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Tag: West Virginia

Fuzzy Dog Books & Music – Charles Town, West Virginia

Fuzzy Dog Books & Music – Charles Town, West Virginia

It was quite by accident that I happened upon Charles Town, West Virginia’s Fuzzy Dog Books & Music when I was writing Bookstore Explorer: West Virginia back in 2019. I was traveling through the region checking out other shops when I discovered what was then a brand new store specializing in used books and vintage vinyl.  Shop owners Sara Anderson and Robert Wiles created the perfect marriage of books and records when opening the store in their original location in March of…

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Vigilant Books – Wheeling, West Virginia

Vigilant Books – Wheeling, West Virginia

Vigilant Books in Wheeling, West Virginia, has had quite the journey during its relatively short time in operation. Owner Chuck Wood originally purchased an old firehouse in town with plans of opening his secondhand bookshop there, but the cost of needed repairs was simply too high. He then landed at his Market Street location in the fall of 2019, only to be forced into closure the following March for fifteen months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His persistence, however, has…

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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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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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Taylor Books – Charleston, West Virginia

Taylor Books – Charleston, West Virginia

The word “homey” comes up more than once when asking staff and customers at Charleston, West Virginia’s Taylor Books to describe the bustling shop located in the capital city’s downtown shopping district.  “It has a homey feel,” says Aaron Justice, who works in the shop’s café. “You have everything here. The shop plays a big role in the community.” And he’s right. Opened in 1995 by local entrepreneur Ann Saville, a native of England, Taylor Books is the epitome of…

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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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Book & Bean – Bridgeport, West Virginia

Book & Bean – Bridgeport, West Virginia

Shoppers at the popular Bridgeport Farmers Market in Bridgeport, West Virginia, can stock up on books along with fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and locally made crafts. The Book & Bean has become a market staple since it was added to the market five years ago, offering a small but handpicked selection of cookbooks, food-related books, West Virginia authors, and children’s titles.  “We want books that are appropriate to the audience of a farmers market,” says market founder Debbie Workman, who…

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Homeward Bound Books – Charleston, West Virginia

Homeward Bound Books – Charleston, West Virginia

An intriguing take on the indie bookstore emerged in the backroom of Sullivan’s Records in Charleston, West Virginia, when, in early 2017, bibliophile Joe Solomon approached shop owner Samuel Lowe about opening a “book nook” inside the shop. It was a unique idea that has since led to as many as a dozen nooks across several counties throughout the state. Known as Homeward Bound Books, the nooks are as small as one or two shelves or, as in the Sullivan’s…

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