Though fluorescent-filled mega-bookstores with chain-brand coffee will do in a pinch, Milwaukee's true lovers of the written word prefer the warm glow that emanates from an independent bookstore.
Despite tough times for small businesses, city readers can still rely on favorites like Little Read Book in Wauwatosa or the unique Renaissance Books, a treasure trove of old and newer books found right in General Mitchell International Airport. And Mystery One Bookstore not only
serves up crime and intrigue, but also regularly brings in authors to sign books and speak directly to their readership.
A few new options are opening their doors as well, including Boswell Book Co. on Downer Avenue and Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, both occupying spots formerly held by the venerable Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops.
Of course, you don't have to spend money to enjoy the pleasures of reading. The Milwaukee Public Library System offers events throughout the year and locations across the city, including the majestic Central Library. Even if your nightstand is stacked high with books waiting to be read, the Central Library is worth a visit just for the sights.
Milwaukee also holds a number of high-profile events aimed at satisfying both readers and aspiring writers. October will bring the return of the Wisconsin Book Festival. The theme for 2009 is "courage," and once again some of the nation's top writers will arrive in Milwaukee to promote the love of reading through thrilling, live literary events. The annual Spring Writers Festival at UW-Milwaukee brings together an entire industry, from authors and editors to agents and publishers.
Between UWM, Marquette University, Alverno College and the area's many other institutions of higher education, Milwaukee has no shortage of outlets waiting to meet your reading needs. And, as always, part of the beauty of books is that you can stay put, curl up on the couch and find an adventure right at home.
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