A bit more than a month ago, my friend Maddie and I were commiserating with each other regarding our sadness at the seeming lack of non-Starbucks coffee shops. (Even a year later, I’m still pining for Ghostlight –a mere 10 minutes away, once upon a time.) Thankfully, instead of sinking further into self pity, we decided to research and find new places, which has since turned into a weekly Friday coffee house ritual. We’ve been to independent coffee places in West Chester, Maineville, Mason and Loveland, braved tiny parking lots, sat in one coffee shop that looked like an explosion of maiden-aunt knick-knacks, and enjoyed long talks about…adjusting to suburbia, figuring out this whole “homemaker” thing, goals, ethnic food, travel dreams… The discovery of the coffee shops and the accompanying conversation is helping my heart-roots dig a bit deeper into North Cincinnati, which is making me feel more like I’m starting to belong and less like a Dayton transplant (yes, almost a year later–it takes some time, I guess).
Of all the coffee shops we’ve been to thus far, my favorite has been Book Bums, which is really more than a coffee shop. It’s basically the offspring of a coffee shop that once met a lending library: the result of the owner’s search to create “a place where reading is fun, and where parents could learn how to most effectively support their children as readers and truly enjoy doing so.” Christy Williams (the owner) and her family have done a great job making this an inviting and restorative place, from their warm interactions with customers, to their coffee and baked treats (the lemon zest and blueberry scone I had was wonderful!), to the lovely decor and arrangement of unique refinished furniture into cozy nooks. I only wish I lived closer so I could spend my planning and grading time there. (On second thought…perhaps it’s best for my budget that a daily visit isn’t an option.)