The Captain’s Bookshelf, located at the northwestern edge of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, has been buying and selling quality used books for more than 40 years. Opened in 1976 by Chandler and Miegan Gordon, the shop carries a large inventory of “good books in good condition” across a variety of genres – classics, art, history, philosophy, poetry, children’s books, and more.
When stepping inside the quaint shop – currently in its third location, where it has been for over half its life – visitors are greeted with rows, shelves, and stacks of gorgeous books that have been carefully curated. Bookstore explorers like myself, who enjoy browsing stacks on the floor as much as neatly arranged shelves, will find both strategies on display at The Captain’s Bookshelf.
Much of the shop’s vast inventory comes from customers who bring in books to sell. An active and informative website discusses the book-selling process, as well as the appraisal and evaluation process.
Also on the website are featured titles new to the shop and a sampling of the inventory (according to the website, about a fourth of the total available books) available for purchase online.
But for the true Captain’s Bookshelf experience, you simply must check out the storefront. Its prime location in downtown Asheville keeps the place bustling. During my visit on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the shop was crowded with customers of all ages browsing the shelves, a healthy mix of what seemed to be both tourists and locals.
The Captain’s Bookshelf is located at 31 Page Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.