• Addison Horsell

An Inside Look: Dudley's Bookshop Cafe

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

The city of Bend, Oregon, is known by many as a hotspot for outdoor recreation of all kinds. Year-round, countless activities that attract families from across the globe. Hiking, rock climbing, paddleboarding, and exploring the mountain landscapes are just a few of the popular things to do in Bend.

But the city has even more to offer besides the outdoor splendor. There are also plenty of quaint, cozy, and cultured little nooks and crannies in the town that have so much to offer for bookworms, tea addicts, art lovers, and academics.

A favorite of mine among these little places is Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, located on the stone-lined streets of downtown Bend. Peeking out behind maple trees, with the aroma of nearby restaurants and coffee shops floating in the air, this little shop beams with all the purity that could only come from a place where reading and pastries collide.

When you walk inside the shop, you are greeted by a cheerful staff member, who is likely standing at the counter, poised to take someone’s drink order. As you look around, you see an enormous bookshelf along the wall as well as tables displaying new reads. Delightfully warm lighting casts a glow over everything.

The inviting bookshelves on the bottom floor consist of a few different genres, including literary fiction, science fiction and fantasy, exploration and adventure, and local interest. As you inspect the shelves, you will find an impressive variety and number of texts. Both new and used books can be purchased here, and there is always something for everyone.

Scattered across the shelves are little handwritten notes that describe "staff picks"; books that are especially recommended by the avid readers who run the place. Take note of the apparent labor that goes into the careful upkeep of these beloved shelves. If you can't find the book you were looking for, simply ask a staff member for help. There's a chance they have a copy in storage or may be able to order it from the warehouse.

On the right side of the room, there are lovely postcards and art prints by local artists. There are plenty of items that would make the perfect souvenir; they reflect central Oregon‘s natural beauty.

Once you have a drink in hand and have thoroughly perused the first floor of Dudley's, you may want to turn your attention to the staircase. As the sign which hangs from the ceiling says, there are "more books upstairs". Could a bibliophile possibly hear a more tantalizing phrase?

I must say that these charming stairs alone warrant a visit to the cafe. They are hand-painted and add a wonderful touch of personality to the place.

At the landing, you will find a small selection of books on natural log shelves that are fun to peruse as you make your way to the next room. Past the little restroom and storage area, you will find the upstairs reading room. There are seemingly three times as many books here as down below. The genres include more fiction, children’s books, poetry, and nonfiction.

This spacious upper room has many uses. Without the current COVID regulations, there would normally be couches and chairs for you to relax, read, and study. You can book the space for after-hours book clubs and study groups or simply come in on your lunch break and gaze down at the street below. People-watching or reading, chatting or studying, it’s all part of the experience at Dudley’s.

But the single quality of this place that shines the brightest is the unmistakable atmosphere of literary bliss. You can easily tell the shop is run by bookworms, for bookworms. It’s a warmth that everyone can appreciate, one that glows brightest when everything else is cold and frozen.

If you are ever in Bend, I highly recommend paying a visit to Dudley’s. You won’t be disappointed. If not for the coffee, come for the books. If not for the books, come for the cozy atmosphere. Whatever it is you love about the place, you certainly won’t be alone.

Visit their website to learn more! https://dudleysbookshopcafe.com

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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