In case you are just joining us, we are Ron and Cathy of Old Scrolls Book Shop, used and rare book dealers, on our annual summertime two-week vagabond book scouting trip–this time through the Midwest U.S. It’s MIDNIGHT, and I’m tired, so bear with me. It’s been a big day! We left Beloit, WI this morning, heading northwest. The first place we stopped was an antique mall in Oakfield, Wisconsin (some book booths, all over- priced books in not-so-good condition). On to Eau Claire, where we found our way to the middle of town and parked the car between Crossroad Books and Antique Emporium on Barstow Street. Crossroad Books is run by Mark Patterson and Sharon Ager, who were very knowledgeable and helpful.
and we spent a pleasant couple of hours here enjoying their well-organized shop (two floors). We came away with a few hard-to-find early Modern Library titles, an interesting obscure travel narrative, and some old fiction and mystery titles. All of their books are in excellent condition, neatly displayed, with lots of room for comfortable browsing.
Afterwards we headed down the street a few doors to a beautiful shop displaying first class antiques, with lots of used books on the second floor. The bookman, Hugh Passow, was out of town, but his helpful assistant Linda — pictured below — arrange for our visit to the rare book room. We found a couple of titles we had been searching for, and left happy! Thank you, Linda.
We continued on to Stillwater, Minnesota (got lost a few times and had to enlist the help of a taxi cab driver (who looked like a bandanna sporting biker guy–but knew his way around the block), and a real biker guy at a stop sign in the middle of a cornfield. Well, we did arrive in Stillwater, and it is a charming town on the banks of the St. Croix River. By now we were half-blind from looking at book titles, maps and road signs, so we stumbled from the car into a restaurant that turned out to be an Inn as well (thank God). It’s the Water Street Inn, a great old historic building with indoor and outdoor dining, indoor and outdoor BAR, and we got a lovely suite with high ceilings, two large rooms, a jacuzzi and a gas fireplace, balcony overlooking the river–for under $100. A place we can finally RELAX after days of pounding the road for books.