Before I kick off this little project of mine, let me say this: no one is paying me.
Let’s move on now.
This past weekend was my best friend’s birthday, and we decided to find a midway point between the DC area and Charlotte, NC. Enter: Roanoke, Virginia. I’ve never been before or given it a second thought. However, a local friend of ours went to school there and recommended it with enthusiasm. A quick search on the internet showed me local restaurants, museums, and a great bed & breakfast. Sold.
While researching spots to visit, I decided not to procrastinate the way I do in all areas not related to wine and pizza there is no time like the present and looked up the local bookstore.
After a morning of wandering around the Taubman Museum of Art, a fantastic letterpress shop, and a late lunch of great BBQ, I made sure our last stop before heading back to the big, covered porch at the b&b was Too Many Books. Just a couple of miles from downtown, it was a cinch to get there. We also enjoyed the small town perk of getting a street parking spot right out front.
You’ll notice in the photo above that it was a damp and soggy weekend. But is there any better weather for books?
Walking in the door, the comforting smell of used books welcomes visitors. The front room is cramped and filled to the brim. There is even a bookcase dedicated to first editions that I carefully combed over, and I plan on keeping an eye on it during future visits.
Something was missing, though, as I browsed the shelves and sections. Here’s history, and religion, and a wonderful collection of children’s books (including an impressive array of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew). I arrive at the last bookcase at the back and find a collection of memoirs. What a minute. Where the heck is all the fiction?
Then Ellen spots the staircase:
Oh, hello! And where might you lead us?
You’ll notice another doorway in this photo, too. This leads into two more rooms bursting at the seams with literary fiction, genre fiction, mystery, classics, anything your heart desires. We spent the rest of our visit going top to bottom and along the walls looking for buried treasure.
There was a lot to choose from, but I settled on a practically-new copy of A Passage to India. The woman working the register called it an “oldie but goodie” and was a hoot (especially after Ellen found the copy of Hot Guys and Baby Animals at the counter).
It was a great first stop! Plus they have their own bookmarks, which I always think is an under-appreciated touch.
Many thanks to Too Many Books.