the UC bookstore is fantastic. For one, it’s underground, and makes no attempt to hide it. The pipes run everywhere. They shape the shelves,
curl protectively around the books,
and run magisterially across the ceilings.
furthermore, the place defies all laws of physics. I’m absolutely sure that the place secretly unfolds out when you walk around it; separate alcoves and rooms generate themselves when someone approaches, only to fade the second one’s back is turned. If Borges had not already laid down the definitive design for an infinite library, this bookstore would be a serious contending model. It’s so awesome that I just might forgive its emaciated Southeast Asia section, and (alas) the glut of literary theory to be found at every unfolding corner.
PS: my thanks to Manan Ahmed for rescuing me from the diabolical combination of the Chicago public transport system and my own navigational ineptitude, and showing me around the great institute of UC.