The Best Bookstore Ever, Seriously

January 4, 2013 § 9 Comments

One important lesson my parents have taught me is to never spend a lot of money on anything, unless quality is a factor. Therefore, thrift stores and libraries are my primary methods of book buying. For some reason most of the books there appear to be unread. I have found some Agatha Christie novels in such places (Why anyone would abandon an Agatha Christie novel is beyond me.), as well as many classics.

On New Year’s Eve, one of my best friends and I were looking for a used bookstore to explore, so we searched online for some in our area and made a list. There were quite a few, so we called them to see if they were open. With each unanswered call, we crossed a name off the list, one after another; our hopes were marred with each mark through the dwindling

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stores. One was left. We called and were informed that they were open, but only until 2pm. The name of the store was Lillian’s Library Antiques.

Finding the store wasn’t easy. We passed it about seven times before espying it. There was no sign visible from the street, and it looked like just another house…it was camouflaged as well as a leaf bug clinging to a branch. We didn’t expect much, but hoped for something magnificent. I got out of the car and waited for my friend.

The door of the house creaked open, slowly pulled inward by an invisible being. I stared. 

It opened to its full extent, and a petite old lady stood inside the doorframe. Her face glowing, she welcomed us in and happily introduced herself. Another woman stood behind the counter. She was also a bit older than me, but no doubt sweetened by each year of life like her mother. This lady’s name was Lillian. The mother-daughter pair was genuinely happy to have people in the shop, and became happier with each remark we made.

There were books and books and books. Gorgeous leather books, old cloth books, first prints, new books, books in German, Latin, Greek, French… I believe the store held nearly every good title known to man. There were books by Flannery O’Connor! We were ecstatic to see so much beauty, and they were ecstatic that we appreciated it. I’m sure they found it irregular that teenagers appreciated these books as much as we did.

When you first walk in, the amount of books is overwhelming. The shelves are as tall as the ceiling, and stacks of books two feet tall rest at the base of each shelf, lining either side of the aisle. This place was the best bookstore I’ve ever been to. If you are a book lover and live in NC or ever pass through, you must visit this glorious refuge for the imagination. Lillian’s hobby of collecting books morphed into the bookstore. She constantly buys new books, and you can easily see how much she loves them when you step into this converted house.

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