Forget about big-box bookstores: Fabled reigns supreme

By Rory Dulock | Staff Writer

Growing up, I always loved reading books and going to either the library or the bookstore. For many years, my favorite bookstore was Barnes & Noble, mostly because it was the only bookstore around. After all, what bookstore can possibly be better than one of the world’s largest retail bookstores? It wasn’t until recently that I was proven wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across Fabled Bookshop & Cafe, and I was pleasantly surprised. Originally, I thought I would be walking into some run-down, poorly managed bookshop, but instead, I found that the bookshop had a comforting atmosphere and was under good management. It didn’t take long for me to decide that this was my new favorite bookstore.

Although I know that most people prefer bookstores with large selections, like Barnes & Noble, I thought Fabled offered plenty of genres and authors to choose from. While the building isn’t two stories with a hundred aisles of books, it seemed to offer enough variety to attract readers of every kind. Within minutes, I found books that I was very interested in or had read before, and I would consider myself someone who doesn’t always read the most popular books. That alone showed me that Fabled has a good-sized selection for a local bookshop.

Another reason I prefer Fabled over Barnes & Noble is its more cozy atmosphere. The entire place had a welcoming aura due to its aesthetics and hangout areas. Fabled is decorated in a modern, bookshop-style way, and to me, it made it feel so comforting. It also offers places for visitors to sit down, relax and enjoy a book (with very comfortable furniture, by the way). Barnes & Noble, however, gives off more of an overcrowded, busy atmosphere that pushes people to buy their books and leave.

Besides books, Fabled has a cafe within it as well. It offers different types of coffee, sandwiches and other goods. All of the items I have tried so far taste fresh and delicious, and it’s very impressive that they make these things while also running a bookshop. While some Barnes & Noble locations have a Starbucks within them, I think the coffee at Fabled tastes better and is more reasonably priced — not to mention, by being on campus, most students have gotten tired of Starbucks or have already blown through their dining dollars. I know I’m sick of Starbucks, and I don’t even go that often.

While Fabled is obviously much smaller than Barnes & Noble, I think it has many qualities that make it more desirable to go to than the well-known bookstore. I would encourage people to forget about Barnes & Noble and support the local Fabled Bookshop & Cafe instead.