Trip Idea: Literary Tour
Being a college town, Bloomington has numerous options for literature buffs. From massive libraries to small local shops, there's a nice variety of places to learn about, read and enjoy boks. So get out your reading glasses and get started!
Lilly Library - This rare book library is like a holy place for book lovers. Their collection includes over 400,000 books, more than seven million manuscripts and 100,000 pieces of sheet music. It's massive! The books are rare (to say the least) but the library is open to the public, and tours are available.
Wells Library - The main library on the IU campus, the Wells Library is a towering limestone building containing over 4.6 million volumes. It's the main research library for undergrads and graduate students, and offers a number of multi-media resources. You can seriously get lost in the stacks of books, but that wouldn't be so bad-there's plenty of good reading!
Caveat Emptor - This downtown bookstore is literally filled with books. They sell used and unique, and have done so for many years as one of Bloomington's oldest used book stores. The staff is happy to help you scour their stacks to find what you're looking for.
Boxcar Books - Boxcar is a new and used book vendor, but it's also a community-focused organization run by volunteers. They often host meetings for community and literary groups, so on any given day you might find a group of like-minded book lovers to strike up a conversation.
Book Corner - Another great bookstore in the heart of downtown Bloomington, the Book Corner has been a local retailer for many years. It features a nice variety of books and magazines in a quaint little shop.
Kinsey Institute Collection
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction has one of the most unique collections on campus. Their topic of their research makes for very interesting reading material, and visitors must make appointments to see the collection. But it, and the artwork in the public gallery, is worth a look.
Indiana University Press
Bloomington houses a few different printing and publishing companies, including IU Press, which is one of the largest public university presses specializing in the humanities and social sciences. They publish academic books of course, but also a wide variety of other subjects and topics, from Indiana soccer to local recipes.
If you're doing a literary tour, you must eat at the Scholar's Inn Gourmet Cafe and Wine Bar, of course! Not only is the name fitting for such a tour, but the menus are presented in old books. Beyond just the kitschy stuff, they also have a fantastic menu and wine selection. Their desserts are to die for too, so save room!.
Next door to the restaurant is the Scholar's Inn Bed and Breakfast, another great option for the literary lover. Curl up in the artmchair in the stately living room and enjoy a good book!
To make your trip planning even easier, here's your go-to checklist for everything mentioned in the trip idea above.