Take refuge from the cold, get lost in a book.
Location: 1200 11th St.
Size: The store is large, but walking in, you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Atmosphere: The warm and cozy feeling of Village Books can thaw even the coldest of noses.
Study spots: On the third floor, there are multiple tables and chairs overlooking the bay providing the perfect spot to mellow out away from the cold.
Get to know the shop: David Beaumier has worked at Village Books for about a year and a half. A Western alumnus, Beaumier pointed out some of the draws the store has for students.
“We have tons of discounted and used books, which is pretty big in the student community,” Beaumier said. “We have a lot of good book recommendations if you are trying to find something to take your research or anything you do further as a student.”
Location: 116 Grand Ave.
Size: By looking at the storefront, you may be deceived into thinking the store is small. However, once inside wandering through the aisles, the store becomes seemingly endless.
Atmosphere: You can meander through hidden rooms and rows of books from all time periods that cover a vast sea of genres.
Study Spots: There aren’t areas too spread out, but you can sit on the floor and study in silence.
Get to know the shop: Resident Julia Scherting was searching the shelves for a mystery novel to read for her family’s book club.
Location: 1104 on 11th St.
Size: The store is relatively small and the space available to wander around is further limited by the stacks of books on the floor serving as overflow from the shelves.
Atmosphere: Besides the music playing from the desk up front, the store is generally quiet. At most you may find one or two others browsing through the shelves.
Study spots: Downstairs there is a cozy sitting area.
Get to know the shop: David Carlsen has owned Eclipse Bookstore for 25 years and he lets the store run itself. He’s there to open the store in the morning and close it each night.
The Comics Place
Location: 105 E Holly St.
Size: The Comics Place is big enough to display its wide variety of graphic novels, board games and just about any comic book accessory you could think of.
Atmosphere: The Comics Place is welcoming, whether you are looking to purchase the most recent release of your favorite comic or have never opened one up before.
Study spots: The upstairs game room provides a relaxing getaway. With plenty of tables to spread out, you can read your newly purchased comic, play board games or study for an upcoming exam.
Get to know the shop: Owner Django Bohren wants to create an inviting environment for customers.
“I think that we really strive to create a community and a comfortable environment for people to enjoy, regardless of profit or cost,” Bohren said. “People need a place to come and hangout and nerd about.”
Barnes & Noble
Location: 4099 Meridian St.
Size: The store is large and well spread out in an open layout, making it easy to see throughout the entire store.
Atmosphere: Bellingham’s Barnes & Noble is consistent with the degree of other locations. A welcome escape from the frigid days of winter, the store is warm and inviting.
Study spots: Big comfy chairs provide the perfect place to camp out while finishing up a homework assignment.
Get to know the shop: Heather Geer used to work at Barnes & Noble, and was shopping around with her son.
“There are a lot of good sitting areas and a huge selection of books,” Geer said.