Friday, August 27, 2010

Old Books in my Backyard

I finally asked directions to a used book store that I'd been hearing about in Greensboro. It wasn't hard to get to, and even had a place to park although it's near UNC-G. I hadn't been feeling well the past couple of weeks, with an injured shoulder, and I knew something was still wrong with me because I didn't get excited when I first walked in and saw all those old books. Pages Past really is an old and rare book store - you won't find any sci-fi or bestsellers here.

But when I got to the second alcove and saw books about local history and genealogy - Ahhh, I was at least interested. I stayed in that alcove for I don't know how long, going through the books methodically to see what I could find. I started a "buy" pile with one that containied sketches of old area churches, including the Springfield Meetinghouse. I had to go sit in a chair to consider some of the other histories; it's hard to juggle books with one good arm. I chose a couple of paperback educational books with lots of photos from the N.C. Archives about colonial and early American life. I looked at all the ones I could reach and saw that it was closing time.

I decided to make a quick sweep through the rest of the store. I added a history of Dublin and an old, but cheap guide on U.K. and Irish genealogy.

I rounded a corner and stepped back in surprise, because I had thought I was the lone customer right then. I looked again, straight into the gaze of the bookshop cat. I held out a hand in introduction, which she politely sniffed. She let me pet her a little, then she jumped down and preceded me to the counter.

I laid my books on the counter and commented to the proprieter, "You've got a real book cat!"

"Yes, made of real books," he quipped. With her many-colored coat, that could almost be true. The cat jumped onto his shoulders and peered down to oversee the bill. "With real claws," he added.

You can see a picture of her on the Pages Past website (note that the sale on the website has last year's dates).

The one that got away (but I still have my eye on it): I found a book called the North Carolina Year Book, which was a business directory, by county, of every business owner, politician and postmaster in the state in the year 1902. It was very tempting, but the price was a bit steep. I came home and couldn't find any for sale online, but the book contents have been digitized. I wonder if this was put out every year, and if there are any others out there.

They also had a copy of the Randolph Book, which I already have, but it was signed to the author by various people and had the steep price of $100. 'Makes me appreciate my copy even more.

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