I find it very difficult to just “run in” to any bookstore or library with one particular book in mind. The rows and shelves of books beckon to me so powerfully, and I can get utterly lost for a good long time simply browsing. I seldom leave the library without an enormous stack of books, tapes and CDs, and it’s tempting to do the same in bookstores!
Atlanta Area Libraries
I love libraries. Mom generally took us to the library at least once a week (and sometimes more often, especially during the summer) when I was a child. It seems far fewer people even have library cards now. While the interent is incredibly useful for some research, nothing else can replace physically holding a book in your hands, browsing through the stacks, or getting help from a good librarian. (Never cross a librarian — they secretly control much of the universe. They may not know everything, but they always know how to find it!) Some Atlanta-area libraries don’t have a web presence yet, but most do. If I’ve missed a metro area public library, please let me know and I’ll add it.
- Atlanta/Fulton Public Library
- Clayton County Public Library System
- Cobb County seems to be catching up after several years of being way behind in terms of computerization. I have very fond memories of going to the Gritters branch as a child — there was a park with a neat playground right out front, so we always got to play and get books. Heaven!
- The Conyers-Rockdale Library System
- Dekalb County Public Libraries
- Gwinnett County Public Library System seems to be ahead of the curve as far as utility the internet. Their catalog is fully accessible through the net, and started issuing new library cards with PIN numbers in August 1997 so that patrons are able to reserve books and utilize other services over the net. Now they offer a nice selection of audiobooks and ebooks that can be checked out online.
- Smyrna Public Library has an impressive genealogy collection, so they are worth visiting if you’re doing that sort of research. Their phone number is 770−431−2860.
If you’re looking for information about other public libraries in Georgia, there’s a list of regional public library systems maintained by Georgia Public Library Services. And I’ve been told that within a few years, every public library in Georgia will be part of the PINES system, and library card holders would be able to use their cards at any public library in the state. I don’t know how true that is or how soon it might happen, but it certainly sounds like a great thing to me!
Atlanta Area Bookstores
Bookstores are absolutely magical places. More and more are getting web pages, but I can’t find current web pages for a couple of these places, so I’ll give you the phone number as well. If you have a URL I’ve missed, please send it to me!
- Charis Books is “the southeast’s only feminist bookstore” according to their information. Their appeal is not, however, limited to feminists or even to women. They have an excellent selection of beautiful children’s books, carry many books in just about any fiction or non-fiction genre you can name, and have excellent taste in music. They do focus on issues of sexuality, gender identity, and women’s rights in some ways. Their phone number is 404−524−0304. They’re on Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points — the area is an adventure in itself (great people watching).
- The Engineer’s Bookstore is the place to go if you’re technically inclined in any way.
- Phoenix & Dragon is a new agey sort of bookstore on Roswell Road — phone number is 404−255−5207.
- The Book Nook is the biggest source I know of for used books in Atlanta. I know of two locations, one on Clairmont Road (404−633−1328) and Book Nook II in Lilburn (770−564−9462).
- Tall Tales in Toco Hills is another good spot, although I haven’t been there lately. Their number is 404−636−2498, and apparently they have a coffee shop now.
- The folks who run A Book Deal in Roswell make it worth the trip out to see them — number is 770−587−5377.
- Okay, if you absolutely have to, if you cannot find what you want at any of the above, there’s the big guys — Barnes & Noble and Books a Million. But check the local stores first, unless you want to see more stores go under!