Cape Cod is host to only one big box book store that I know of, but many independent booksellers. I have to mention Eight Cousins in Falmouth before I go any further - it's a charming store in downtown Falmouth that specializes in children's books. With the only other book store in Falmouth closing the store will be carrying more adult books than they have in the past. Most other towns have their own special book store, and I hope to get to as many as possible.
With a recommendation from a fellow book fiend and an afternoon to spare I went out to visit Isaiah Thomas Books, which happens to be practically around the corner from my soon-to-be new house. Isaiah Thomas was a newspaper publisher in the early days of our country - a perfect name for a book store. The outside is an eye catching bright pink which in no way prepares you for what you will find inside. This store specializes in used and rare books and the selection is overwhelming. Books are stuffed into every nook and cranny from the floor to the ceiling. They are in shelves, in stacks, on chairs, displayed on tables and on carts. Books are shelved any way they will fit. Shelves of all kinds are wedged in everywhere there are a few square feet. Books climb to the ceiling and stack up on the floor. the most ordinary books snuggle up next to treasures. I would say that with a little time to spare serendipity is guaranteed.
There are also books downstairs - a huge assortment of literary criticism and foreign language books. There are loads of those decorative sets of classic books that add appeal to a home, vintage books with beautiful covers that beg to be altered and made into decorative objects, and copies of those books you gave away or sold that you wish you could have back (now you can!). Their selection of local history books probably covers every town on The Cape and most of Massachusetts. There are books of every kind of art, and about travel to every conceivable destination. If you want to grow it you will find a book that tells you how. A coffee table book from here would be a can't miss housewarming gift (hint?) for a bibliophile.
Shelves and areas are carefully marked with hand lettered tags and signs, so total chaos does not reign, but there is enough of a happy jumble to invite browsing.
What this means for the book shopper is that there are cozy corners with comfy chairs surrounded by books of every kind and vintage. Sit down to read a bit and you are cocooned in the scent and the sound muffling quality of books, snug and happy. I spent hours prowling around, pulling out books of all kinds and settling down to read. There is a little corner with plants, and a lovely calico shop cat. This store is just a little bit of heaven for someone who loves to be surrounded by books.
We're (still) waiting for the mortgage underwriters to work their magic. With a deadline looming to have a commitment by next Tuesday and a holiday weekend in between I'm a little itchy, but the bank does not seem concerned so I'm not in a state of total panic yet. Homeowners' insurance is not nailed down yet either. I'm trying to get GEICO to quote me since I've been satisfied with their car insurance, but so far we can't seem to be available at the same time to talk about it. I went over to the storage locker to drag out camping equipment for this weekend and I was quite distressed to find that the boxes felt damp (my books!). I guess it's not too surprising considering that we've had rain most days and fog every day. I'm crossing my fingers that most of my books will be OK; there's nothing else I can do. I must admit I did indulge in some minor weeping, and suggest that we might as well move into a yurt or the car because we won't have enough stuff left to furnish anything else. Idle threat, because there is almost no possibility that we won't have plenty of "stuff".