Sunday, July 12, 2009

Loganberry Books

I just spent a couple of days up in Cleveland visiting Case Western Reserve with my oldest son. College is approaching and he is interested in computer science and robotics and they have a very cool robotics degree.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast in the adjacent neighborhood of Shaker Square. Late the evening of our arrival, as we drove around to find a place to eat dinner, I saw within a block or so of where we were staying, a bookstore, Loganberry Books. Bells went off. "I know that bookstore. They're the ones with Stump the Bookseller. We have to carve out some time tomorrow to see this place before we leave. You'll love it."

Well, we had a great day at CWRU, the highlight being the last tour of the robotics lab where we were introduced to the various permutations of their robotic cockroach. The tour wrapped up such that we had just a half hour before we needed to head to the airport. With a combination of fast but careful driving, we were able to get back over to Loganberry Books. And it was worth it. My son, Price, was clearly indulging his father with that patient forbearing expression only a teenager can adopt. But it was wiped away as we stepped into this wonderful book sanctum, to be replaced with a look of wondrous delight. All he said, and it was more than enough, was "Oh, wow!"



Stretching before us, cavernous room after cavernous room like something out of Xanadu, filled with books in handsome dark wood shelves, oriental rugs covering waxed hardwood floors, the requisite bookstore cat, paintings, illustrations, patrons quietly turning the leaves of books, sanctum shuffling temple officiaries moving books from one place to another, was a book lover's heaven.

Their prices are a bit above what this scrounging book hound likes to pay but their selection is broad and deep, in beautiful condition and well worth the price you do pay. I came away with a beautiful Heritage Press edition of Ambrose Bierce, Tales of Soldiers & Civilians, illustrated with wood-engravings by Paul Landacre as well as Shipwrecks of the Lakes by Dana Thomas Bowen.

One of the things that struck us in touring around Case Western was how the city appears to have tucked all its civic treasures right next to the campus; the orchestra, the art museum, the botanical gardens, the natural history museum, etc. And this is one more nearly civic institution; Loganberry Books. A tribute to taste and refinement, and ideas and a love of books. A treasure that so few other cities are still able to muster. One would hope that every citizen of Cleveland would find reason and pride to visit Loganberry at least once a month and buy a book. It is these kind of places that delight readers and booklovers, and which take the edge off of and brighten city living.

If you find yourself in the Cleveland area or up by Shaker Square or Case Western, give yourself a treat and visit Loganberry Books.

For an interview with founder and owner, Harriett Logan, visit this article.

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