Romanced By Bookstores

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been romanced by bookstores…especially used bookstores.  They lure me in with their old, stale-book smells and promise of inscribed inside covers.  They win my heart with their cozy aisles and reading nooks.  And if I find a treasure – – oh, stop the presses – – if I find a treasure, I’m forever theirs.

And I think I’ve discovered my new favorite bookstore in Orlando.  It’s called The Book Worm.  But I didn’t set out to go there first.  I ended up there at the end of a long day of disappointingly unsuccessful thrift store shopping.  And you betcha I’m going to tell you about it!

I’ve been on the hunt for a few things for some upcoming projects, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to read some yelp reviews and get to know the local thrift store scene.  Here are the items that were listed on my “to find” sticky note:

  • wooden tray OR vintage rake
  • decorative knobs
  • old wooden ladder
  • mirror with decorative frame

After visiting five different thrift stores in a 10 mile radius from our home in Orlando, I didn’t find any of these things…but I did find this:

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

It merited a photo.  What you can’t see in this picture is that there were 30 of these shirts available with that same logo, in various sizes.  I’m so curious as to the impetus for such a creation on a mass scale, and I’m not sure what I delight in more: the choice to highlight the word “pale” with rhinestones or the bright pink color, surely not the most flattering choice for fair skin.

A bit dejected after my failure of a thrift store run, I decided to make one more stop and check out a used bookstore near us.  I called first because I had actually driven by and thought the place looked closed down.  But a live person picked up and affirmed their whereabouts and hours, so I decided to pay The Book Worm a visit.

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

Almost immediately upon entering, the romancing began.

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

Maybe it was their bulletin board devoted solely to posting paraphanaelia found inside the pages of books…treasures and hints of the past…photos of previous owners…

Maybe it was the wide selection of Nancy Drew books that won my heart…

Maybe it was their unique book category labels (CONSPIRACY THEORY – AND WEIRD STUFF)…

Maybe it was learning about their upcoming sale where I can bring a tote bag and fill it to the brim with books for $10 total (eek!)…

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

Or maybe it was the fact that I found something that caught my eye.  A new book of scenes to take home and scour for potential scene-study for my theatre students.

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

Either way, I was a goner.  Head over heels for The Book Worm…my new favorite hole in the wall bookshop.

And it got me thinking…visiting a bookstore is such an emotional experience for me.  Not only am I drawn in by the space and the invitation to linger, sit, and get lost in a story, but by the potential relationships with the books within.

So, I thought I’d revisit in my memory some of my favorite bookstores from years gone by – – some of which gave me one treasure of a book – – some 20!  So, I present to you,

Lauren’s Favorite Bookstores & Favorite Finds:

1.  With Pipe & Book / 91 Main St. / Lake Placid, NY 12946  {Reported on Yelp as closed.  Tear.}

This huge old house of a bookstore was a maze of never ending stacks of books.  My family and I always made at least one stop to With Pipe & Book during our annual cross-country ski trip to Lake Placid in upstate New York.  My Mom loves the smell of pipes, so this bookstore romanced her immediately.  The aroma of pipe smoke wafted from their pipe room and filled the entire store…even the book pages were saturated with the scent.

One visit while in high school, I picked up a book of poetry called Listen to the Warm by Rod McKuen; I was gripped by McKuen’s simple ways of expression love and sorrow.  I spent many a night reading McKuen’s poems and writing my own inspired by his.  He helped give me a passion for poetry and an avenue for finding my own writing voice.  Betcha can guess what era this book was published in based on the cover alone:

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

2.  Rare Finds / 1014 College Ave. / Wheaton, IL 60187

On my 20th birthday during my sophomore year of college, I marched off campus and headed down the road to my favorite used bookstore, Rare Finds.  I rarely walked away from that store empty handed, and March 19, 2003 was no exception.  That day, I found a copy of Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, which rocked my world, especially in regard to journaling.  It was the perfect book to find on the start of a new birth year…empowering, inspiring, and…well…succulent!

Romanced by Bookstores | The Thinking Closet

3.  “Jerry’s” at the Mamaroneck Public Library / 136 Prospect Ave. / Mamaroneck, NY 10543  {Now closed.}

This was essentially a glorified closet run by an eccentric white-haired man named Jerry.  He only read Biographies and left the rest of the spoils for me!  Most books were just $1 or $2, so I really stocked up that one summer I worked at the library for the Emelin Theatre.  Finding God on the A Train by Rick Hamlin proved to be a wonderful travel companion…especially during train rides into the city.

Romanced by Book Stores | The Thinking Closet

4.  Three Lives & Company / 154 W 10th Street / New York, NY 10014

Visiting this shop was my go-to move after grabbing a butter-cream frosted cupcake at Magnolia Bakery in the West Village.  (Have you had one?  If not, add it to your bucket list.  Like, seriously.)  And Three Lives & Company is where I picked up my weathered, treasured copy of The Empty Space by Peter Brook.  Whenever I start a new theatre class, I read the first paragraph of this book to my students.  It starts like this:

“I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage.  A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

-Peter Brook

Romanced by Book Stores | The Thinking Closet

5.  Half-Price Books / 1375 W Lane Ave. / Columbus, OH 43221

The summer of 2009 was a big summer.  Mark and I got married, I moved from New York to Ohio, and I started my first year teaching.  I decided to have a little library in my English classroom for students to “check out” good books for their own personal reading, so I frequently visited used bookstores that summer to grow my stock.  Half-Price Books was a goldmine for me in that regard…but I didn’t buy just for the kids.  I also found plenty of good reads for me that helped psych me up for teaching – – like a signed copy of Ron Clark’s bestseller, The Essential 55.  It’s a good read, and a quick one, too!

Romanced by Book Stores | The Thinking Closet

So, those are some of my stories of bookstore romancing.  Now, I want to hear yours!

For one, how have you been romanced by bookstores?

Second, what are your favorite finds from your favorite bookstores?  (Bookstore name, town, and state, please…so I can visit when I’m passing through.)

Wishing you a lazy Sunday afternoon where you can curl up on the couch with a treasure of a book,

This is Lauren, signing off.

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P.S. I link up here.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    What a wonderfully snuggly post to read on a snowy (well, a dusting anyway) day here in Baltimore. I can’t say that I have read anything more than text books (I’m a bit of a nerd), but I do enjoy the feel and smell of books. Just knowing that someone else has treasured the same words makes me smile.

    As to the “Pale is the New Tan” shirt. THAT IS SO ME! I don’t enjoy hot weather. Summers are brutal for me. Although I am of Mexican decent (my maternal grandfather), I burn no matter how much SPF ‘infinity’ I have on. I have never been one to visit a tanning salon either. I don’t mind my pale skin and am offended when others comment about how ‘white’ I am. I would proudly wear that shirt. As an aside, I hope I have virtually wrinkle-free skin and not look like a used leather handbag when I am older. I seriously need to score that shirt!

    • says

      I’m slightly envious of your snow dusting! Ha ha, and I love that you’re a textbook reader, Christine. No wonder you’re so witty – – you’re just so gosh darn intelligent! 😉 I really thought you worded it well when you wrote, “Just knowing that someone else has treasured the same words makes me smile.” I feel ya.

      And I might need to seriously consider returning to that thrift store to buy you that shirt – – I think you would wear it well! And the remarks on your “white” skin is not cool. I think fair skin is beautiful; much more than bright orange from too much tanning! And you’re right, you’ll have the last laugh when you still look like a spring chicken rather than rocking the “used leather handbag” look as you so aptly described. Lol!

      • says

        Hehehe. You are so funny and kind. I’m really hoping that “Downton Abbey” helps ‘pale’ people like me be seen more as alabaster lasses.
        Remember there was once a time that ‘paleness’ indicated wealthiness and now ‘tan’ indicates wealthiness in terms of ones ability to travel. So funny how things change from one century to another. I really did enjoy this post!

        • says

          I kid you not, I almost referenced Downton Abbey in my initial reply for the very same reason you denote – – and that paleness was a sign of wealth and prosperity at one point! Maybe it’s on the up and up.

          And “alabaster lasses” has to be my new favorite phrase. I am LITERALLY laughing out loud every single time I say it in my head. You are too much!

          • says

            Well, this might make you laugher even harder. In my wine-induced/slap happy Raven’s Super Bowl win state, I accidentally typed ‘alabaster lassies’. I am still laughing. 😉

          • Linda says

            I had to add my two cents worth to this strand, too. Although I admit to loving the sun and my brown skin in the summer, Hayley tells me that her friends and family in Cambodia do NOT understand that concept, either. The whiter their skin, the better, and skin whitening cream is a common product in their shops.

  2. says

    I love books. I used to work with a show that profiled authors for a long time and I must admit that after years of reading books before author interviews, it started to feel like a chore vs a joy which is such a shame b/c books are meant to be enjoyed. I need to rediscover my love of reading which I did more predominately when I lived in the city b/c I read every morning on the subway while commuting to work.
    Old bookstores are definitely romantic. I think I am one of the last people on earth that prefers a tactile book to reading on a computer screen even though anything that gets people to read period (iPad, Kindle) is fine with me.

    • Aubrey says

      I’m with you and we’ll stand proud with our physical books! I’ve never owned an e-reader (and my mom owns something like 10 of them). I tried an audiobook once just to see what the fuss was about. A real, in my hand, book though is my cup of tea.

      • says

        I’ve tried using the iPad and also my iPhone as a reader and I just can’t get that same feeling when I don’t have the physical book in my hand.

        • says

          I’m with you, ladies! Though I received a nook as a going-away present when I left my previous school and have enjoyed it for certain occasions, nothing quite beats having a living, breathing book in the hands. That tactile experience is something sweet for the senses.

          And Alex, I can relate to the burnout on reading. That happened to me during grad school, and I definitely needed a little break from reading. I’m finding that several years later, I have more time and desire to get back into it. I have so many books in my stack to read…it’s hard to know where to start!

  3. Linda says

    Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, no love for the Book Loft in German Village in Columbus? If you didn’t make it there while you lived in central Ohio, your experience was sadly lacking. 32 rooms of books…need I say more?

    For any of your other blog readers that find themselves passing through Columbus, you’ll find more info here:

    • says

      I KNEW that either you or the Natalies were going to call me out on that one! Ha ha. I did get the opportunity to visit The Book Loft one time, but didn’t purchase a book there – – hence it’s absence from my list. But it was a magical gem of a shop indeed. Hard not to be with 32 rooms of books! (It reminds of the layout of With Pipe and Book in a lot of ways…it just keeps going and going and going.) We may have to prioritize stopping by during our visit to OH this April, so I can find me a treasure.

      • Linda says

        You both should definitely make it back there. I’m always of the mind to leave breadcrumbs when I wander from room to room because I’m sure I’ll never be able to find my way back to a book that intrigued me. And then of course there’s the wonderful ambience of German Village in general, all the delish restaurants and shops AND a Cup of Joe’s right next door for sustenance of the caffeine variety!

        • says

          Ha! I love the idea of leaving breadcrumbs back to intriguing finds. Wise woman, you are! And you’re right – – German Village is one of the treasured neighborhoods of Columbus. If we had stayed in Columbus, a part of me wonders if we would have ended up there…(though I know it’s super expensive!). We loved dining at Barcelona and experiencing outdoor theatre in the summertime at Schiller Park, as well as the magical event in early December, Village Lights, where the shops stayed open late and we could roam the streets lined with paper lanterns. Sigh. Missing Ohio right about…now.

  4. Aubrey says

    I didn’t know you are a reader, though one can not be and love the beauty of bookstores and libraries. Libraries and bookstores have a special place in my heart and I have a post in my draft box about my connection to them (specifically libraries).

    I love that you are giving attention to these lovely bookstores. I grew up near a bookstore in NY called The Book Worm and my mom took me there so often. You know I actually once had a real live bookworm in a book? I was in high school and I opened up a book in my room and there was a tiny hole that went through the pages. Okay, so I never saw the worm but the hole was most definitely made by a worm. It made me believe in book worms. :)

    I’m of the very pale variety and so the wording on that shirt makes me smile. I’ve gotten on that topic of tanning. I was asked if I’d ever tan but I make clear to people that I find pale beautiful. Well really I just find natural beauty beautiful. Whether you are naturally dark skinned or light I love it all. Don’t cover up who you are.

    Great post and you must have known that this post would have my attention! :) Anything to do with books makes me swoon. A few years ago my husband and I took a trip to Chicago. If you want to see some AMAZING bookstores I recommend adding Chicago to your list. They were magical, with books piled to the ceiling, with books going over your head as you walk under them. It was beautiful and so I took a lot of photos. It was my mission to go to as many as possible. I few libraries, like the Library of Congress, The Bristol Central Library, Rijksmuseum Research Library and so many more. To be honest, I think I would tear up walking into such beautiful places.

    Oh and I LOOOOOVE Half Price Books! I’ve been a long time fan of them. Austin has some amazing bookstores. My favorite hands down is Book People. It was the first time I ever went to an author talk. Well, I could talk forever. Lovely post Lauren!

    One last thing. I recently read a book that made me think of you, “How to be an explorer of the world.” Have you read it? I thought of you because it’s by the author of “Wreck this journal” and I know you are super passionate about that journal. I read the book while in the bookstore- it’s a super quick read but it was nice. It’s about what we talked about, the importance of looking at the world different, absorbing in more and becoming more a part of the world.

    • says

      Aubrey, thank you for your long and luscious response. I did anticipate you really soaking up this post!

      And believe it or not, I got chills to read about your “encounter” with a live bookworm. I didn’t even realize the phrase referred to a real phenomenon. How magical indeed.

      And hooray for natural beauty, pale or tan! I need to remind myself of that when I bash my skin tone for looking so green. My husband likes to correct me and say, “Olive, not green!”

      Although I did a lot of shopping in Chicago while at Wheaton College, I don’t think I ever happed upon the treasure troves of bookstores that you describe, with “with books going over your head as you walk under them.” I’d love to see those photos sometime…maybe in a future post!”

      Love to hear that Half Price Books is in Austin, too! (I had never heard of them before moving to Ohio. They’re fantastic.) And Book People sounds like a definite stop if we’re ever in the Austin area. What a great name for a bookstore.

      I think libraries are magnificent places, too…so it’s not strange to me at all that it would prompt you to tear up. I really look forward to your post on libraries…they’re another one of my favorite places and spaces to frequent. I even wanted to be a librarian as a young girl.

      Thanks for the book recommendation – – I haven’t heard of that one, but it sounds right up my alley! Which reminds me, I need to get started wrecking my journal…. Ha ha.

      Your long responses are always a feast for my eyes, Aubrey! Thanks for showing this post so much comment love and offering up so much engagement with it. You rock!

      • says

        Haha. I’m working to cut down the length of my posts (which I want to touch on) but my comments…that’s a whole other beast. 😉

        It did feel quite magical to see that hole.

        Actually Half Price Books started in Dallas, TX and then branched out to other parts of Texas, so its HUGE here. There are tons of them!

        What can I say, I comment away when it’s something I love and I love books. I especially love to find others who love books. Are you on Goodreads at all Lauren? I can’t remember if I asked you already but I’d love follow one another there if you are!

        • says

          Fun facts about Half Price books! Glad to know it now.

          I’m not on Goodreads – – in fact, I hadn’t really heard about it much before meeting you – – but you have me intrigued. You’ll have to tell me more about it…is it like a social network for readers?

          • says

            It’s exactly like a social network for readers. You can update what you are reading, keep track of what you have read and want to read, can interact with authors, enter into book giveaways, join book clubs, and so much more. I love the heck out of it!

          • says

            I just joined, too, because of Aubrey’s recommendation! It looks like fun once i figure out how best to use it!! See what you started with this post, Lauren? :-)

          • says

            Glad you joined, too, Mom! I just started reviewing books by giving them stars and that automatically added them to my bookshelf. You can also share what you’re currently reading or what’s on your wish list. Let me know when you’ve added some books, and I’ll have to check out your list! You’re a voracious reader, Mama…this site sounds like it was made for people like you!

  5. says

    Oh my gosh! The memories that you jar loose from my head, expecially when I saw the picture of the Nancy Drew mysteries. (Todays Harry Potter). I love reading books and also trecking through the thrift and discount stores for a true treasure of any kind.

    I would have to add another bookstore like those that you refer to, however, this one is located in Chico, California. I discovered it while recovering from rotator cuff surgery and the enjoyment of spending time with the kids and grandkids. This store is owned by a husband and wife team that were librarians. They also had a deal that if you joined their mailing list you would receive a “membership card” that you could present the next time to receive an additional discount off the purchase of the used books. Initially, when not being a member, the cost would be 1/4 of the retail listed price on the book. You also received credit for any books that you would bring in to be resold.

    I also want to mention an app that I use to record the books that I have read. It’s called Booklover. I have a terrible time remembering all the books that I have read, so needless to say, I am guilty of purchasing those that I have already read.

    Another source to finding inexpensive used books is The Goodwill Store. The stores in our area (NE Ohio) always have a table filled with books with the color of the week availble to purchase at $.50. Sometimes you can hit a really good week and others are duds depending on your reading preferences. Our stores get a ton of books donated by the libraries and other book stores that have outdated books they no longer want to keep in their inventory.

    Also in NE Ohio, we have stores called “Village Discount”. I shop at the Akron store when I can get there. They have the MOST fabulous deals on clothes, shoes, jewelry, some furniture, but the best deals are on the clothes. For furniture, tables, sofas and such, I go hunting at our Habitat Store in North Canton. If you have a kid in college that needs dorm furniture, its a great place to find everything they would need from desks, beds, lamps etc.

    Happy shopping!

    • Aubrey says

      Oh my gosh I love your story! I have my Master’s in Library Science thus wanted to be a librarian but as much as I love libraries I don’t like working for other people and have dreamt of building and running my own library or bookstore. So I love that two librarians created the one you are talking about. I plan to revisit CA, for sure, so I’ll put that on my list as well!

      Are you on Goodreads at all? That’s where I keep track of my to-read list, currently reading, and read. I love it! It’s the largest social network for bookworms and it’s lovely! I’ve connected with so many fellow book lovers there!

      I’m so glad that you mentioned Goodwill. I rarely buy books but when I do they are from used bookstores, library sales, garage sales or thrift shops. I love an old and used book. It has history. And, like you mentioned, you can find them for as low as 50 cents.

    • says

      K Lewis, I dub you Queen of Vivid Verbs. To “jar loose” and “trekking” are delights for my reader ears…just needed to affirm that!

      Like Aubrey, I delighted to hear your stories of beloved bookstores. The one in California sounds divine! And I need to keep my eyes out more at Goodwill for books…usually, I’m there for clothes or household items. It perks up my ears to hear of good shops like “Village Discount” in our former home of Ohio. I’d be there in a heartbeat if we still lived in C’Bus.

      Thanks for sharing your tales with us today!

  6. says

    Lovely, cozy post, Lauren!! You know I love old used bookstores and books, so I read and enjoyed every word and comment so far! I also prefer actual books, even though I occasionally use my e-reader.

    It wasn’t a book store, but my roommate Beth from Wheaton’s aunt and uncle had a house in Benton Harbor, Michigan, with book shelves (filled with books) on every wall in the house…from the living room, to study, to bedrooms, and bathrooms. I loved looking at their books, and taking some down to read.

    I’m so excited that you included both With Pipe and Book and Jerry’s–even though they have closed. I think Jerry’s may have reinvented itself at the Episcopal church’s basement thrift shop.

    My favorite find at With Pipe and Book was At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald…an old version and powerful story. I kept going back year after year hoping to find another treasure like that, but alas, I never did.

    Another special find was The Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle found at the Port Chester Salvation Army Thrift Shop.

    Thanks for reminding me of these romantic places…I will be on the look-out when traveling upstate soon, for a used book store!!

    • says

      Wow, a whole house filled with books?! That’s sounds like something out of a C.S. Lewis story…it’s also reminiscent of 319. Y’all have your fair share of books to behold.

      That makes me happy to hear that Jerry’s might have found a second life at the Episcopal Church. You’ll have to send him my greetings if you venture to check it out and see him and his wild self.

      Oooo, and I remember your favorite finds of At the Back of the North Wind (you read it to us!) and The Severed Wasp (a B.P. favorite). Don’t think I had realized that you found The Severed Wasp at the Salvation Army. Great store!

      Hope y’all can find a new used bookstore to fall in love with when upstate skiing. Though nothing will compare to With Pipe & Book…I think I’m forever loyal to them.

      • says

        I’ll let you know if there’s anything in the Pipe and Book Store space (but it can never be the same with their lovely old dogs sleeping next to the check out counter) if we can beat this upcoming Nor’easter and actually drive north! And I’ll look for Jerry’s book nook one of these days…as spring approaches…and let him know you were asking about him!

        Have a great weekend yourself with MM and PP…let’s skype if you get there tomorrow (Friday) night! I hope MM and PP read this post–they would love it and probably have some favorite bookstores themselves.

  7. says

    Enjoyed your post. My husband got me a Kindle Fire for my birthday last year and though I have enjoyed it (apps, web, etc.) it will never totally replace books for me. I also enjoy going to the library. Shelves and shelves of books I can take home (borrow) for free, read, enjoy, then return and get more!

    • says

      Daisy, I hear ya on loving libraries! What a wonderful resource for us…I have discovered so many gems through borrowing books and music and movies from my local libraries. I often reach my maximum check out limit! (Though I was delighted when they extended that limit with my special “educator” card when in Columbus. One time, I checked out 30 copies of the book, Love That Dog, to use with my freshman English as an avenue into studying Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams…that book makes me cry every time I read it.)

  8. says

    Lauren, is it possible I like you more with each post you write? I didn’t think so as I already like you so, but apparently it is! I so enjoyed your travel through time and bookstores; such a unique way to get to know you. I almost want to drive on down to Florida and visit The Book Worm, if only to appease my curiosity of what books lie in the “And Weird Stuff” category. I have to say that category calls me more than any!

    I too enjoy a good used book store. While I don’t have a favorite per se, I have become partial to a little place called Jill’s Books here in Texas, for it has a lovely children’s section and they are so understanding as my 3 ragamuffins wander around devouring the books (fortunately they have yet to do that in the literal sense!). It is aiding me in my mission to rear lovers of books!

    I’m also a huge fan of the library as I like to read books once and pass them on to others, with rare exceptions like Pride and Prejudice, which I read repeatedly.

    Loved your description of Jerry’s!

    • says

      Ha ha! You’re too sweet, Jessica. I’m also a fanatic for all things “weird” or “unique” or “strange.” Those are some of the best things in life! At least, the most fun.

      Jill’s Books sounds like my kinda place…and I love how kid-friendly they are. And you had me chuckling with your description of your ragamuffins devouring books (of course, my mind went to the literal image at first…ha!). And your mission to raise kids who are book lovers is a valiant one, and one I’ll strive for, as well. I inhaled books as a child and adolescent, and though my predilections fell more toward writing in high school, college, and beyond, the two go hand in hand. My love of the written word began with bedtime stories with Mom and Dad.

      Ha ha, and you’d get a kick out of Jerry if you met him! He’s a quirky guy…marches to the beat of a different drum, and I love that about him.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Jessica! To hear from you always brightens my day.

  9. says

    Ok this post totally blew me away ( I’m obsessed with books and especially love used book stores – the smells – the textures – the dust – all of it )
    But what blew me away was that I also bought The actors scene book from a second hand shop – a book no one would know what I was talking about – AND Listen to the Warm – written by one of my favourite poets ( him and Leonard Cohen actually )
    So happy I dropped by!
    Much love
    ( also read every single one of the Nancy Drew mysteries in the 70’s lol – for some reason 99 steps sticks in my head – but probably have it wrong )

    • says

      NO WAY! That is too crazy! I’m so curious what led you to buy the actors’ scene book – – are you an actor? Director? Teacher? Lover of theatre? And how cool that you’re a fan of Rod McKuen and the Nancy Drew books, as well. It must be the whole “great minds think alike” thing. So glad you stopped by and dropped me a comment, Suzan! These serendipitous connections in blogland are part of what keep me coming back for more each day.

    • says

      Hooray for meeting other SARK fans! She marches to the beat of a different drum, doesn’t she? And she has so much love to give! That’s just evident in the colorful pages of her books. Have you read any of her other books? I have…though Succulent Wild Woman is my favorite.

  10. says

    As a teenager I worked in one such bookstore, and it was my DREAM job! The place was called Paperback Junction, and there I sat every summer day, helping people find their books in that lovely little shop, and when there was no one milling about, I read, and read, and read. It just couldn’t get any better!

  11. says

    Much to my husband’s dismay – I collect old books, the older and mustier the better (ok maybe not musty) – but I LOVE them. My favorite ones are medical books from the 1800s or books that are books geared to tell women how to be good wives and moms. They are so funny. I found you over at Project Inspire – and coincidentally posted this this week: – using an excerpt of one of my favorite finds!

    • says

      I know about the musty smell! There’s something soothing about it…I suppose it’s the memories associated with it. My Mom would appreciate your penchant for medical books from the 1800s (she’s a nurse and loves all things books and vintage). And I have a book like you describe that tells women how to be good wives and moms. I actually received it as a gag wedding gift from a college friend. It’s QUITE entertaining! Off to check out your post from this week. Thanks for the comment, KT!

  12. says

    Lauren- next time you’re in Columbus, check out The Book Loft in German Village! We had our engagement photos taken there, it’s a labyrinth of books, it’s incredible! 32 rooms PACKED with books. We go back every now and then and always find something interesting!

    • says

      I’ll have to do that! My friend, Linda, reminded me of that treasure trove. How cool that you had your engagement pics taken there! You’ll have to post some of them on your blog at some point.

  13. says

    I love books! And finding treasures in a used book shop sounds like a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Sadly, the one I used to frequent closed down about 8 years ago.:(

  14. says

    I love the Book Worm, its a great little spot. Sadly I don’t read..ever. (unless its blogs of course) :) But I’ve been to the book worm a number of times because I love collecting old vintage books. I’ll spend more time reading the hand writing another placed inside than I do the actual book, strange I know. So happy you found the book worm, and yes, you are correct in that we have the WORST thrift shops. The goodwill in fern park on 17-92 isn’t too bad but PLEASE tell me you’ve checked out Maggie’s Cool Stuff in Casselberry, its more of a vintage boutique than a thrift shop, but surprisingly affordable. Its a regular stop for me on tues and thurs mornings when Colin is in school. .

    • says

      I SO appreciated your comment, Christina! I love that you also appreciate The Book Worm; they did have some great vintage books that I spied. And that bulletin board of things found in books is easy to get lost in. So many treasures of the past.

      That’s a bummer about the absence of good thrift shops here in Orlando. Hmmmm…maybe we should start our own! I’ll have to check out the Goodwill you mention, and no, I have not been to Maggie’s Cool Stuff in Casselberry, but it sounds uh-maz-ing. I mean, her shop title alone is enough to entice me. Thanks for the tips, fellow Orlando-nian!

  15. says

    I couldn’t stop reading your ever entrancing post with all our family’s and your favorite haunts. Don’t forget the Ocean Grove (NJ) Women’s Auxiliary Book Sale every summer with 1000s of books under the outdoor Auditorium Pavilion.

    I think my favorite bookstore finds were At Pipe and Book in Lake Placid, where upstate NY history books we bought revealed stories of your great-grandparents in Brainardsville and Chateaugay, NY, within sight of Canada. The story of your great-great grandfather, the “Chateaugay Baby” weighing 350 pounds or so, being summoned from afar by a Civil War general to see who was the bigger man. Our man won.

    You may recall we found his tombstone lying flat on the ground in a forest overgrown with vines on a summer day filled with horseflies and laughter.


    • says

      What a writer you are, Dad! Oh, thanks for reminding me of the OG Women’s Auxiliary Book Sale. I’ve definitely nabbed some great finds from those stacks…as well as contributed some to the pickings! “With Pipe and Book” is definitely a family favorite. And I had forgotten about finding the history book that mentioned the story of my great-great grandfather! That was such an epic story. Of course he won! He was a Reynolds!

      And I need to repeat this line that you wrote, it was such so beautiful. Like the end of a Rod McKuen poem. “You may recall we found his tombstone lying flat on the ground in a forest overgrown with vines on a summer day filled with horseflies and laughter.”

      Yep. My Dad is a writer.


  16. says

    If you ever get to Fairhope, AL, you will love our bookstore, Page and Palette. It’s the meeting place of the entire town with a great selection of books and incredible author visits.

  17. says

    I heart this post!! My absolute favorite thing to do is to visit a used book store. There are three half priced book stores within a a thirty mile radius of our house. (Half Priced books actually originated in Texas so you can always find one!) I love searching through their dollar section and coming across the most perfect treasure (like the novel version of Dr. Strangelove), or looking through classic literature and finding an ‘All’s Quiet On The Western Front’ with the original cover artwork that was printed before it got banned (and only spending $10 on it!). I am now adding your favorite haunts onto a list of places to check out if we are in those parts of the country!!

    • says

      I’m so glad you hearted this post. 😉 Aubrey from Project Lovegood recently told me that Half-Price Books originated in Texas; I did not know that! How fun for you to be so close to so many of them.

      That copy of “All Quiet on the Western Front” that you found sounds like a treasure of treasures! I had to google about the banning because I had never heard that. Do you have the copy with the face of the solider from the war bonds poster (a la Wikipedia)? $10 is a great deal! What a find!

  18. says

    I love bookstores too! I like your post a lot! when I was a kid, my dad used to bring me to the library every weekend ; not only to the kid section but to the real library. My dad loves reading, he is now 58 years old and you can still find him reading with his reading glasses on whenever I visit my parents. So, I think because of my dad and how excited he was when we used to go to the library, I LOVE books too! I remember not wanting to eat my dinner because I was so engrossed in a book, so my mom would bring me a sandwich to bed; so I could eat something. Now, with a 20 month old boy it gets very difficult reading a book, I haven’t read any this year (in my to-do list), now I make time to read posts, I do enjoy it but nothing gets better than holding an old or new book in my hand! glad you found this bookstore!

    • says

      Ingrid! I love this story of how your father passed on his love of books and libraries to you! And that you were so engrossed in books that your Mom would bring you food in bed…how wonderful! It seems that nowadays, kids are more engrossed in technology than reading…but if we can pass along to the next generation a love of literature and stories, we’ll be in a much better situation from an education standpoint than we are right now (this is a teacher speaking – – I’ll get off my soapbox now). I bet that when your 20 month old gets a bit older, you two can get engrossed in books TOGETHER, and you can pass on that same love of reading that your father gifted to you. And I hope you’ll find pockets of time to steal away into a good book in the not too distant future. 😉 Thanks for your sweet comment today.

  19. says

    I love bookstores especially the neighborhoods ones or like you say the used ones. I even worked at one in the evenings after working the assistant principals office at a middle school. The books were relaxing and comforting. Unfortunately the store closed after 2 years. I can’t walk into a store for just one book or even order on line just one book.
    Barnes and Noble better not close but I’m sure all the book stores hurt because of the easiness of ordering on line. ;o(

    • says

      Being surrounded by books is such a comfort isn’t it? How wonderful that you got to work at a neighborhood bookstore. And it’s too bad about so many bookstores closing; I’m sure they’re tough businesses to keep going with the influx of e-readers and Amazon. Makes me think of a 2013 remake of “You’ve Got Mail” where the neighborhood shop’s nemesis is Amazon.

      And I recently read an article about Barnes and Noble closing several stores to save money, and some predicted that it was the beginning of the end. I certainly hope not!

  20. says

    I love reading too, Lauren and LOVE having physical copies of books to read as well. I do however read a lot more on my Nook since my husband doesn’t like the light at night. However, I just replaced my book light and look forward to turning real pages again this week! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by, Roeshel, and for sharing your two cents. That’s great that your book light is back in action and ready to light your way to reading real pages; there’s nothing quite like it, is there? Enjoy!

  21. says

    Wow, Laur. You’ve stuck gold with this post! So many who have been romanced by books in their time. I, too, have found many a gem at Ocean Grove’s summer booksale. I had a lovely afternoon in downtown Chattanooga this fall stumbling upon a used bookstore with some friends. I can’t remember the name, but indeed, there was a wild-haired woman running the place with a cat sitting in front of the counter. You’ve made me want to search for a place here in Glenside. Haven’t found one yet, but I’ll be on the hunt. :)

    • says

      It was such a fun surprise to discover how many of my bloggy friends share a love for books, bookstores, and libraries. It seems we each have a wealth of stories and experiences related to books!

      And I love the image of the wild-haired woman running the bookstore in Chattanooga…and a cat sitting by the counter. That’s my kinda place! And Glenside seems like such a romantic, old town…I’m sure there’s a treasure trove of a bookstore to be found. Try a quick search on yelp! That’s where I’ve discovered a lot of my favorite places and spaces.

  22. says

    I was going to suggest Half Price Books – but then I was so happy to see it on your list already!

    I had some great musical book finds I blogged about this past week – for me, when I go to a used bookstore I always seem to come out with a “theme” of books. Last Sunday at the Houston Public Library’s annual sale, it was mystery novels. Three weekends ago in Dallas it was awesome music books.

    I’m feeling more like we’re kindred spirits now! Full House, Beach Boys AND used books? LOVE!

    – Miranda

    • says

      Hooray! Glad to discover another half-price books fan. I really wish we had one near us now in Orlando; I miss them. And I’ll have to check out that post you wrote on great musical book finds. I’m sure it’ll inspire me to take another visit to The Book Worm. #kindredspiritsindeed

      Have a wonderful weekend, Miranda!

  23. Emily says

    I randomly found your blog this morning while looking up DIY wood pallet signs on Pinterest, and stumbled across this wonderful post. Although I currently live in Birmingham, AL I grew up in Orlando and have frequented the Book Worm often. I would also suggest the BrightLight Bookstore up in Altamonte; it’s a Christian based company with a great selection of books, with a wide range from new release fiction, classics, collectables, devotionals, and those childhood reminiscent Nancy Drew novels. I think it might be a little pricier than the Book Worm, but definitely has the selection to make it worthwhile :) Just thought I’d share!

  24. says

    I don’t think I realized you were such a book fan! Although you did give me a huge hint about your fab reading taste when you said Maus was awesome! I love how you discussed bookstores in multiple locations, too! Maybe we can go on a used bookstore tour when I get home in March!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Um…YES YES YES to a used bookstore tour together! I would love that. I can see the collaborative posts now…. 😉

  25. Maddie Davis says

    Oh, half priced books the chain of used book stores. If you come through Indiana, they have days when everything is on sale or fill a bag sale. If you’re not I recommend hitting up their website. In Fort Wayne, IN on Wells street is a used book store that makes me smile every time I walk in. Hyde Brothers books. 2 wonderful floors of book shelves to the ceiling. They even have a library ladder. They use to have a store cat, but he now lives with one of the employees. Enjoy your read.


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