By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
On a recent Friday night, a live band played jazz in the Books & Books courtyard. The guitarists fingers danced over the strings as he silently scatted, while the drummer seemed to mistake the moonlight for sunlight, wearing sunglasses and a half-unbuttoned shirt. The romantic sounds both drew and repelled diners at the cafe, depending on their dating status. Some lovers leaned in closer, while other pairs increased the friends only barrier between them. A few lone imbibers puffed on cigars at the wine bar.
A tattooed staff served wine, cheese, fruits, sandwiches, and salads to patrons ranging from an older man with suspenders and a cane to a twentysomething couple in jeans. People of all ages see the charm in Books & Books, figuratively and literally. The actual store building surrounds the courtyard, and the numerous windows offer generous views inside. The rooms resemble Victorian studies with high shelves accessible only by attached rolling ladders. There is also a childrens room and a makeshift living room, complete with a defunct fireplace and paintings.
Visitors can nosh on a cupcake at the cafe, chill out with a book, or partake in the quiet poetry reading that unfolds in a hidden corner of the store. For those unsure of what books to check out, a cashier with thick-rimmed glasses suggests a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle for a rare read -- or rather, a rare look-see. As one of the first printed books (from circa 1493), the text is in Latin, but there are plenty of pretty pictures.