Ask me what I remember about last summer’s Alaska vacation, and I’ll skip over Denali, Chena Hot Springs, the Portage Glacier, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters, and nearly1000 miles of natural beauty (not to mention the heaven-sent rain and cold), and talk about Wasilla’s Pandemonium Booksellers & Cafe.
I admit bias. If I had my way, I’d live in an independent bookstore. (Some people say I already do.) In addition, by displaying Jincy Willett’s The Writing Class* face out on the shelf, Pandemonium supplied me with 326 serendipitous pages of diversion during the flight home. Anything that can make forget I’m in an airplane gets automatic extra credit. And the visit I had with my (almost) new and (completely) delightful sister-in-law over a pot of hot tea in the cafe adds warmth to the memory.
But forget my preferences. When I stepped into Pandemonium, I saw a mix of bright colors, smiling salespeople, spacious surroundings, comfortable chairs, funky tea sets, Alaska-sized pies and sandwiches. It’s what a bookstore should be–a treasure of books in an atmosphere light and fresh and open as its view of sky and mountain.
*The Writing Class deserves more than this passing mention and may get it at a later date.
–And a special thanks to D.D. for introducing me to Pandemonium.