Oakton Outlook

Cute Bookstores

Two adorable bookstores you NEED to visit

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Cute Bookstores

Zoe Siamon, Staff Writer

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If you’re like me and live for a cute small town or a cozy cup of coffee, you probably love a good locally owned bookstore too. Something about the vibe of a hidden little place with millions of books and an area to sit and read all day is so appealing to me. So, I decided to go on a mission to find the best small bookstore.

I decided to rate them on three different aspects that I think define a good bookstore, besides the books themselves. The first thing I thought was important was what I called “beyond the book.” I think it really makes a difference when these stores sell items other than just books. This includes any form of cafe or gift shop. The next factor I rated them on was general aesthetic. This was pretty much the vibe of the place, from the people working there to any decorations . The final aspect that I used was comfort. A bookstore is only as good as its comfy chairs or little nooks to sit in. If I can’t spend an entire day there, it’s not for me.

So, with that explanation done, let’s review the two different bookstores I visited

  1. Bards Alley in Vienna, VA

Beyond the book: 4/5

General Aesthetic:4.5/5

Comfort: 3/5

When I walked into Bards Alley, I was shocked that I was not greeted with the expected rows upon rows of book (and don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about that!), but with a cute little gift shop with fun book related trinkets. As I continued into the store, I discovered the cutest little cafe I have ever senn and, finally, the books. While their selection was nothing impressive, I did enjoy the impressive selection of other items to buy throughout the store, including a section of cards and so much Harry Potter merch. Near the front of the store was an area to sit, but I cannot imagine it being the best place to sit all day.

2.Second Chapter Books in Middleburg, VA

Beyond the book: 2/5

General Aesthetic:2.5/5

Comfort: 1 /5

To be fair, the store had just opened and they were not completely finished with moving in. So, of course there was pretty much nowhere to sit and there were about no decorations at all. Compared to the first store, this place was nothing to write home about. However, once I started chatting with the woman at the register, I realized that decorations and food is not what a bookstore is about. She was so passionate about her job and her town, which really made the experience something different altogether. Even if you are not into bookstores, I really recommend making the 30 something minute drive and visiting all of the restaurants and boutiques this cute town has to offer.

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About the Writer
Zoe Siamon, Staff Writer

My name is Zoe Siamon, and this is my second year as a Staff Writer for the Oakton Outlook! I like reading and writing, and I love staying up to date on...

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Cute Bookstores