My recent trip to Alaska was wonderful in a myriad of ways. I explored a new landscape, had new experiences, and even managed to visit two indie bookstores in a five-day period. Yes, I am an addicted bookworm, thanks for asking. The indie bookstore Gulliver’s Books is located in the small-towny, scenic city of Fairbanks, Alaska, one of the most popular places in the US to see the northern lights (no, we didn’t see them). I stayed for a couple days and visited this shop, among a few others.
Gulliver’s Books is located across from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks campus, but I was somewhat disappointed in this bookstore. Their fiction section was severely understocked; in fact, I don’t think I saw even a dozen titles of literary fiction on these shelves: they were heavy on genre fiction. Romance, sci-fi, and fantasy were over-represented, and I couldn’t find anything I liked. Genre fiction isn’t really my thing, unless it comes highly recommended. Call me a book snob.
What I did like about this bookstore was the little cafe in back, and the travel/history section that boasted many history books about Fairbanks and Alaska in general. I love reading about the history of a place, especially when I’m visiting. It lends an aura, a mystique to the area when you know more about what happened here decades, sometimes centuries before. I took a peek in a few of those books and read more about the beautiful town of Fairbanks.
I also quite liked the bottom floor better. They had a modest collection of “made in Alaska” cultural items like sculptures and souvenirs like tea sets and pottery. Plus this awesome giant polar bear 🙂