Book Scouting – North of the Border

 

We love Canada!  Twice over the past six months (in October and again in January) Ron and I headed up to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Region and further north into Hamilton and Toronto in search of used book inventory.

Our first destination was Niagara-on-the-Lake, a beautiful old town situated in the heart of wine country on the Niagara escarpment, on the shore of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River meets the Lake.

20161019_115833_resized_2

This area is famous for its elegant wineries, its theater (the Shaw Festival in particular), and its breathtaking year-round beauty.

With its cozy, walkable downtown, lovely old hotels, pubs, inns and storefronts,  horses & carriages lined up in front of the elegant Prince of Wales Hotel…you will swear you are in an old English village.

20161019_132753_resized_2

This is where we stayed, at Riverbend Inn & Winery, just outside the village on the Niagara Parkway.

 

 

One of the highlights of our October 2016 trip was attending the book sale at Trinity College, about an hour north of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Toronto.  It was our first time at this annual event.  It was held upstairs in Seeley Hall at 6 Hoskin Avenue.

20161021_134740_resized_4

This is one of the better college or university book sales we have attended, and is the largest of its kind in Toronto.  There were thousands of books on hand, organized into categories, with a separate rare and collectible room.

20161021_135422_resized_4

The building is a lovely old thing done in Jacobethan style. We found parking across the street.

20161021_162655_resized_1

 

The staff was knowledgeable and courteous — it was a pleasure to buy books here!

A few examples of the books we purchased at Trinity College:

Below: A Son of Austerity, by George Knight.  Published by McLeod & Allen, n.d.   Illustrated by Harrison Fisher.

BelowThe Mammoth Book of Thrillers, Ghosts and Mysteries (Parrish, J. M. and John R. Crossland, Editors) Odhams Press Ltd., London, 1936.  SOLD

BelowFolk-Songs and Other Songs for Children, Jane Byrd Radcliffe-Whitehead, Editor.  Oliver Ditson Company, Boston, 1903.  Decorated American trade binding – cover design by F. G. Hale (Frank Gardner Hale 1876-1945).

BelowOn the Road to Bagdad, by Lieutenant Colonel Brereton (Blackie, London, circa 1920)

Below:   Record of Canadian Shipping –  A List of Square-Rigged Vessels, Mainly 500 Tons and Over, Built in the Eastern Provinces of British North America from the Year 1786 to 1920.  Frederick William Wallace.  Toronto: Musson Book Company, 1929.   First Edition, SIGNED and Limited, this being no. 402 of 1,000 copies.  Illustrated with photographs, paintings and drawings.

 

Meanwhile, back in Niagara-on-the-Lake, there was a nice little book signing going on at the local book store…Old Niagara Bookshop, located at 223 Regent Street.  They are purveyors of books both old and new!

Here we are with author Terry Belleville, and a copy of his book, Matters of Kindness – A collection of short stories, anecdotes and memories.

20161019_143629_resized

Thanks, Terry, for signing my book.

Later we paid a visit to Konzelmann Winery…one of the many beautiful wineries in the area that are making really excellent table wines, as well as the “ice wines” for which this region is famous.

A short drive away is the town of St. Catharines, Ontario, where we found a couple of interesting used & rare book stores.  The first one we visited was “The Write Bookshop” at 285 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines.

 

And here is one of the interesting books we found there…

BelowThe South African War, by Captain A. T. Mahan.  Peter Fenelon Collier & Son, NY, 1900.  Decorated American trade binding – cover designed by George Wharton Edwards (so stated on copyright page).  Eighteen full page illustrations in color; 34 full page black and white illustrations.

The second book store we visited was Hannelore Headley Old & Fine Books, at 71 Queen Street.  It looks small and humble on the outside, but geeze(!), they had some nice books.

20161022_133614_resized_1

Here is an example:

BelowThe Skyline Trail, by Mary Carolyn Davies.  Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1924.  Oregon Edition, Limited to one thousand copies, signed and numbered, of which this is number 770 (with author’s signature).  Decorated American trade binding – cream cloth boards with blue, black, cream and lavender mountain and wagon train scene on cover. SOLD

Below:  The Ship that Died of Shame & Other Stories, by Nicholas Monsarrat.  London: Cassell, 1959.  Stated First Edition in clean unclipped original dust jacket.

 

We had no trouble bringing a box of assorted wines and several boxes of books back across the border.  The trip was so enjoyable and successful that we went back in January of this year, and had another wonderful experience – which I’ll catch you up on in the next post.

.

Advertisements

Somewhere in Time

Here we are approaching the beautiful historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where the 1980 movie “Somewhere In Time” was filmed.

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer, the movie was a hauntingly beautiful time-travel romance based on the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson.   Bid Time Return is a highly collectible and fairly scarce book, with a first edition in a dust jacket running $750 – $1500 in very good to fine condition, more if signed by author or any of the actors in the film.   If you are wondering where the odd book title comes from, it is derived from Shakespeare’s Richard II, “O call back yesterday, bid time return.”

Along the walkway, we passed some of the hotel’s beautiful gardens…

20160714_125318

My husband, Ron, ascending the stairs to the hotel…

20160714_125920

20160714_125914

Although an overnight stay at this historic hotel is pricey (rooms are in the $400+ range in prime season), the place is available for everyone to enjoy because for a fee of $10 you can roam the hotel and grounds for the day, enjoying the porch, public sitting rooms and charming bars and restaurant.

The hotel is famous for having the longest porch in the world, at approximately 660 feet.

Longest porch in the world

      Longest porch in the world, to the left…

20160714_125943

and to the right.

And the porch has one hundred rocking chairs that look out on these beautifully maintained grounds of the hotel and Lake Huron beyond where you can sit and enjoy the view…

Looking out over the grounds of the beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

Looking out over the grounds of the beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

The huge pool you see in the photo above was used by actress and champion swimmer Esther Williams as she did swimming scenes in another movie filmed at the Grand Hotel, “This Time For Keeps” which was produced in 1947 and also starred Jimmy Durante.  The pool is indeed called “The Esther Williams Pool.”

20160714_14430720160714_144300

The Grand Hotel opened in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrive by lake steamer from Chicago, Erie, Montreal, Detroit, and by rail from across the continent.

Here are a few of the areas we enjoyed…

A beautiful sitting area in the Grand Hotel

A beautiful sitting area in the Grand Hotel

A gorgeous old grandfather clock

A gorgeous old grandfather clock

View from "The Cupola Bar" at the very top of the Grand Hotel

View from “The Cupola Bar” at the very top of the Grand Hotel

20160714_140521

20160714_140909

20160714_14035920160714_140337

One of my favorite areas inside the hotel was the Audubon Wine Bar (below).  Not only did they have a great wine list, beautiful art and furnishings, they had a sizable library as well!

Audubon Wine Bar, Grand Hotel

            Audubon Wine Bar, Grand Hotel

20160714_13062720160714_130521

20160714_130920

20160714_134824

20160714_131036

Later we wandered into the ballroom area, which was set up for a big band…would love to be there when the music begins!

20160714_14253420160714_14253820160714_14270220160714_142713

Oh, and what’s this?

20160714_125830

An ASH tray at the Grand Hotel

An ASH tray at the Grand Hotel (no longer in use for that purpose)

 

A banquet room...and its beautiful chandelier

A banquet room…and its beautiful chandeliers

20160714_142259

20160714_144155

We had a nice chat with the concierge…

20160714_142417  When we were finally able to tear ourselves away and head back to town, we boarded one of the horse drawn carriages that make regular runs to and from the hotel.

20160714_144511

What a wonderful day it was!   Join us for the next post, when I will cover our visit to beautiful old Fort Mackinac.

 

Curious Book Shop – East Lansing, MI

We drove through quite a thunderstorm as we left Ann Arbor on the night of July 12, with lightning streaking across the darkened sky.  We spent the night at a Courtyard Marriott in Brighton, a western suburb of Detroit.  The next morning dawned sunny and beautiful, and we made our way northwest to East Lansing, Michigan.

20160713_114724_resized

Here I am in front of the Curious Book Shop, 307 East Grand River, East Lansing, Michigan

Curious Book Shop is owned by Ray Walsh, and has been around since 1969.  It has a huge inventory of old books, magazines, comics and movie and sports material, all nicely organized.

 

Owner - Ray Walsh and me, Curious Book Shop, E. Lansing, Michigan

Owner – Ray Walsh and me, Curious Book Shop, E. Lansing, Michigan

 

20160713_132424_resized

Lots of great inventory to browse through here!

We found that Ray had a nice selection of older books, including decorated American trade bindings.  He also had some nice L. Frank Baum selections, including this one, which we purchased:

The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People (by L. Frank Baum - Bobbs Merrill, 1903)

The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People (by L. Frank Baum – Bobbs Merrill, 1903)

024223_1024223_4

Here is a beautiful Arts & Crafts binding signed by author George W. Stevens which we purchased here:

024221 024221_5

(SOLD)

(SOLD)

He also had some wonderful books on magic!

Modern Magicians' Hand Book, by William J. Hilliar (Frederick J. Drake & Co., Chicago, 1900)

Modern Magician’s Hand Book, by William J. Hilliar (Frederick J. Drake & Co., Chicago, 1900)

024198_1

This is a shop you can spend hours in (three floors containing around 50,000 items), so plan accordingly if you visit!

20160713_132441_resized_1

Next, join us as we point the car up old Historic Route 27, right through the middle of the Michigan mitten!

 

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!

20160712_121858_resized

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.

20160712_114555_resized

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.

20160712_135609_resized

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.

20160712_164900_resized

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…

20160712_163104_resized

20160712_163057_resized_1

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…

024272

 

024160 024273

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!

bar-louie-2

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

bar-louie-3

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

 

 

Thankful to be Alive!

We never know what lies beyond the next turn in the path

We don’t know what lies beyond the next turn in the path

Late November is time for giving thanks.   For me, every day is time to pause and give thanks.

In case you have noticed my absence, I feel I should explain that in late July I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, waking up in the wee hours of the morning with a headache from Hell.  I was able to stand up, wake my husband and tell him I needed to go the emergency room, and then I blacked out on the floor from the pain.  Few people survive such a medical event unscathed; a very high percentage don’t survive it at all.

Thanks to my loving husband Ron’s quick action, and his insistence on a CT scan when we reached our local hospital, I have survived and am grateful to be recovering with almost no residual effects.  Emergency surgery was performed at Strong Hospital in Rochester, NY by a superb neurological team.  I can’t say enough good about them, or heap enough praise upon all of our friends and family who have been supportive and helpful to both Ron and me through this chapter in our lives.

I have been spending my time on small book store activities, reading and resting; also Ron and I have done a lot of walking to help regain my strength.  Nature is so healing!

20151102_135223_resized_3

Photo taken on a recent walk along the western shore of Hemlock Lake

Photo taken on a recent walk along the western shore of Hemlock Lake

Old Scrolls Book Shop is still going strong, and we are buying and selling fine books as usual, both online and in store.

Thanks to all of YOU, my readers, for your patience and understanding.  I have been gradually returning to my normal activities, and you can expect me back here blogging on books very soon!

Happy to be alive!

                   Happy to be alive!

 

Awesome Antiquarian Books – Minneapolis

This may well be our favorite Twin Cities book shop, which we visited for the first time during our recent Minnesota trip!

James & Mary Laurie, Booksellers - 250 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

James & Mary Laurie, Booksellers – 250 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

20150630_130044_resized

We spent an entirely wonderful day here!

20150630_122601_resizedTheir hours are 11-6 Monday through Saturday and by appointment.  Free parking available in a small lot on one side of the store (limited number of spaces), but also a big parking ramp nearby.

We found a nice space in the lot at opening time, around 11am.

With an inventory of over 120,000 books, our day was well occupied!

20150630_142219_resized

Here’s me, wondering where to start…

This beautiful and large street-level shop also houses more than 30,000 classical and jazz vinyl records, and a gallery of old prints and maps.

20150630_142037_resized20150630_154737_resized

To say we were excited about the book selection here is an understatement, especially since there were many nice examples of our favorite specialty, decorated American trade bindings.  But of course there were thousands of interesting books in all genres, and they were in beautiful condition.  The shop is well organized and easy to browse, with pleasant surprises at every turn.

20150630_142138_resized20150630_142041_resized

Here are just a few samples of some of the beautiful decorated bindings we found here:

20150630_125706_resized20150630_125719_resized

20150630_135847_resized

20150630_130602_resized

023355023355_6

023360023360_2

023356_1

023361023361_1

023357

James & Mary Laurie Booksellers was founded in 1969 (they were located for twenty years on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis before moving to this location).   We did not have the pleasure of meeting Mary, but Jim is a super guy, and was wonderful to us during our visit.

Here I am with Jim Laurie

Here I am with Jim Laurie.  He’s a tall one!

After hours of perusing and purchasing books, we broke away for a little pick-me-up at Dunn Brothers Coffee, just around the corner.

20150630_143254_resized

Great smile, great coffee!

20150630_143248_resized

When we returned to the book shop, we were invited to descend to their warehouse area, where many more books are stored.  Come on along!

20150630_144922_resized

20150630_144929_resized

20150630_144944_resized

Here were many more thousands of books, stacked to the ceiling.  Good thing we had that coffee!!

20150630_145244_resizedWe found several wonderful books down here as well, and added them to our purchases.

Can’t say enough good things about this book store — make sure you pay them a visit if you are ever in Minneapolis!

In the evening, we met my sister Karen and her husband Gene in Spring Park for a sunset cruise on her daughter and son-in-law’s boat.

20150630_183200_resized

20150630_205448_resized

20150630_184649_resized

20150630_184647_resized

20150630_185126_resized_2

The weather was perfect for a quiet evening on Lake Minnetonka

20150630_192026_resizedPerfect ending of another Minnesota-beautiful day.

 

 

 

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!

20150502_104031_resized

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)

023314_1

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!

20150502_133520_resized

Excellent Rueben sandwich

And of course, our favorite…AWESOME Bloody Marys…

20150502_130720_resized

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!

20150430_192126_resized

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.

20150430_143304_resized_2

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.

20150430_121825_resized

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.

20150430_142037_resized

20150430_142047_resized

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)

023288_3023289

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

20150615_183617_resized

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

023295_3023295

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…

20150430_150207_resized

20150430_151158_resized

Kyle, Manager at the Book Exchange

20150430_151427_resized

Kerstine, in her dream job

20150430_165159_resized

Mmmmm…blood orange mimosas!

Me, drinking a blood orange mimosa

Me, drinking a blood orange mimosa

20150430_172615_resized

Mr. Moose watches over all

20150430_151235_resized

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

20150430_151617_resized20150430_151759_resized

 

 

 

 

 

20150430_154113_resized

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

023284_1

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

 

023280_2

 

 

 

 

We said goodbye to the Book Exchange…

20150430_162939_resized_1

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

20150430_192817_resized

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.

20150501_105106_resized

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!

 

 

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:

20150428_173851_resized20150428_173902_resized

 

 

 

 

 

20150428_173905_resized20150428_173908_resized

And a few book close-ups:

20150428_175025_resized20150428_174908_resized20150428_181353_resized

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!

20150606_122116_resized_1

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

023321

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

20150428_190254_resized_1

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

20150428_190309_resized_1

20150428_204756_resized

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

20150428_191219_resized_1Get a load of those choppers…

20150428_191335_resized 20150428_191321_resized

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.

20150428_204632_resized

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

20150428_191200_resized_120150428_191631_resized_1

 

 

 

 

 

The seafood was delicious…

20150428_194639_resized20150428_194632_resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful ending to another happy book scouting day!

20150428_205140_resized

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

B & B in Florida – Beaches and Books!

20150428_073126_resized

As we made our way toward the east coast of Florida, we kicked off this part of our book-hunting journey with a stop at one of our favorite fun places, The Nav-A-Gator at 9700 SW Riverview Circle, Arcadia, Florida.   20150427_105955_resized

We love this place, with it's friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT bloody marys!

Lexi, providing us with our go-go juice. We love this place, with it’s friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT Bloody Marys!

Located at Old DeSoto Marina, with access to the beautiful Peace River, it has an extensive boat docking area, a nice indoor restaurant and a fun outdoor dining area with games and even a small museum.  The Peace River valley is famous for million year old fossils featuring mammoths and sharks, as well as Indian artifacts such as arrowheads, beads, and pottery.

20150427_103307_resized_320150427_103351_resized_1

They were having a staff meeting.  If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

They were having a staff meeting. If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

River cruises are available on a large 40-passenger boat, or you can take an air boat ride.  We chose the air boat ride.

20150427_122342_resized_1It was a fun, 40-minute tour, and we caught some wonderful close-up views of wildlife…

20150427_124645_resized_220150427_124734_resized_320150427_124209_resized_1

20150427_124240_resized_2The birds and alligators were definitely not

camera-shy!

After a little food and drink and a boat ride,

we were ready to commence book scouting.

Unfortunately, the first book store we came upon, Crackerhouse Books, was closed.  This happens, as used & rare book stores are often one man or woman operations, and open hours can be irregular.  Owners have to pop out once in awhile for a variety of reasons — often it’s to buy books to replenish stock.

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

We drove eastward, and reached Daytona Beach late in the day.

20150427_193416_resizedFrom here we motored north up the coast, stopping for the night at a delightful ocean-side hotel called Coral Sands.  We really just stumbled across this place, but it was a pleasant surprise, situated on a gorgeous stretch of coastline.

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

20150428_073007_resized20150428_074605_resized20150428_072806_resized_2 20150428_080127_resized_3 20150428_071812_resized_2

The rates were extremely reasonable (we paid $109 for a clean and spacious ocean-view room –with a kitchen! ),  and there was a large ocean-view swimming pool.  We both took a refreshing dip in it that evening, in spite of a little rain that was starting to sprinkle down…

20150428_080158_resized_1

We found a nice sand castle on the beach someone had worked really hard on — and claimed it…

Can you see our names in the sand?

Can you see our names in the sand?

Coral Sands on Ormond Beach – what a find!  I wish we could have stayed here for a week.  But after a walk on the beach in the morning, we drove up the coast to Flagler Beach, where we discovered Change Jar Books.

20150428_120538_resized

Change Jar Books, 319 Moody Blvd. Flagler Beach, FL

Change Jar had a huge selection of books, both hardcover and paperbacks, reading quality and some collectible, as well as books by local authors.  Here is a collectible corner I liked, which was stocked by Steve Bolter of Sleuth Books in Palm Coast, Florida:

20150428_115938_resizedAnd there was more…

20150428_115949_resized20150428_115958_resized

After browsing in the

Change Jar, we hopped

back in the car and

drove on to St. Augustine

to stop in at Anastasia

Books…

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

only to find a note on the inside door that the store was unexpectedly closed all of Tuesday )-:

We have visited this book store in the past, and it is a lovely, well organized store with a good selection of books.  Sorry we missed it this trip!

All was not lost in St. Augustine.  While walking around, we struck up a conversation with a local gentleman, who asked us to come to his house to look at some books he wanted to sell.  Of course, we followed him (21 miles!).

Here is one of the books we purchased from him:

Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, - Vol. LXXXII - from January to June, 1871

Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, – Vol. LXXXII – from January to June, 1871

Godey's Lady's Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for fashion, architecture, music,  recipes, and more detailing life in the 19th Century.

Godey’s Lady’s Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for details on fashion, architecture, music, recipes, and more on  life in the 19th Century.

023238_3023238_5

Join us on our next stop:  Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island!

20150428_075154_resized

 

 

%d bloggers like this: