Midwest Book Scouting Trip – What Day is This, and Holy Toledo, where the heck are we?

It’s Day 13, I’m pretty sure…All I can think about is all of the superb books we are carrying around in boxes in the back of our car (and I never guessed how many books a Dodge Caliber could hold with the back seats laid down for cargo!).  I keep trying to remember what titles are in those first four boxes we picked up at John K. King’s in Detroit, and all the ones in-between, but now all the titles run together in sort of a blur and I can only remember some of what we picked up today, like … for crying out loud, I can’t even remember today’s picks!  I do know we are in Lima, Ohio for the night at a Hampton Inn, and we hiked over to an Olive Garden with an umbrella awhile ago (it’s been pouring rain intermittently today) to eat, drink, and unwind.

Give me a minute, I’m going out to the car to retrieve a few of today’s finds so we can take a photo of a few to post here tonight.

Okay — I’m back.  And the good news is, it’s stopped raining!

Our first stop today after driving for four hours from Ottawa, Illinois to Fort Wayne, Indiana on the old Lincoln Highway (U.S. Rte. 30) was Hyde Brothers Books at 1428 Wells Street in Fort Wayne.  I’m always a little afraid when I return to a book shop after the passage of several years, because sometimes they change completely,  or they just disappear.  There was cause for celebration here today because not only is this book shop alive and well, it is better than ever.

Me, Sam Hyde (owner) and Assistant at Hyde Brothers Used Book Store

This is the biggest and best used & rare book shop in Indiana, and one of our top favorites anywhere in the United States.  About 250,000 books on two floors, everything from vintage fiction, poetry, and mystery to natural history, travel and exploration, to a great children’s section with lots of old titles, and so much more.  Rolling library ladders and step stools all over to help you explore.  We always find unusual and scarce titles here; the quality is consistently good and prices are reasonable.   Below is just a sampling of what we purchased here today, which should give you some idea of the scope and quality of this book store:

Lovely first editions, and two of them are author signed...found on the shelves of Hyde Brothers Used Book Store

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Sam Hyde’s brother Joel has a “brother” book shop in Fort Wayne that is also well worth visiting with a great collection of books (we know, because we visited both shops last time we were in Ft. Wayne).   For us, the clock is ticking, and since we stayed at the Wells Street location until closing time, we would have to take a pass on the second shop this trip.  The reality is that I have to return to my college job on Monday, July 12, and we have to get back to Stanley, NY to re-open Old Scrolls Book Shop for our customers.

Tomorrow we will head east on Rte. 30 to Mansfield, Ohio…we still hope to squeeze in a visit to author Louis Bromfield’s Malabar Farm in Mansfield (one of our favorite places) and another book shop or two on our route home.

Stay with us as we finish out our book hunting excursion over the next couple of days!


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