We always spend part of our Christmas in Alabama where we celebrate the holiday with "The Birmingham Barleys." Sadly though, one of us was missing this year - missed you, Harrison Barley!
Donald's parents, knowing how much I love books and bookstores, have tried for several years to get me to a bookstore not too many miles from their house. A place by the name of 2nd & Charles, but it seems as though our time there is short, and I just never have made it.
But this year, I did.
While Don and his dad were at The Barber Museum (where they easily managed to spend the entire day),
I spent several hours at 2nd & Charles in Hoover, AL
This wall is made from books. And I saw a lot of very familiar books included here - including some by our very own Reds.
I spent pretty close to four hours wandering and shopping.
and could have easily gone back the next day and done it all over again.
But we had to leave to come home.
There's always the next trip though. Hopefully, sometime this summer.
This is one of the bags of books I brought home with me.
Frank Gehry's buildings are phenomenal and sometimes startling.
To find some of them in a pop-up book tickled me no end.
What's more fun than a pop-up book?!
Besides feeding my craving for a pop-up book, I was also able to feed another fondness.
There was a table full of poetry books.
Buy one/Get one Free.
Did this please me?
Why, boy howdy, yes.
Yes it did.
I have been a long time fan of Jewel's music.
I think I had read that she was publishing her poetry, but had not run across any.
Until discovering 2nd & Charles, that is.
2nd & Charles sells new books, but they also sell used books.
I love picking up used books.
I know there are many of you who feel pain when seeing books marked up, or books that have been dog-eared.
Being the weird soul that I am, I have a different reaction.
I feel as though I've discovered secrets.
Someone read a book that resonated with them.
Found passages they might want to go back to, so turn down a corner of the page.
Or, guessing that they must have really liked the piece on this page not only turned down the corner, but circled the poem.
I love this.
I love feeling like I'm part of a person's interaction with a book.
A visceral tactile interaction.
It makes the book feel a little more alive to me, and causes me to wonder about the owner. Why did this particular piece interest her so? Did it stir a memory? Was it sad? Did it cause her to miss someone? And why did she part with this book?
I came home with books for me, books for friends, a pop-up book, a good bit of poetry - one book in particular which is lavishly illustrated, a cook book, a book about dreams, a couple children's books and several novels.
a pair of Corgi socks.
Now, I gotta say.
When I can find a fun pair of Corgi socks in a bookstore?
Suffice to say that particular bookstore just flat rocks in my book.
and life is good.
So, tell me about your favorite bookstores, Reds. Do you seek them out when traveling? And do you love used books, or stick strictly with new?