that had new and used sf and fantasy books and items. Buying online is just not the same. At least in my area we have an independent chain of Andersons Books to go and browse. The staff puts notes on the shelves with their recommendations.

Hilkkasirkku, Finland

I am fine with any physical bookstore I can walk into and wander around looking for writing supplies.

Tsadida, United States of America

I'm going local with Tombolo Books in St. Pete, FL. St. Pete is all about the arts, diversity, and inclusivity. A great bookstore to check out if you're ever in the Tampa Bay area.

Sandristica, Spain

My favorite library is Hermanos Vidal, in my city, Zaragoza, Spain, mainly second hand books

Ortinggirl, United States of America

As much as I love Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon, it’s too far away to count as my favorite. A Good Book in Sumner Washington is still there for me after many years in my small town. Cozy old building with friendly staff.

judy_0112, Taiwan

The bookstore I go to most is called"墊腳石".In addition to various types of books,they also sell a lot of stationery,accessories and other things.

letjhanna, Germany

My favourite bookstore used to be Eldorado, just behind the Domkirke in downtown Oslo. They were a wonderful bookstore: When you entered, the first thing you saw were the stairs leading you to literal Eldorado - they were two sets of stairs under a glass dome, with bookish sculptures hanging from the ceiling. They had books in every nook and cranny, books up to the high ceilings, books about the most wonderfully weird things. They had the best children's section I ever visited, it was like an adventure maze. Comfy chairs everywhere.
They still exist, but were taken over by Norli a few years ago. Luckily they got to keep a lot of their charme and still look nothing like the everyday Norli store. I haven't been back in a while but highly reccommend everyone to take a few minutes out of their city stroll to visit this gem in Torggata 💛

wcwus, United States of America

My favorite bookshop is McKay's bookshop.

Rainlover, Australia

Topping & Company in Bath, UK was great. I wished I'd had longer to spend there.

toby, United States of America

My favorite bookstore right now is called A Good Used Book in Los Angeles, CA. They just opened in 2023. It's a place where judging a book by its cover is a fun exercise as they seek beautiful editions and many of them are vintage. Long live bookstores <3

mmpf, Philippines

I have this postcard set! Very nice collection.

13wolves, Hungary

My favourite bookshop is not in a traditional store. There is a book wagon in Veszprém, Hungary selling affordable, second-hand books. Since the wagon is outside, they are only open, when the weather is nice.

Bart1, Hungary

Pagony is my favourite bookshop in Budapest. It specialises in children's books. They sell very pretty postcards too.


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