More from the Great Book Town of Ann Arbor

The fourth bookstore we visited on July 12, 2016 in Ann Arbor.  Here I am in front of Motte & Bailey Booksellers in Ann Arbor, Michigan…

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Motte & Bailey offers over 10,000 volumes of used and rare books in a spacious and well-organized store located at 212 N. Fourth Avenue.

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“Motte & Bailey” is a type of medieval Norman castle, a wooden palisade rising on a mound of earth, found in many places in England, Wales, and Scotland…this name was chosen to reflect the specialty of the store’s inventory, books concerning all the various aspects of history.  But there are books from nearly all genres here, and all in lovely condition.   We found Gene Alloway manning the desk at the front of the book store; he has been active in the business since 1996.

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With Gene Alloway, Proprietor of Motte & Bailey Booksellers, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Here is an example of a title we purchased at Motte & Bailey:

Two volume set of "Ramona" in a decorated binding (Little Brown, 1900) SOLD

Two volume set of “Ramona” in a decorated binding (Little Brown, 1900) SOLD

I highly recommend a visit to this bookstore if you are in Ann Arbor — it was one of my favorites there.

The fifth book shop we visited in Ann Arbor was charming beyond belief.  I felt as if I had stumbled into a time machine and stepped into a bookshop on some old London street.

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A wiry, spry man with pale gray hair and glasses greeted us as we came into the shop, in his crisp white shirt and a neatly tailored charcoal gray vest.  This turned out to be Richard Leahy, who takes charge of the night shift at the store.  You must envision him from my description, because he does not like his picture taken.   A shame, because he added so much to our visit at this store…but I guess you will just have to go there yourself (in the evening) if you want to experience the pleasure of meeting him.

By now it was about 6:00pm, and we were starving.  We were assured that the store would be open until 8:00pm, and asked Richard for advice on where to eat dinner nearby.  He directed us to an Italian restaurant just a few blocks away.  It was a delightful place called Gratzi.

Grazi Restaurant, 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI

Gratzi Restaurant, 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI

Gratzi had an excellent wine list and their food was fabulous.  You know how we usually take photos of what we are served in restaurants?  Especially when it is beautifully presented??  Well, we were so hungry we didn’t even pause for those photos this time!  Take it from me, the food and wine was top notch.

With full tummies, we walked back to West Side Book Shop, where Richard was waiting to assist us as we combed through their beautiful inventory.

Inside West Side Book shop, 113 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Inside West Side Book shop, 113 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Here are a few of the items we spirited away from this book shop:

The Small Yacht by Edwin A. Boardman (Little Brown, 1923)

The Small Yacht by Edwin A. Boardman (Little Brown, 1923)

 

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

 

The Spirit of the North (Cupples & Leon, 1935) - inscribed by author LeRoy W. Snell

The Spirit of the North (Cupples & Leon, 1935) – inscribed by author LeRoy W. Snell

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Join us in the next post, we will be leaving Ann Arbor (sob!) and driving to East Lansing, Michigan.

More Great Book Stores – Ann Arbor, Michigan

You just never know who you’ll find sharing the aisles with you in a book shop.  Here I am in Dawn Treader Book Shop, where I found someone who has been around for a long time.  Much longer, even, than me!

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In front of Dawn Treader Book Shop, located at 514 East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

20160712_114601_resized                   This book shop boasts over 70,000 titles and has been around for twenty-two years.

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Owned by Bill Gilmore, we did not have the opportunity to meet him.  But the staff was helpful and knowledgeable.  Here I am with Mary Elizabeth Parker, who assisted us during our visit.

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We had a grand time shopping in this spacious and friendly store which carries something for everyone, from fine literature to science, travel and exploration, science fiction, signed first editions, decorated bindings and much more.

Here is one example of a lovely decorated binding we purchased there…

A Checked Love Affair (First Edition, 1903, Dodd Mead) SOLD

A Checked Love Affair (First Edition, 1903, Dodd Mead) SOLD

And a lovely old Gene Stratton Porter novel in its original dust jacket…

The White Flag (First Edition, Doubleday Page, 1923) SOLD

The White Flag (First Edition, Doubleday Page, 1923) SOLD

 

Next, we headed over to Kaleidoscope Books, at 200 N. Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Here we found owner Jeffrey Pickell among his immense collections of books and memorabilia.  Plan to spend some time sifting through a lot of material here if you make a visit…

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Jeff Pickell at work in his store, Kaleidoscope Books

Jeff Pickell at work in his store, Kaleidoscope Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan

We found some very nice Modern Library editions in the store.  Here are a few examples…

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All that hunting through books and paper makes one a little dry, so it was time for a thirst break.   So far, three book shop visits (see previous post) in Ann Arbor, all in one day…  and it’s Bloody Mary time!

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We wandered into Bar Louie and found they served up a pretty good Bloody Mary!

Ron's favorite part of our book scouting trips!

Ron’s favorite part of our book scouting trips

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I’ll be back soon, sharing more book scouting adventures in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

 

Books in the ‘Burgh

If you ever get to Pittsburgh (a beautiful city, by the way), you won’t want to miss a visit to Caliban Book Shop.  This was our last book stop on our way home from our 2015 southern states book scouting trip, and it was a good one!

Caliban Book Shop, 410 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA

Caliban Book Shop, 410 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA

Caliban Book Shop was founded in 1991 and is co-owned by John Schulman and Emily Hetzel.  John has been a full-time dealer in used and rare books since 1987.

John Schulman at Caliban Book Shop, Pittsburgh, PA

John Schulman at Caliban Book Shop, Pittsburgh, PA

Located in the lovely Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, it is a brief stroll from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Natural History Museum, Phipps Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Just a stone's throw from the Carnegie Museum of Art...

Just a stone’s throw from the Carnegie Museum of Art…

Lots of readers here. No wonder they have so many great books!

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The large open shop is neatly organized and fun to explore.  It contains some 40,000 titles covering just about every subject (they also have a nearby warehouse of close to 150,000 books).  Specialties include local history, fine arts, poetry, philosophy, Americana, literature, fine printings, and leather-bound books.

We purchased some lovely decorated American trade bindings…

The Great Salt Lake Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman and Colonel William F. Cody (NY: MacMillan, 1898)   SOLD

The Great Salt Lake Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman and Colonel William F. Cody (NY: MacMillan, 1898) SOLD

Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving (G. P. Putnam, 1899)   SOLD

Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving (G. P. Putnam, 1899) SOLD

(signed Margaret Armstrong binding)

(signed Margaret Armstrong binding)

Jack and Jill, by Louisa M. Alcott (Boston: Little Brown, 1920)  Signed binding - AS - Amy Sacker)

Jack and Jill, by Louisa M. Alcott (Boston: Little Brown, 1920) Signed binding – AS – Amy Sacker)

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with original dust jacket

with original dust jacket

They also had a nice selection of vintage mysteries and true crime, some in their original dust jackets. Here’s a sample…

The Murdered and the Missing- Authentic Case Histories from the Files of the Missing Persons Bureau.  By Armstrong Livingston and Captain John G. Stein (NY: Stephen-Paul Publishers, 1947. First Edition in dust jacket.  SOLD

The Murdered and the Missing- Authentic Case Histories from the Files of the Missing Persons Bureau. By Armstrong Livingston and Captain John G. Stein (NY: Stephen-Paul Publishers, 1947.) First Edition in dust jacket.   SOLD

The book was nicely inscribed by author John G. Stein

The book was nicely inscribed by author John G. Stein

They had many lovely old vintage novels in excellent condition…

Her Father's Daughter, by Gene Stratton Porter (Grosset & Dunlap EdItion, 1921)

Her Father’s Daughter, by Gene Stratton Porter (Grosset & Dunlap EdItion, 1921)023254_3

It is a classic antiquarian book store in which you can spend hours browsing and making delightful discoveries.  There aren’t many book stores left anymore like this one…it is a gem.

After completing our book purchases, we crossed the street to have lunch at the Union Grill (thanks for the recommendation, John!)

The Union Grill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Union Grill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

20150502_140649_resizedThis place has marvelous food, fun atmosphere indoors, plus a small outdoor dining area where you can eat and people-watch.

Best fish sandwich to be found!

Best fish sandwich to be found anywhere!

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Excellent Rueben sandwich

And of course, our favorite…AWESOME Bloody Marys…

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The Ghostbusters were lurking in the area, and I had to have my picture taken with them!

Ghostbusters!

The trip was a great success.  We are back home now, cataloging and selling books, rearranging the bookcases.  We safely traveled over 4,000 miles, and returned home with a quantity and quality of books for our inventory here at Old Scrolls Book Shop that made each mile worthwhile.  As always, we enjoyed meeting or re-connecting with our fellow antiquarian booksellers across the eastern and southern United States.

Soon we’ll be making a trip to the upper Midwest.   Stay tuned for our next book scouting adventure!

Books and More in Asheville, North Carolina

For us, going to Asheville, NC was all about books.  And let me assure you, they have terrific book stores stocked with amazing books.  But HOLY COW, what a fun city!!

One of the many fun and fine restaurants in Asheville.  I think this is a Japanese Maple??

One of the many fun and fine restaurants in Asheville. I think that is a Japanese Maple!

Sometimes referred to as “The Paris of the South,” this city is brimming with music, books, art and fine southern food and drink.    It is populated with welcoming, friendly citizens who are proud of their city.

Some of the fine people we met during our stay in Asheville…

Me and Kim Justus, an Asheville native

Me and Kim Justus, an Asheville native. She is a Realtor for Coldwell Banker.

We met this fun couple (below) at dinner.  They told us that before they moved to Asheville, they used to travel a lot.  Now they don’t leave town much, because they are afraid they’ll miss something!

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Great bookstores, cool restaurants, bars, fun-buses, galleries, and music venues, chocolate shops, breweries, ghost tours, and food tours.  The fun never stops in this giddy, pretty city.

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The Amazing Pubcycle. YES, those are bicycle seats. a wicked-cool 13-person pedal powered (motor assisted) vehicle. Imagine riding your bike (sideways), hanging out at your favorite pub (on wheels), and touring the city!

A glimpse of the crazy purple LAZOOM bus. Featuring bands & beer or comedy tours.

A glimpse of the crazy purple LAZOOM bus.
Featuring bands & beer or comedy tours.

But let’s start at the beginning.  Our first stop was at The Captain’s Book Shelf, located at 31 Page Avenue in downtown Asheville.  I was immediately impressed with the angle parking on this street (I love angle parking!).  Bring lots of coins, though…there are parking meters, and you’ll want to hang out for a long time.

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The Captain's Bookshelf, Asheville, NC

The Captain’s Bookshelf, Asheville, NC

In existence for 39 years, The Captain’s Bookshelf is an ABAA shop owned by Chan Gordon and his wife Meigan.   We have purchased from them before at book fairs.

This was our first visit to their store.  This shop is a  real treasure trove.  We were in book lover’s heaven as we happily spent hours browsing and buying here.

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Chan Gordon at his desk (probably tallying up our bill!)

Chan Gordon at his desk (probably tallying up our bill!)

Stock include top quality literature high points, lovely decorated bindings, as well as obscure older titles not easily found.

Here is a sampling of fine books we purchased from this store:

In The Days of the Comet, by H. G. Wells (First U.S. Edition, October, 1906)

In The Days of the Comet, by H. G. Wells (First U.S. Edition, October, 1906)

Green Fancy, by George Barr McCutcheon (1st Edition, Dodd Mead, 1917, SIGNED by author)

Green Fancy, by George Barr McCutcheon (1st Edition, Dodd Mead, 1917, SIGNED by author)

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Blue-Grass and Rhododendron, by John Fox. Jr.  (Scribner, 1901 First Edition) signed binding - Margaret Armstrong

Blue-Grass and Rhododendron, by John Fox. Jr. (Scribner, 1901 First Edition) signed binding – Margaret Armstrong023307_2

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Don Fernando, by W. Somerset Maugham. (William Heinemann, London, 1935, First Edition)

From the Housetops, by George Barr McCutcheon.  (Dodd Mead, 1916, 1st Edition - SIGNED by author).  Decorative Designer monogram on cover.

From the Housetops, by George Barr McCutcheon. (Dodd Mead, 1916, 1st Edition – SIGNED by author). Decorative Designer monogram on cover.    SOLD

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Any direction we looked there were gorgeous collectible quality books here.

Definitely worth a trip for any serious book collector.

Our second stop was about a block away at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, in the heart of Asheville at 1 Page Avenue.

Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, Asheville, NC

Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, Asheville, NC

This enchanting store houses over 22,000 books,  successfully blending two of life’s greatest pleasures…books and wine.  Enter and shop for books in what feels like a great, multi-storied living room, with a comfortable bar offering wine and mimosas, as well as coffee and locally made pastries.

Here we are outside the Battery Park Book Exchange

Here we are outside the Battery Park Book Exchange

Let’s go inside…

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Kyle, Manager at the Book Exchange

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Kerstine, in her dream job

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Mmmmm…blood orange mimosas!

Me, drinking a blood orange mimosa

Me, drinking a blood orange mimosa

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Mr. Moose watches over all

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20150430_151210_resized Explore an amazing labyrinth of interesting books and cozy zones

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Hours of fun…and we turned up some great books here too!

Here are just a couple of them…

Tomorrow Will Be Better, by Betty Smith (Heinemann, 1949, 1st British Edition) Inscribed and signed by author

Tomorrow Will Be Better, by Betty Smith (Heinemann, 1949, 1st British Edition) Inscribed and signed by author

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A rare stated First Printing of Bambi, by Felix Saalten, illustrated by Kurt Wiese. (Simon & Schuster, 1928)

A rare stated First Printing of Bambi, by Felix Saalten, illustrated by Kurt Wiese. (Simon & Schuster, 1928)023280_4

 

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We said goodbye to the Book Exchange…

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and HELLO to dinner at a great little restaurant called Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder (how could we resist that??).  Wonderful food, flights marvelous bourbon.

Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder, 77 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC

Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder, 77 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC

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Somebody looks happy…

20150430_200059_resizedThe food was marvelous.  Hot buttermilk hushpuppies cooked to perfection, Eli’s “Blue Ribbon” Fish Sauce Wings, juicy pork chops.  Their menu here is ever-changing, with all menu items sourced seasonally and locally.  Highly recommended.

Eli's "Blue Ribbon" Fish Sauce Wings

Eli’s “Blue Ribbon” Fish Sauce Wings

I'm not a pork chop fan, but Ron ordered this one and it's the best thing I've ever tasted!

I’m not a pork chop fan, but Ron ordered this one and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted!

After dinner, we walked around the town a bit, taking in the sights.  There is plenty to do in Asheville!

Outdoor bar at The Wicked Weed

Outdoor bar at The Wicked Weed

Live music is a significant element of the tourist-based economy in Asheville, with numerous nightclubs and performance venues.  The City has a strong tradition of street performance and outdoor music and music festivals.

Musical line-up at The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club

Musical line-up at The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club

A dessert bus!!

A dessert bus!!

There is so much to do in this City, I do believe you would have to live here to get to around to it all!

Here are a couple more book stores we did not make it to:

Downtown Books and News, 67 N. Lexington Ave. – A used book store that never closes (they are even open on holidays).  They have stayed open every day for 24 years!

Malaprops, 55 Haywood St. – a large general book store, stocking new books and regional writers.  Co-owners Emoke B’Racz and Linda Barrett Knopp celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2012.

The Thomas Wolfe House is also located in downtown Asheville, at 52 Market Street.  The famous American author Thomas Wolfe lived in the home during his boyhood, and it was the setting for his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel.

The Biltmore Estate, America’s largest and most magnificent home, is here in all it’s gilded age glory. The 8000-acre beautiful and grand estate built by George Vanderbilt in 1895 is a major tourist attraction.

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Asheville is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River.  The population was 83,393 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, with a population of 424,848 in the four-county Asheville metropolitan area.  It is home to University of North Carolina at Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, with eight other colleges and universities in the surrounding area.

Next stop will be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

 

 

Beaufort and Charleston, S.C.

A pretty garden in Beaufort, SC

A pretty garden in Beaufort, SC

I had long heard that Beaufort, South Carolina was a beautiful little coastal city.  It is indeed a pretty town, and it has a bookstore, so it’s alright by me!

McIntosh Book Shoppe,  919 Bay St.,     Beaufort, South Carolina

McIntosh Book Shoppe, 919 Bay St.,
Beaufort, South Carolina

McIntosh Book Shoppe is located on the main drag of Beaufort and is owned by Wilson McIntosh.  The store carries used and rare books, and also local/regional authors, and they host regular book signings.

Inside McIntosh Book Shoppe

Inside McIntosh Book Shoppe

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There were a number of books signed by Pat Conroy (author of The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and more)  near the front desk, including some older first editions.  Apparently he lives in the area and has coffee every morning just down the street.

Beaufort is a very walkable town, with lots of interesting shops and restaurants, shady streets, and lovely architecture.

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It has a beautiful harbor with an expansive park…

Harbor area - Beaufort, SC

Harbor area – Beaufort, SC

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We enjoyed walking the town, but left Beaufort around lunchtime to drive on to Charleston — another city we hadn’t yet visited.  Our first stop was Blue Bicycle Books, owned by Jonathan Sanchez.

Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street, Charleston, SC

Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street, Charleston, SC

This shop is stocked with used, rare and local books (both hardcover and paperback), with emphasis on quality writing.  The store looks small from the front, but after you enter it is spacious, with a long hallway that has room after room opening to the right as you move to the rear of the building.

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There was a room just for children’s books…

20150429_153952_resizedand plenty of non-fiction as well as literature.

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After our visit here, we found our way to a parking garage in the historic center of town, so that we could walk around a bit.

Charleston City Market

Loved the streets and architecture…

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It was now pouring rain, but we found our way to the  Charleston City Market where there is art, music, and food all under one historic roof.

Inside the Charleston City Market

Inside the Charleston City Market

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We really wanted to dine in Charleston, but we were caught between a rock and a hard place (between the hours of 3pm and 5pm) — no one was serving.  Apparently they stop serving lunch at 3 and don’t start serving dinner until 5.  We were directed to the tavern section of each of three restaurants, but there wasn’t a seat to be found among the crowds!!  Brutal.

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So we decided to head on up the road.

Goodbye, beautiful city of Charleston…

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Next, it’s on to Asheville, North Carolina — a city blessed with fine books and bourbon!  This turned out to be one of my FAVORITE places.

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Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island

Savannah, Georgia is one of our favorite cities to visit, and Books on Bay is one of our favorite book shops, located in the beautiful historic district.

Books on Bay, 224 W. Bay Street Lower, Savannah, Georgia

Books on Bay, 224 W. Bay Street Lower, Savannah, Georgia

Owned by Betsy Hoit-Thetford, this shop always has a nice array of children’s books (like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew), loads of vintage books, and often some nice decorated American trade bindings.

Here are some pictures from the interior of the shop:

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And a few book close-ups:

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The store is spacious and well-organized; a treat for any vintage book lover.  Betsy is knowledgeable, and a delight to talk with about books, or anything else for that matter.  Unfortunately, she was not in the store when we arrived on this trip.  But we remember her kindly for helping us with a parking spot on a previous visit while we went to lunch, and for giving us two nice coffee mugs which we still love!

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One of the books we brought home from Books on Bay…

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Although we have been to Savannah three times, we had never made the trip out to nearby Tybee Island.  Third time is the charm.

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We had dinner on the island at the famous Crab Shack, which offers great food and an unforgettable experience.

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If you like adventure, you’ll like the Crab Shack!

20150428_191219_resized_1Get a load of those choppers…

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Ron almost lost the (second) nice hat he bought in Colombia!

Ron almost lost the (second) nice hat he bought in Colombia

and nearly lost his head here…

Ron almost lost his head here!

Close call!  Luckily, he survived…and so did his hat.

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Eventually we located the area where people dine (not alligators)…

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The seafood was delicious…

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A wonderful ending to another happy book scouting day!

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I’ll return soon with notes and pictures from our book scouting in Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina.

Old Tampa Book Company (and Ybor City!)

The Old Tampa Book Company was having a sale, and we weren’t about to miss it!

My husband Ron in front of Old Tampa Book Company

My husband Ron in front of Old Tampa Book Company

Located at 507 N. Tampa Street in the heart of downtown Tampa, it is a wonderful, classic used & rare book store, stocking around 40,000 volumes.

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We found a spot to park in a lot right across the street, and went inside.

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It was quickly evident that this was our kind of place!  Lots of beautiful vintage books in excellent condition…

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We were in heaven here while searching the shelves…they have so many interesting items, both fiction and non-fiction, and a wide variety of subject matter.

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Old Tampa Book Company was created by David Brown and has been loved, owned and run by him and his wife Ellen for over two decades. It has been a sanctuary for book lovers.  Recently, David and Ellen have decided to retire and have passed the torch to new owner Carrie Carnes.
Carrie Carnes, new owner of Old Tampa Book Company

Carrie Carnes, new owner of Old Tampa Book Company

  Carrie has worked in the book store for the Brown’s for the past five years, so she knows what makes this store special!  Read the delightful story of this ownership transition HERE.  Carrie and her husband, Matt Saxon, are already immersed in running their new business.  We found them both to be friendly, fun booksellers, so be sure to visit them if you get to Tampa!
Here are some of the beautiful books we purchased at Old Tampa Book Company:
African Camp Fires, by Stewart Edward White (Doubleday Page & Co., 1913, 1st Edition)  SOLD

African Camp Fires, by Stewart Edward White (Doubleday Page & Co., 1913, 1st Edition) SOLD

Evelyn Innes, by George Moore (D. Appleton, 1898, 1st Edition)

Evelyn Innes, by George Moore (D. Appleton, 1898, 1st Edition) signed binding – CboxC

In Old New York, by Thomas A. Janvier (Harper & Brothers, NY, 1894 - first edition)

In Old New York, by Thomas A. Janvier (Harper & Brothers, NY, 1894 – first edition)

The Farmer His Own Builder, by H. Armstrong Roberts (David McKay, 1918, First Edition)

The Farmer His Own Builder, by H. Armstrong Roberts (David McKay, 1918, First Edition)

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The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton (David McKay, 1931, illustrations by Arthur Rackham)

The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton (David McKay, 1931, illustrations by Arthur Rackham)

We had a splendid time there, and were impressed with the store’s inventory.

After hours of book shopping, we were hungry.  I’m so glad Carrie recommended that we go over to Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin Quarter and National Historic Landmark District.   We had a splendid time there!

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Entering Ybor City

20150425_165617_resizedLots of old world charm in Ybor City, and a great place to walk around, eat, shop, listen to music…and buy cigars!!

cigar rollers at work inside Hav-A-Taba (Ybor City, Florida)

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20150425_171305_resizedNow I was starving — so after walking several blocks and taking in the sights, we popped into Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant for a meal.

This was a fun place to relax – with a nice open courtyard, live music, and good food!
Food -- at last!

Food — at last!

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In Ybor City, even the chickens dance in the street…

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In my next post, we’ll do a little book scouting on the East coast of Florida.  I’ll be back soon…

 

Book Scouting Queen Gets Crowned

It’s never a good time to get a crown on your tooth…but three days before Christmas $$$?  Really??!

View from a pretty little alley in Penn Yan, NY

How do you make a visit to the dentist fun? Lucky me, I have a great dentist who is located in a good book scouting town — Penn Yan, New York.   So I usually find a way of working some book hunting into the mix when I have a dental appointment.  Ron was with me this trip, so after my crowning we stopped to eat at one of our favorite little spots in town, the Tavern Restaurant.  Let me repeat, my dentist is GREAT, so he didn’t numb me up too bad.  I could even sip a Bloody Mary out of a straw afterwards!! AND eat lunch.  Yay.

Tavern Restaurant, Penn Yan, NY

Our table by the fireplace

Our table by the fireplace – can’t really see it in this pic, but there was a nice fire blazing!

Penn Yan (the peculiar town name is a syllabic abbreviation of “Pennsylvania Yankee”) lies at the north end of the east branch of Keuka Lake, my favorite of the Finger Lakes.  It is about seventeen miles southeast of our home and book shop.  A pretty village of about 5,000 citizens, Penn Yan has two used book shops.

The Books Landing recently relocated to 9 Main Street after years in a small store on a corner at 1 Main Street.  I was anxious to see their new digs!  Unfortunately, they were closed.  All we could do was press our noses to the window.  (Fortunately, my return trip to get my permanent crown is scheduled for a Tuesday.  Hope that works.)

The Books Landing, Penn Yan, NY

The Books Landing, Penn Yan, NY

The Books Landing, run by a very nice lady named Barb Mullins,  has always leaned toward paperbacks and good reading quality books for the locals and seasonal visitors.  But I have found enough unexpected hardcover collectible gems in that store to keep me coming back.

Next, we telephoned Eileen O’Reilly, proprietor of Belknap Hill Books at 106 Main Street.  We found this store to be closed too, but with a sign taped to the door that said “Want Books? Call…” and of course we did!  She and her wonderful dog (“Rosie”) were kind enough to come right over and open up for us.

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Eileen O’Reilly, Proprietor of Belknap Hill Books – Penn Yan, NY

Rosie, the book store dog

          Rosie, the book store dog

Eileen has operated Belknap Hill Books out of this store since 1987.  She and her husband have recently decided to put this three-story residential-commercial building up for sale.  It may be the end of another book shop…and I will be sad.

Belknap Hill Books, Penn Yan, NY

Belknap Hill Books, Penn Yan, NY

20141222_142406_resizedHere are some lovely books we purchased at Eileen’s…

The Inns of the Middle Ages

The Inns of the Middle Ages

Kotto - - Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs

Kotto – – Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs

Master of the Vineyard

Master of the Vineyard

Wanted - A Chaperon

Wanted – A Chaperon

Penn Yan is high on my list of favorite New York towns.  Interesting shops, walkable streets, the clip-clopping of Mennonite horse & buggies, a most beautiful lake and lots of wineries nearby.   It is quaint, historic, and just quirky enough to be interesting!

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Were they expecting Noah?

Black Swan Books – Lexington, KY

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The last book shop stop we made on this trip was in Lexington, Kentucky at Black Swan Books.   We had visited the shop two years ago, and were happy to find it still as nice as we remembered it to be.

There is street parking in front of the store and we found a spot without difficulty.

Black Swan Books, 505 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, KY

Black Swan Books, 505 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, KY

This shop has been in business since 1984, and is run by J. Michael Courtney.   Here one can comfortably browse the pleasant spacious rooms filled with neatly shelved books in a wide variety of genres.  The books are  in clean, solid condition.

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The shop offers Americana, Kentuckiana, Military History, Literature, Art, Poetry, Horticulture, Modern Firsts, Modern Library Editions and more.  There is a beautiful rare book room containing a wide variety of collectible books.

Rare book room at Black Swan Books, Lexington, KY

Rare book room at Black Swan Books, Lexington, KY

We found several nice decorated cloth bindings here (Michael has collected them himself for years).

Black Swan has something for every serious book lover in a wide price range (reading quality to highly collectible).  Prices are moderate…but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t some good natured dealer-to-dealer haggling going on, as you can see below…

Michael and Ron negotiating

Michael and Ron

I told Michael he wins the prize for the nicest book store restroom.  Sorry, I didn’t take a photo — you’ll have to stop in and see for yourself!  Bring a friend.

Make sure you check back soon for our 2014 Spring book scouting trip summary.  We’ll show you some of our finds, and  share a few stories I may have left out along the way.

 

 

 

 

Book Scouting in Georgia

As we headed north into Georgia, our first stop was to be Books Again in Decatur, GA on Atlanta’s edge.   Usually we call ahead before arriving at a store (just to make sure the store is open and the location hasn’t changed), but we didn’t this time.  When we arrived we were sadly disappointed to find the store empty.  A call to the store owner rang but went unanswered.  Disappointing, because we had been here two years before and really enjoyed this shop!

We moved on to Atlanta Vintage Books in Chamblee, Georgia just a few miles away.

Atlanta Vintage Books, 3660 Clairmont Rd., Chamblee, GA

Atlanta Vintage Books, 3660 Clairmont Rd., Chamblee, GA

We visited this shop about two years ago and we are happy to report that this store is still thriving.  In business for over twenty years, the store has 5,000 square feet of space on two floors and over 70,000 books.  Inventory ranges from reading quality to highly collectible.

Inside Atlanta Vintage Books

Inside Atlanta Vintage Books

The folks here are always friendly and helpful! This was our second visit to Atlanta Vintage Books; we posted a blog about this store two years ago when we traveled through the area.

Proprietor Bob Roarty (Atlanta Vintage Books) with Ron

Proprietor Bob Roarty (Atlanta Vintage Books) with Ron

Moving north, we stopped for the evening in Acworth, one of our favorite Georgia towns.  We always look forward to eating at Henry’s Louisiana Grille!

Henry's Louisiana Grill, Acworth, GA

Henry’s Louisiana Grill, Acworth, GA

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crawfish races in Henry’s Louisiana Grill – proceeds go to charity

Crawfish boil dinner at Henry's

Crawfish boil dinner at Henry’s

After eating a superb meal at Henry’s, we wandered up the street and discovered this wonderful book store, and to our delight, it was still open…

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Acworth Book Store and Coffee Shop, Acworth, Georgia

This store stocks new books, used books, local history, gifts and some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted!  The store is owned by Guy W. Condra, and he is very knowledgeable about the area’s history.  He also had some interesting antiquarian books and signed local history in his store. We made some purchases, including a German WWII “cigarette stamp” book, complete with original dust jacket.

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Here I am with Guy Condra, Proprietor of Acworth Bookstore & Coffee Shop – Acworth, Georgia

In the store we also had the pleasure of meeting Todd Beckett (below) enthusiastic publisher of the local newspaper, the Northside News, which serves the communities of Acworth and Kennesaw, Georgia.

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Todd Beckett holding the first edition, first issue of the Northside News!

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Guy and Todd were wonderful hosts and put the crowning touch on our evening in Acworth!

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