Last weekend I took the kids to a curling bonspiel (tournament) outside of Philadelphia, PA. Junior curling bonspiels are a kind of weekend camp-like experience. A bunch of kids with a love of curling and copious amounts of good food with minimal adult supervision.
Sure, the parents watch the games, some more avidly than others, but there’s a lot of chatting that happens. We even leave to explore the area.
One of my fellow Potomac Curling Club parents went on such an excursion and came back extolling the virtues of a fantastic, enormous bookstore called Baldwin’s Book Barn that was just 20 minutes away in West Chester. Because I can’t say no to any form, kind, or representation of a bookstore, I got in the car to see it for myself.Friends, it was delightful.
The white limestone barn was originally built in 1822 as part of a dairy farm and then converted into a bookstore and residence for the owner in 1946. It might have been my imagination, but I caught the whiff of pipe tobacco mingling with the prevailing odor of old paper as I walked through the thick timbers. (No whiff of barnyard, however.)
4 floors bursting with classic and new books in every genre you could think of. Music, history, mystery (yay!), literature, travel, politics, children’s literature (some from when my mother was a child), cooking … you name it, he’s got it.
Then there’s the glass case in the front with some first and second editions in it.
And then there’s this little gem. Also locked up to prevent people from damaging it, because who wouldn’t want to flip through what kind of talks they were having with 10 year old boys back in 1902.
There is allegedly a cat there, but I didn’t see it. Cats know when you really want them around and that is the moment they will choose to make themselves scarce. I should have faked an allergy. That gets them every time.
Do you have a favorite bookstore? Or a new gem that you’ve recently discovered? Or is there one on the East Coast that I should put on my list of bookstores to visit? Comment on my blog.
Oh! And did you see my book was translated into Russian???
Isn’t the cover amazing. I loooove it. This is the first of many foreign language translations coming. (I hope.)