Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gulliver's Books

I'm a sucker for independent bookstores.  They almost always have a quirky vibe to them, and I like to support the local guy.  So when we visited Fairbanks last month, I was excited to go check out Gulliver's Books, the small independent bookstore Fairbanks has to offer.

It was a small space, but it had some fun displays and a decent collection of Alaskana books.  I'd never heard of that term until we moved up here.  It's sort of a take on Americana, only it's Alaska-themed stuff.  Apparently there's a genre for Hawaiiana materials, too.  Same concept.  Who knew?

The first floor of Gulliver's Books was pretty standard - books, stationary, chotchkies, and what-not.  On the second floor - up an impossibly steep staircase which couldn't possibly be up to code - there was a little sandwich and coffee shop called The Second Story Cafe that turned out soups, vegan options, and coffee and tea.  Gotta love the pun name, too.

First floor of Gulliver's

I was loving their sign for the sandwich shop at the top of the stairs. The wall was papered with book pages and the lettering for The Second Story Cafe was thread art.  This is what I'm talking about.  You wouldn't see that in a Barnes & Noble.  I was digging it - Crafty!

The cafe wasn't anything spectacular, but it had a nice little seating area, and a long, narrow counter that ran almost the length of the floor to relax at if you're so inclined.  Unique pendant lighting, too.  It's those little details that make the difference for me.

It was cute and welcoming, and there were more book collections to browse through upstairs, too.

I have to go a little off topic and share this little tid-bit about exactly how cold it is there in the winter - because it's a stellar example of what an extreme winter environment it can be in Fairbanks weather-wise.  Every car has an engine block heater cord hanging out from under the hood, and parking lots have stand alone electrical outlets to plug the heaters into so your car starts!

Engine block heater cord and stand alone outlets in a parking lot

It's kind of crazy to think that the cold is so intense that your car won't start without external heat applied to the engine.  Makes me glad that Kodiak's winter temperatures are in the low to mid thirties instead of the minus twenty it can get to in Fairbanks.  Hell, Kodiak is a damn tropical island by Alaska standards! Fairbanks is no joke, real deal Alaskan interior winter. No thank you.

At least you can get out of the chill, enjoy some soul warming hot coffee, and wander around a neat independent bookstore at Gulliver's!

Ta-ta for now.

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