It isn’t often that I go away, overnight and it’s even less often that I go away, overnight, without my husband and kids. But, go away, I did. My sister-in-law and I packed our bags and headed out shortly after breakfast with the family. Keeping our getaway local seemed like a good idea, for a trial run. We chatted in the car on the way, grabbed a Starbucks, and hit the streets of Port Hope.
We moved from store to store, checking out the end-of-summer sales. Then, we found some cute second hand stores that had no end of cool vintage-y things and best of all books for a dollar each! I scored a copy of Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). Our next stop was Gryphon Books. I fell in love with this store when I opened the door. Immediately to the right, inside the door, was a wall covered with bookmarks. When I commented on how much I liked it, the lady at the counter told us she started collecting them because so many used books came in with bookmarks left in them. I spent quite a bit of time taking them all in. This cozy little shop was filled with books and smelled like warm paper. While we perused books and chatted with the lady, I found three L.M. Montgomery books I’d never heard of before! I couldn’t believe my luck! It is a good thing Gryphon Books was such a welcoming store, if it hadn’t been, I would have left sooner, and I would have missed out on finding my treasures.
Ducking into doorways to stay dry in the rain, we made our way to Furby House Books. Sweetly Victorian in green and gold, this bookshop was inviting and felt like something you would see in the movies. We had just picked up a copy of The Beedle and the Bard by J.K. Rowling and Albus Dumbledore when the lady at the counter heard us discussing our Harry Potter loving kids. “I have Dobby Christmas socks they might like,” she said. Well, there were Harry Potter socks, library card socks, 1984 socks, Star Wars socks…I raved about the socks! I tried to convince my sister-in-law to get a pair but she had more restraint than I do. I picked up socks with unicorns and books on them that say “Read the Rainbow”. We had a great time discussing her book related stock!
Not long after our visit to Furby’s, the rain got the better of us and we headed to Cobourg. The cumulus nimbus followed us but intrepid shoppers that we are, we waited out the rain. In downtown Cobourg, we found a decidedly English-looking bookshop called Let’s Talk Books. They offer free popcorn and a movie, in the store, based on a book that people are encouraged to read that month. She said it was just to give families something to do and to get them talking about books. How Stars Hollow is that! In this store, I noticed that there is a trend in the cozy murder genre right now; cozy murders that happen in libraries, bookstores, and otherwise involve books! I’m not sure why so many murders are now coupling with book related themes but I did pick up a copy of Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliot. I couldn’t help myself!
After relaxing, eating delicious food, drinking wine and lemon sparklers, and taking up an entire queen sized bed (that I had all to myself), I was ready to shop the day away. We decided to wend our way back home, slowly. At every flea market and antique store we stopped at in Colborne, there were books and curiosities to enjoy. But, I had yet to take my sister-in-law to my one of my favourite used bookstores. In Brighton, there is a big bookstore, crammed into a little building, called Read and Green. Andreas is by far one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. He made absolutely sure that we knew he was available should we need anything. I like chatting with him and I like that he goes out of his way to help people and rescue books. Any books you don’t want, he’ll take therefore rescuing them from the landfill. That day, I think our sisterly banter gave him a few laughs while we wandered in loops around the store. There is so much to see that every time I completed a lap, I found another book I just had to have. He read us quotes he found online and we talked about Stephen Fry. I found that my handful of books had turned into an armload in what felt like a very short period of time.
As we were leaving Read and Green, I realized that the more comfortable a bookworm is in a bookstore the more they are likely to buy. Bookstore workers that chat with me, the ones that listen to my conversation and chime in with something interesting, the ones who anticipate my needs will definitely have me hauling out my pennies. I realized that I love bookstores that are cozy and feel like a hug because I feel like I belong, that I have found a kindred spirit. Another thing I noticed was that there are way more bookstores in my local area than I had previously thought. I enjoyed my time away and I loved being a locabibliovore.