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Tag: Bookstore Explorer

Wonder Book & Video – Hagerstown, Maryland

Wonder Book & Video – Hagerstown, Maryland

Boasting over four million books across three retail locations, the aptly named Wonder Book & Video is indeed a wonder to behold. Wonder Book is a book lover’s paradise that has been serving the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area since 1980 and online audiences since 1997. I took a break from book signings in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia to hop across the Maryland border and check out the Hagerstown location. If wading through long, tall rows of books is your cup of tea, Wonder…

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The BiblioFiles: Gordon Simmons, Former Bookseller

The BiblioFiles: Gordon Simmons, Former Bookseller

In this excerpted essay from Bookstore Explorer: West Virginia, former bookseller Gordon Simmons recounts his years in the indie book trade at such Charleston, West Virginia landmarks as the former Major’s Bookstore and Trans Allegheny Books. Bookshop Memories, or Keeping the Aspidistra Flying It was probably around 1979, while working split shifts as a directory assistant operator at the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company on Lee Street in Charleston, West Virginia, that I first became a nearly daily regular in…

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Cathedral Café – Fayetteville, West Virginia

Cathedral Café – Fayetteville, West Virginia

Nestled in the New River Gorge region of southern West Virginia, the small town of Fayetteville draws tourists from all over the world looking to experience the outdoor adventure offerings boasted by the area, from rock climbing to hiking to whitewater rafting and more. And amid the downtown district’s eclectic array of boutiques, shops, and restaurants is the popular Cathedral Café, an eatery, juice bar, bookseller, and all-around community hub. Locals and tourists alike frequent the café, which offers an…

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Robie Books – Berea, Kentucky

Robie Books – Berea, Kentucky

Tucked into the small college town of Berea, Kentucky, is a jewel of an independent bookstore called Robie Books, a lovely shop selling new and used titles for nearly twenty years.  The shop opened its doors in 2002 as Robie and Robie: Fine Books. Owners Harry and Laura Robie opened the shop because of a love of both books and their Berea community, which at the time lacked an indie bookshop. Having retired from his job at nearby Berea College, Harry…

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Glover’s Bookery – Lexington, Kentucky

Glover’s Bookery – Lexington, Kentucky

For more than forty years, Glover’s Bookery has been providing Lexington, Kentucky’s book lovers with rare and vintage volumes. With over 80,000 titles spread across two levels, the shop has an expansive and impressive inventory spanning the genres, including specializations in such subject matter as horses, military history, and Kentucky culture. The shop, owned by John Glover, has been buying and selling antiquarian books since 1978. A great deal of the inventory at Glover’s is hardback, and there are plenty…

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Unique Books – Lexington, Kentucky

Unique Books – Lexington, Kentucky

Located in Lexington, Kentucky’s Woodland Triangle, just around the corner from Black Swan Books for you bookstore crawlers, is Unique Books, which features a large collection of used titles, as well as plenty of regional works. The shop was opened in the early 2000s by Kathy and Tom Rather. As its namesake implies, the origin of Unique Books is itself rather unique. “It all started because I was irritated with my kids,” Kathy told Smiley Pete Publishing in 2012. “They were voracious…

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Black Swan Books – Lexington, Kentucky

Black Swan Books – Lexington, Kentucky

Established in 1984, Black Swan Books has consistently been rated Lexington, Kentucky’s best used and rare bookstore, and quite deservedly so. For bibliophiles seeking rare, vintage, first-edition, signed, or simply high-quality used books, your search will likely lead you right to the historic building that houses this wonderful shop. Throughout its multiple rooms packed with beautiful, tall shelves, Black Swan has amassed a rather expansive inventory, with titles ranging from the classics to poetry to travel to history to horses…

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Rose City Book Pub – Portland, Oregon

Rose City Book Pub – Portland, Oregon

Rose City Book Pub in Portland, Oregon, sold me on its name alone. Combining two of my favorite indulgences – books and a nice cocktail – this neighborhood spot is a cozy, quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown.  Located in what was formerly an Irish pub, owner Elise Schumock opened Rose City Book Pub in 2018 with the intention of keeping much of the décor the same, giving the book pub a quaint, lived-in feel with old…

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Belmont Books – Portland, Oregon

Belmont Books – Portland, Oregon

They say good things come in small packages, and Belmont Books in Portland, Oregon, falls nicely into that category. While one of the smaller venues in Portland’s thriving indie bookstore scene, a top notch selection, a welcoming storefront, and friendly staff set this one high on the list during my recent PDX bookstore crawl. One of the city’s most recent additions, Belmont Books was opened last year by Joseph Witt, a financial planner who’d also worked in restaurants before becoming…

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Broadway Books – Portland, Oregon

Broadway Books – Portland, Oregon

The website for Portland, Oregon’s Broadway Books calls it “A Great Little Store with Great Big Service.” I can happily attest to the truth of that statement. As is often the case on my bookstore explorations, I prefer to browse quietly for a while, take some photos, get a feel for the space…and shop for myself. While doing so at Broadway Books, the store clerk offered assistance to a mother and daughter who were shopping the sizable children’s section, greeted several regular…

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