The latest addition to Asheville, North Carolina’s vibrant indie bookstore scene is Bagatelle Books, specializing in expertly curated used and rare books.
The shop was opened in April by owner Patrick Kutcher, who worked in several of Asheville’s independent bookstores before opening Bagetelle, a name which refers to a short musical composition or idea. The shop is inspired by the bookstores of Argentina, to which Kutcher traveled while researching and developing his vision for Bagatelle. After nearly 13 years of working in Asheville bookshops like Malaprop’s, Downtown Books & News, and The Captain’s Bookshelf, Kutcher was ready to venture out on his own.
“I wanted to keep working at a bookstore, and there wasn’t one in West Asheville,” he says. “Downtown has a lot of foot traffic, but it’s also hectic. It’s nice being over here with a sort of ‘neighborhoody’ feel.”
Bagatelle is connected via French doors with neighboring garden shop and café, Flora, allowing customers to wander between the two. The shop’s beautifully handcrafted tulip poplar shelves are stocked with a plethora of rare volumes curated by Kutcher, from classics to newer releases to vintage paperbacks and more.
Kutcher is certainly correct about the neighborhood vibe of his shop. During my bookstore crawl around Asheville, I loved the downtown stores, each of which offers its own unique charm. But bookstore explorers seeking a more intimate experience of browsing vintage secondhand books and chatting with a friendly and informed shop owner, make the short drive across town to Bagattelle. You’ll be glad you did. (And if you can’t get to town, you can browse inventory in the online store.)
Bagatelle Books is located at 428 C Haywood Road, West Asheville, North Carolina. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday (closed Tuesday).