Skip to main content

The Iris Bookcafe

     

     Tonight I am not writing to you from New York City.  Tonight I am writing to you from Cincinnati, a half-shuttered and intriguing Ohio city, and I would like to tell you about a book store that I have discovered here.
     It is called the Iris Bookcafe, and I love it already.  Today was blowy and snowy and frozen, so I took refuge there for about an hour (although I would have liked to stay much longer).  The Bookcafe sells exactly what the name suggests: books (used ones) and coffee (as well as standard coffee shop foods like soup and pastries).  There are shelves of books in the front 'eating area' of the shop and even more in back.  I got really sucked in while browsing!  Used book stores always have an interesting mix of book topics.  The Bookcafe also sells records.  I spent quite a while going through the "5 for $1" singles box :)  Then I ordered a mocha latte - my first ever, shhh, I'm pretending to be a grown up - and found it delicious.  Like hot chocolate but more chocolatey.  Yum.  I also had potato-and-leek soup.

     While I ate, I did some writing and listened vaguely to the conversations of the three other people in the cafe.  They all seemed to know each other, which was cool.  Cincinnati sometimes feels like a ghost town, but spending time at the Iris Bookcafe has made me think that it's not so deserted - you just need to find the places where people congregate.  


     I think that bookcafes are an awesome idea and I can't believe this is the first one I've ever come across.  I mean, it's a brilliant business model - lure nerds in with cheap books, then feed and caffeinate them while they read their purchases.  Everyone knows that a bookworm, once mesmerized by a book, becomes thoroughly uninterested in preparing sustenance for herself.
     So, is anyone interested in opening a bookcafe for me in NYC?  Or does anyone know of an already-existing one that I could visit? XD
     - Carly

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Spanish American Short Story, edited by Seymour Menton

I love the cover of this book.  Look closely - it's a little skeleton man clasping his hands over a cup of black coffee.  I don't know what it means, but it's delightful.      Anyway, I read this collection of short stories in Spanish - El cuento hispanoamericano - for a class I am taking this semester, but it is also available in English.  According to my professor, it's a unique book in that it offers the best representation of Latin American short stories throughout modern history, with details about literary movements and authors as well.  I liked some stories better than others - "The Tree" by Maria Luisa Bombal and "The Ruby" by Ruben Dario were my favorites - but even the ones I disliked, such as "Secret Love" by Manuel Payno, were included because they were representative of a certain movement or regional style that was worth acknowledging.        My only issue with this book is that a story I just mentioned, "The Tree,&…

Best Reading from my First Semester

Ok, my only excuse for this long-ass hiatus is that I started college, and what with exams, essays, friends, newfound independence, and minor dramas, I nearly forgot I had a blog until this week.
But I'm back now, and here to tell you about the best books and stories I read during my last semester.

Novels
1. Citizen: An American Epic by Claudia Ward - A multi-media masterpiece about modern racism, with a particular focus on microaggressions.
2. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - The story of a young girl coming of age in an impoverished area of Mississippi, on the brink of one of the great natural disasters of the last decade.
3. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison - A classic allegory of the racial justice movement in America.
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison - Possibly my favorite book ever, Beloved is based on the story of Margaret Garner, a woman who escaped slavery with her children and, when recapture seemed inevitable, killed her children to their being returned to slavery.
Shor…

Book Review: Che by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon

I'm back with another graphic novel!  And this one isn't about zombies - it's about Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, better known as Che Guevara.  This beautiful, color-illustrated comic book is a biography of the revolutionary figure, from the famous motorcycle trip he took through Argentina partway through medical school, to his success as an Argentinean communist fighting for Fidel Castro in Cuba, to his capture by government soldiers while aiding rebels in Bolivia, and subsequent execution without trial.
     A good fourteen pages of the novel are spent describing in brief the history of every country in South America.  I admit that I found this section boring at first.  But honestly I benefited from it, first of all because in high school I learned very little about South American history.  World Wars I and II got a lot of attention in my history classes, but the revolutions of Latin American countries did not.  So this book gave me a crash course.  Second of all, t…