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'My family collects bookstores'

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Some vacationers collect snow globes or seashells. My family collects bookshops. No, we can’t pack a bookshop and display it on a dresser, but when we discover a bookstore that captures the flavor of our destination, we stow the memory like a treasured souvenir.

To be clear, the Gehans can swim, ski, and sightsee as hard as the toughest tourists. We seek out bookshops to duck in from the sun or rest our weary feet.

If you find yourselves looking for bookshop balance on your next vacation, visit these favorites from our collection:

– The Brewster Book Store in Brewster, Mass. Riding bicycles along Cape Cod’s Rt. 6A, we discovered not one but two children’s sections squeezed into this classic New England cottage. The store’s Cape Cod picture-book collection practically spills out the door.

Look for “Riptide,” based on a true story of a local dog with a rogue spirit who – why don’t you find out for yourself?

– We also recommend “The Wedding Planner’s Dau­ghter,” a chapter book with scenes from Brewster’s own Ocean Edge Resort. The back of the shop is stocked full of science and world-record type volumes.

– Children’s Shop at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The underground concourse linking the National Gallery of Art’s east and west wings is an architectural marvel and home to a delicious children’s bookshop.

Shelves of picture books make fine art and artists irresistible for young and old. Don’t miss “Charlotte in Giverny,” a fictional illustrated diary of an American girl spending the summer of 1892 among Impressionists, and “Art Fraud Detective,” where readers search masterpieces for forgery clues and explore fine art.

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