A fabulous bookstore...

While in Baton Rouge, I had about an hour to kill while Bethany was with her friend and John napped.  So I used the Yelp application for iPhone to see what was nearby.  Based on a recommendation in Yelp, I wound up at a wonderful used bookstore called Cottonwood Books.

Though I love Half Price Books in Dallas, as the store has grown into a chain, it has lost some of the magic it had when it was just a single store off Northwest Highway. Cottonwood Books is a real one-man shop which gives it the "magic" factor.  I was bummed I only had an hour to browse. I found a 1908 copy of St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson--which is in good enough condition to be my next airport classic read.

I also purchased a copy of  Milton's Paradise Regained with a pencil scrawl Jacob Andrews December 31, 1905 inside the front cover. The handwriting is very even and proper like a student wrote it.

Jacob must have never finished the book, because his bookmark--a torn scrap of newspaper--is left about halfway through staining the pages on either side.

There is a treasure hunt factor to used bookstores, and it is different for everyone. That one find that makes you feel like you discovered something valuable that everyone else missed by allowing it to sit on a shelf or under a pile.

Maybe that's why the one-man shops are magical.  Because the treasure seeker actually runs and manages the store.  Because the whole reason they went into business in the first place was for that joy that happens every time they open a box of acquisitions wondering what's inside.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall