Sometimes it’s the shops you find by accident that are the most memorable. My gas tank was nearing empty when, after miles of two-lane country road, I reached the small town of Sparta, North Carolina, and saw an Exxon sign out of the corner of my eye. Little did I know, an even more exciting sign beckoned at a shop down the block. That’s how I discovered Books ‘N Friends Used Book Store.
Narrow storefronts can be deceiving. I stepped into a deep shop with a very large, impressive and well-organized selection of books and was greeted with a warm welcome. The clerk explained that the shop is run by the town’s Friends of the Library group and is completely volunteer run. All proceeds benefit the Alleghany County Public Library.
I spent a good amount of time browsing the massive collection of donated books and chatting with the friendly volunteers staffing the shop that day. They even spotted my partner walking the dog on the street out front and invited them both inside.
It was a pleasant surprise and a great pit stop. If you’re ever in the Sparta area – whether with a purpose or just passing through like I was – make a point of visiting Books ‘N Friends. You’ll leave feeling like a friend indeed.
Books ‘N Friends is located at 35 North Main Street, Sparta, North Carolina. The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday.