The Importance of a Feminist Book Store

As a kid growing up, reading was what got me through hard times. I lived through the words of authors and walked in the steps of characters who had the strength to face demons with knife sharp teeth. To this day, I feel most centered around two things: the ocean and books. I find that books hold the soul of humanity. 

Most of the books I read as I kid I got from my school's library, or the public library. In high school I got my first Barnes and Nobels membership account because at that point it made sense, since I was getting so many books from them. And all though Barnes and Nobel is great, there is an importance to smaller book stores that I feel we have forgotten. One of my favorite bookstores of all time was recently shut down—that hurt. I lost a place I felt safe at and now I don't see the two owners because they had to move away. Their store was in Pasadena, California and had two levels. On the top level there were two big couches and a coffee table where they laid out treats and water. I don't think I ever saw a book that was worth more then 20 dollars. For my book lovers, we know that's pretty cheap. 

There's a book store in Atlanta located in Little Five Points called Chari's Bookstore. The store looks like a house. The walls are painted purple and outside is a dollar box on the prouch steps to greet people. Inside they have sections for Feminisim, for the LGBTQ+ community, books in other languages, and most importantly—a doggo who hangs around the store. Sweetest pupper you will ever meet. They specifically have a back section for children's books—children's books that treat children as the amazing developing and understanding minds that they are. I instently fell in love when I saw a small book called Cinderella by Sandra Equihua. The cover was a young brown skinned Mexican little girl wearing a tradtional Ballet Folklorico dress with bright colors and a smile on her face. I picked it and couldn't help but think of my younger sister, with skin just as brown as mine, and how much I need her to see that book, how much I needed to see that book even now at 21. 

Chari's Bookstore, with it's soft couch in the fiction and sciencie fiction sections and entire way of feminsit books is an important store to keep in business. This store specifically has books that change minds, that bring comfort, that carry with them the respsention and understanding many of us long for. As much as I love big franchaise stores, they're just that at the end of the day—a big frandchaise which means they can be cold and distance by nature. A small store like this interacts with it's community. It's important to have a shelter that houses words of "you are not alone" within it's walls. Chari's Bookstore is literally a house with books and books on shevles, because it was it is: a home.