The Old Book Store – Madison, Florida

After spending time at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in St. Petersburg, we headed the car north toward New York State, stopping to visit open antiquarian, used & rare book stores along the way.

We like to visit used book stores in out-of-the way places, and so we found Lucille Cherry running The Old Book Store in the little town of Madison, Florida.  Madison has a population of about 3,000 people, is the county seat of Madison County, located in the Florida panhandle about 55 miles east of Tallahassee.  It is home to North Florida Community College.

Lucille Cherry, Proprietor of The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

Lucille Cherry, Proprietor of The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

Lucille and her husband opened The Old Book Store about twenty-five years ago.  Both had long careers as teachers, and shared a love of books.  After Mark passed away fifteen years ago, Lucille continued running the store on her own.

The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

With an inventory of about 30,000 books, there is a lot of browsing to do here…

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The shop’s inventory includes nonfiction, Americana, Biography, Military, Fiction, mystery and natural science.  Although we didn’t find many collectible items here in our particular areas of interest, there is plenty of reading material.  And we did come away with three or four nice early Modern Library Editions in jackets.

It was obvious to us that the town loves Lucille and her book store.  A local librarian stopped in while we were there and she told us that The Old Book Store is THE favorite shop in town!  Here is a framed newspaper article about Lucille, her husband and the bookshop that we  spotted in the store:

20140318_164848_resizedAs you can see, Lucille has always been photogenic!  And she really knew her inventory, guiding us around the store to find every kind of book we named.  She is a charming woman, and it was a true pleasure to meet her.

Me and Lucille!

Me and Lucille!

I’m running a litle behind on my posts, as we have been spending our evenings enjoying the people we meet along the way!  But I promise to update you soon on our book scouting stops in Atlanta and Acworth, Georgia.

 

 

 

A Visit to Copperfish Books

Today we had the pleasure of meeting Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida at the lovely shop she runs with co-proprietor Serena Wyckoff.  As you can see, the sun is still shining in Florida, while we have had over a foot of snow during the past twenty-four hours at home in Stanley, New York!

Entrance to Copperfish Books, 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite A, Punta Gorda, Florida

Entrance to Copperfish Books, 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite A, Punta Gorda, Florida

The store carries a nice variety of new, used and antiquarian books, all on one floor.

Antiquarian section at Copperfish Books

Antiquarian section at Copperfish Books

Spacious interior at Copperfish Books

Spacious interior at Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books will be exhibiting books for sale at the Florida  Antiquarian Book Fair (March 14-15-16 in St. Petersburg, FL).  They carry Literature, Americana, Florida, History and general stock.

I saw some interesting Florida pieces here, and purchased a decorated binding and a book by James Whitcomb Riley in a beautiful early jacket, illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy and with page decorations by Virginia Keep.

Tannhauser - A dramatic poem by Richard Wagner, translaed in poetic narrative form by Oliver Huckel.  Published by Thomas Crowell & Co., NY, 1906

Tannhauser – A dramatic poem by Richard Wagner, translated in poetic narrative form by Oliver Huckel. Published by Thomas Crowell & Co., NY, 1906

An Old Sweetheart of Mine, by James Whitcomb Riley (Illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy)

An Old Sweetheart of Mine, by James Whitcomb Riley (Illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy)

A decorated page and a Christy illustration from "An Old Sweetheart of Mine"

A decorated page and a Christy illustration from “An Old Sweetheart of Mine”

And here are the two Cathys…meeting in person for the first time!

The two Cathys!  Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books and Cathy Petruccione of Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books and Cathy Petruccione of Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Cathy (me!) and Ron

Cathy (me!) and Ron inside Copperfish

We had a fun visit with Cathy Graham, enjoyed shopping in her book store, and look forward to seeing her again soon!

Book Shops in St. Petersburg

We said farewell to Gloria and Jerry this morning as we headed north to continue our book scouting adventure.

See you again soon!

Our heartfelt thanks to Ron’s parents for our delightful stay with them.  We had fun every minute, and really didn’t want to leave!

But leave we must, and so our book scouting adventure continues as we head north.  We carefully boxed up a lot of books and shipped them to New York from Port Charlotte, to be held by our post office until we get home.  This gives us more room in our vehicle for the books we turn up on the way home.

This is the beautiful suspension bridge we crossed on our way to St. Petersburg, Florida traveling on on Rte. 275 which loops out on the western edge of the Tampa/St. Pete area.

From a distance (approached from the south)

The bridge brought us into St. Petersburg and we found our way to Lighthouse Books, at 1735 First Avenue North.  Free parking (2 hour) in front of the store, and a parking lot behind the store.  And they were having a 25% off sale!

Lighthouse Books, St. Petersburg, FL

Owned by Michael and Cathie Slicker, Mike was at the helm when we entered the book shop.

Mike Slicker, Proprietor of Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books is just the kind of book shop we love.  I can always tell when a book shop owner really has an appreciation for fine old books.  Lots of vintage editions, both fiction and non-fiction, many unusual and hard to find titles, quite a number of interesting signed books.   All jam packed into a fairly small shop, but well organized and arranged so that you can get at them all.   35,000 books, plus lots of ephemera.  We enjoyed our visit to this shop very much, and stayed a couple of hours, leaving with a pile of books and smiles on our faces.   Thanks Mike!

Just up the street is Haslam’s Book Store, Inc., billed as the largest used book store in Florida.  Located at 2025 Central Avenue, it’s a huge building containing some 400,000 books.  Plenty of free parking, and the parking lot was quite busy when we arrived.

Haslam's Book Store, St. Petersburg, FL

If you like paperbacks and hard cover books that are nearly new, this place will be your cup of tea.  If you are looking for vintage books, you will find a few, but it’s a discouraging hunt for a vintage book lover.  Staff was friendly and helpful, and gave us ideas on where to eat before we departed.

We had worked up quite a hunger so we drove on to find parking by the pier that stretches way out into Tampa Bay.  After parking the car in one of the pier lots, we walked way out to the multi-story building at the pier’s end which houses a bunch of shops and restaurants.

St. Pete Pier

There were many birds hanging out along the pier…pelicans, gulls, egrets.

We had lunch at Cha Cha Coconuts Restaurant at the top, which has outdoor eating and a superb view of the bay.

view from the top

There were some book shops we would have loved to visit in Tampa, but it was closing time for book shops by the time we got out of traffic and on up to that area.  So we pushed on to St. Augustine, crossing the state of Florida on Interstate #4, where we are staying tonight.  Tomorrow we will visit some book shops in this oldest city in America.  Can’t wait to see what we find!

Let me show you this other beach…

I actually have some book scouting to report, but let me tell you,  it’s awfully easy to get sucked into the Floridian way of life…which is a much slower version than the one we are used to.  Wake up, slide open the door to the lanai and sit down  to sip some coffee and watch the rising sun;  have a morning swim; pick a juicy orange, peel it and eat it.  Go the beach.  Poke around in antique shops, book shops…go to another beach.   Life is good.

Early morning...adrift in the pool. Feels like heaven.

After breakfast, Ron and I got back to business, gathered our maps and made our way north to Sarasota, where we visited Book Bazaar, Inc. (A. Parker’s Books) at 1488 Main Street in Sarasota, Florida.    When we arrived,  I whipped out my camera to snap some pictures of the store and staff and realized (after pressing buttons to no avail) that I left the camera’s battery back at the house on the charger (45 miles away).  Oops.  See what Florida is doing to me?

So take it from me, it’s a nice store with thousands of books,  a rare book room, and friendly, helpful staff.  Free two hour street parking (we had to move the car once, we stayed that long).  Here’s a photo of a few books we purchased there today:

The book on the right is a 1900 decorated binding with original jacket just above it.

I love this children's book about ants, with many nicely drawn detailed illustrations inside.

Yesterday we went searching for shells and shark’s teeth at Englewood Beach in the early evening — and yes, we found some shark’s teeth!  We’ve decided the sharks in this area must gum you death if they get hungry, there are so many shark’s teeth and shark tooth hunters.  But then I read that each shark sheds about 24,000 teeth in a lifetime.  That’s a lot of teeth.

It was windy and cool by the time the sun went down, as you can probably tell by this photo.

Ron (with the pink towel wrapped around him), Jerry, Cathy and Gloria

My Lord, we had fun!  And we snapped some sunset photos…

Englewood Beach at sunset

This evening after our trip to Sarasota, Gloria and Jerry drove to meet us in Venice, Florida, where we had dinner at Sharkey’s, a great little restaurant and tiki bar right on the beach. (And they brought my camera battery!!)

Walkway to Venice Beach

Walkway to Venice Beach

Dining at Sharkey's

Ron enjoying the waves at Venice Beach

Tomorrow we are leaving Port Charlotte and starting our book trek northward.  Our first planned stop will be Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We’ll be back on the road tomorrow with regular reporting from our book scouting adventures.

I leave you tonight with a picture of Ron, helping “Domingo” the neighborhood snapping turtle get safely across the road…

Combing the Beach for Shells and Shark’s Teeth

Who knew we would be searching for shells and shark’s teeth instead of books!?  Another day in paradise, visiting family and enjoying the beauty of Florida while we take a break from the book hunt.  Today we really enjoyed beach combing beneath blue skies on Boca Grande Beach.

Here I am on the beach at Boca Grande, with a "Florida snow shovel", used to sift shells from the sand.

I found a little friend on the beach, and learned he was a “ghost crab.”  They scuttle sideways, and hide in a little hole they make on the beach.  This one made friends with us, and came over to join us on our blanket.  He stayed with us a good part of the day in the shade of one of our chairs.  It was a good hiding place from the gulls flying overhead.

Our friendly little ghost crab

One of two light houses on Boca Grande, built around 1890.

Ron really got into the shell hunting...he even caught a fish in his basket. Sure beats shoveling snow! A sandpiper in the foreground.

Another light house on Boca Grande

A vintage gas pump on Boca

Here are the two beach bums soaking up as much sun as possible before getting back to the book trail in the next day or two.  We hear it is SNOWING at home in New York…maybe our next book stop should be Havana??

Published in: on 04/22/2012 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Where Oranges Grow on Trees…

Oranges on a tree in Ron's Mom's back yard. Almost ripe!

After leaving Lake City, Florida, we headed south again on I-75 where we stopped in at Webb’s Antique Mall (just off I-75 south of Lake City).  There we ran into Steve Bolter, owner of Sleuth Books in Palm Coast, Florida.  Steve maintains a nice selection of books at Webb’s Antique Mall, and we were happy to find a couple of pretty decorated bindings in nice condition, and some books with early jackets.  Steve and his Boston Bull Terrier were there to check on their booth and add books…we had an enjoyable visit, and Steve supplied us with the Florida Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association guide to book shops in Florida.  This will be a great help to us on our book scouting travels in this state.

We arrived in Port Charlotte, Florida about 3:00 on Saturday afternoon at Ron’s parents home, where we plan to visit for a few days before turning around and continuing our book scouting adventure northward.

What a beautiful place…and beautiful people to relax with!  And a chance to do our laundry as well.

Jerry and Ron relaxing by the screened in pool

Where I had a morning swim!

We all went to dinner at the nearby Waterside Bar & Grill…

Waterside Bar & Grill, Port Charlotte, FL

Good food and live music, balmy weather and Magaritas!

Jerry, Gloria and Ron

Now we are off to explore the area around Port Charlotte and Sarasota, Florida.  We’ll report back soon!

Live, from Lake City, Florida…it’s Old Scrolls Book Shop!

And heeeeeeere’s Ronnie!

I didn't say it was sunny...I just said it was warm, we saw palm trees, and we got our shades out and put them on...sweet!

We have palm trees and warmer weather.  We even whipped out our shades and put them on for a little while! Tonight I spotted a little green tree frog on our motel window.  We must be in Florida.

The morning began with a visit to Atlanta Vintage Books, at 3660 Clairmont Road, Chamblee, Georgia (part of greater Atlanta).

Atlanta Vintage Books, Chamblee, Georgia

Atlanta Vintage Books is owned by Bob and Jan Bolgla.  It’s a huge store with friendly, fun owners and staff.  Most books are on the main floor, but there is also a lower level with books, magazines and ephemera.   They have a nice selection of signed first editions, history, military, cook books, literature, and a very large vintage children’s section.   There were several cases of vintage fiction, some with early jackets, some decorated bindings.

From left: Bob and Jan Bolgla and their very helpful employee, Mallory at Atlanta Vintage Books

interior view of Atlanta Vintage Books

We had a fun time visiting with Bob, Jan, and Mallory — and came away with a nice stack of books.

Our second stop before leaving the Atlanta area was at Books Again, 225 N. McDonough St., Decatur, Georgia.

Jim Adams, Proprietor of Books Again (Decatur, GA)

Jim Adams is the owner of Books Again (co-owned, I think, with Eric the Cat).

Eric, Jim's book buddy

Jim has some high quality collectible books in his shop, including modern firsts, signed first editions, a large mystery section, poetry, and plenty of non-fiction as well, all in very nice clean condition.  His store has an inventory of over 30,000 books.  We came away with several attractive decorated bindings, and an early first edition Modern Library in a jacket (Canterbury Tales), some first edition literature.   A healthy stack of fine books.  And Jim gave us excellent directions to our next destination (better than Mapquest, by a long shot).  Thanks Jim, for getting us back on I-75 with the least amount of trouble!

Before leaving Georgia we stopped for dinner at the Smok’n Pig B-B-Q in Valdosta, Georgia — advertised as being named one of the top ten barbeque restaurants in the country.  Eh, I can name three restaurants in the Rochester, New York area that have them licked by a mile.  It was okay…nothing to rave about.  But with our bellies full we were able to get back on the highway and motor south through a few rain storms to Lake City, Florida.

Finally, here’s a photo of a small sampling from the books we’ve purchased so far on our book buying road trip:

Just a sampling of the books we've picked up along the way. We've purchased about 150 books thus far -- sticking to our high standards of excellent condition and collectible quality.

Tomorrow it will be on to Gainesville, Tampa, St. Pete and beyond.   Stay tuned.

I’m still trying to find that tree frog…I wanted to snap his photo for the blog — he was smiling and everything — but by the time my camera was recharged, he was gone.  Who knows where he’ll turn up?!

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