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Tag: Bookstore

Oracle Books – Wytheville, Virginia

Oracle Books – Wytheville, Virginia

Randy Shell, owner of Oracle Books in Wytheville, Virginia, had a simple yet potent mission when opening the used book and record shop in late 2018.  “People asked me, do you really want to open a bookstore? Can you make a living?” he says. “I said I’m not looking for a living, I’m looking for a lifestyle.” And, in that regard, he appears to be succeeding in spades. Upon entry to the downtown shop, Randy greeted me with a friendly smile, a…

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Ghost Palace Books – Thomas, West Virginia

Ghost Palace Books – Thomas, West Virginia

Perhaps fittingly for its name, Ghost Palace Books in Thomas, West Virginia, opened its doors on Halloween 2020. The independent bookshop, café, and small publishing press is a worker-owned cooperative located in the town’s small, eclectic and bustling business district, surrounded by restaurants, boutiques and galleries.  But as the town of Thomas’s stature as a tourist destination has grown (it’s a popular draw for outdoor enthusiasts and located near attractions like Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls State Park), one thing was…

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WordPlay – Wardensville, West Virginia

WordPlay – Wardensville, West Virginia

Opening a business of any kind, let alone an independent bookstore, during a worldwide pandemic is no easy feat, but for Tom and Marlene England, it is a venture proving successful. In September, the couple, who already operate a bookstore and toy store in Frederick, Maryland, opened WordPlay, an “independent bookstore with an extra helping of fun,” in Wardensville, West Virginia. “The idea has been percolating in our brains for about four years,” said Marlene, a West Virginia native. The…

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Buckeye Bend Books – Buckeye, West Virginia

Buckeye Bend Books – Buckeye, West Virginia

Gerry Burnett opened Buckeye Bend Books in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, for a rather simple reason: his barn was so full of books, he could no longer fit his tractors in there. An avid reader and book collector, Gerry had long been storing his collection in his Greene County, Virginia barn. When he retired from teaching in the late 1990s, he began searching for a place to move his massive set of volumes, and opening a bookstore seemed the perfect…

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Cicada Books & Coffee – Huntington, West Virginia

Cicada Books & Coffee – Huntington, West Virginia

Nestled amid a row of quaint antique stores in Huntington, West Virginia’s Old Central City district, Cicada Books & Coffee is providing a welcome respite to visitors, while bringing a long-held family dream to fruition for mother-daughter owners Dawn and Katie Norman.  Owning and operating Cicada – a name which conjures a sense of rebirth and fresh starts – isn’t the first time the Normans have worked together, but it is a venture that has been a family dream for…

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COVID-19 Edition: Chop Suey Books – Richmond, Virginia

COVID-19 Edition: Chop Suey Books – Richmond, Virginia

While bookstore explorations are on pause, let’s look at how a Richmond staple is keeping books in the hands of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Richmond, Virginia’s Chop Suey Books was named Virginia’s best bookstore in 2019 by MentalFloss, and it’s easy to see why. From an expansive inventory spanning two floors, a friendly staff, a cool vibe, a unique history, and a friendly bookshop cat, Chop Suey checks all the boxes of a fantastic indie.  The shop came by its…

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Riverrun Books – Greensboro, Pennsylvania

Riverrun Books – Greensboro, Pennsylvania

Tucked away on a quiet side street in Greensboro, Pennsylvania, is Riverrun Books, a gem of a used bookshop that has served its community for decades. I happened to be coming to the shop from a direction that led me, at times, along rather winding, narrow stretches of two-lane, small-town highway. “There’s a bookstore along this road?” my traveling companion asked aloud more than once.  Yes, there is, and it’s fantastic. I’ve noted several times throughout the blog that my…

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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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