Southern United States Book Scouting Adventure

A two-week book scouting expedition through the southern U.S. is about to unfold here on our blog.  Buckle up, you are in for a whirlwind, happy book scouting adventure!  Fourteen days, 13 book shops, and two Friends-of-the-Library book sales!

Leaving home (Stanley, NY) at lark-rise on Saturday, April 19th we headed west on I-90 toward Rte. 71 South through Ohio, beginning a journey that would take us through ten states: Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Our first book scouting stop was in Xenia, Ohio at Blue Jacket Books owned by Lawrence Hammar and his wife Cassandra.

20150418_141613_resizedA couple of years ago, Blue Jacket Books survived a disastrous flood from a broken water pipe–an event that could have been catastrophic to their business.  We were happy to find they have made a terrific comeback with a little help from their friends.  See an article about the great community support they received HERE.

Blue Jacket Books, Xenia, OH

Blue Jacket Books, Xenia, OH


Here I am, having fun in the stacks!

Here I am, having fun in the stacks!

We found many nice collectible quality books at Blue Jacket…here are a few examples:


First Edition of “Making Over Martha” by Julie M. Lippmann in original dust jacket023228

The Singing World, Edited by Louis Untermeyer and signed by him on front free endpaper

The Singing World, signed by editor Louis Untermeyer on front free endpaper023230

Maya, by William Dudley Foulke. 1st Edition decorated American trade binding (signed binding - FSD)

Maya, by William Dudley Foulke.
1st Edition decorated American trade binding (signed binding – FSD)

Our thanks to Cassandra and Kate for showing us a good time at Blue Jacket Books and for listening to our stories and laughing along with us!

We spent hours exploring the many rooms of books at Blue Jacket.  Now we were hungry.

The Golden Lamb Inn, Lebanon, Ohio

The Golden Lamb Inn, Lebanon, Ohio


If you’ve followed our blog in the past, you know how much we like to visit historic hotels.  So our next stop had to be in Lebanon, Ohio at the historic Golden Lamb Inn, Ohio’s oldest hotel.

20150418_160826_resizedThe Golden Lamb was established in 1803.  The present four-story structure is built around the 1815 rebuilding of the inn, maintaining its colonial architecture.


A beautiful park next to “The Golden Lamb”


Because of its strategic position on the highway between Cincinnati and Colombus, many notable literary figures and politicians have stayed there over the years, including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Daniel Webster.

20150418_171553_resized  Twelve American presidents have visited the inn, including William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

Tavern in The Golden Lamb

        Tavern in The Golden Lamb

The inn has a cozy tavern, four large public dining rooms, and four private dining rooms plus 18 air-conditioned guest rooms.


Lobby area at The Golden Lamb


After enjoying a cocktail and good conversation in the tavern, we savored a good dinner at the Golden Lamb.


Then we got back in the car and headed south, stopping for the night just beyond Lexington, Kentucky.

On our last southern trip, we did a lot of book scouting in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia on our way down, stopping at book shops in Lexington, Knoxville, and Atlanta (you can look at older posts HERE and HERE to see details of some of our book scouting in those areas).  This time, we zoomed toward Florida to catch some big sales at a couple of book shops there and to make it to a few F.O.L. book sales.

Our next post will be about our visit to a book store closing sale in Dunedin, Florida.  See you there!


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Let us know when and where you might be heading in VIRGINIA, or Western N.C.

    Here are some of the best indie book stores in Central VA and NC which we support:

    In Richmond, VA:

    Black Swan Books /

    The Fountain Bookstore (Kelly Justice, owner)

    Chop Suey (in Carytown shopping district) Cary Street

    In Western North Carolina:

    Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, NC (35 miles west of Asheville)

    Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC (hosting NPR’s Morning Edition Host, and author – Steve Inskeep – June 1, 7pm)

    Be safe and have fun traveling and book treasure-hunting….we will be watching for your occasional posts.

    Roger Dowdy

    Richmond, VA

    mobile (804) 356-6691

    • Thanks, Roger! I’ll save this list and we will check these out on our next trip south. We had a wonderful visit in Asheville, North Carolina, spending time (and money!) in The Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar (enchanting) and The Captain’s Book Shelf.

      Catherine Petruccione
      Old Scrolls Book Shop

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