Saturday, May 5, 2018

Time in New England: Books, Books and...More Books!

I wanted to post some more of my Providence Atheneum pics as wells as some of a fine Boston bookstore, Commonwealth Books.  Two things I love about as much as anything in life are old libraries and bookstores.

At the Atheneum I fell in love, Pygmalion-like, with the previously posted HP Lovecraft bust, but the interior of the whole building is alluringly lovely.  And for a small library, there's a fine mystery section of crime fiction, both classic and modern. 

Commonwealth Books has everything I like in a bookstore: marvelous old building, enticing and intriguing nooks, interesting cuttings affixed to the shelves, and books, books, books, piled high everywhere one looks.  I came back a second day and there was a new pile of Rex Stout pbs in immaculate shape, those nice Bantam editions from the 80s and 90s.  I made some nice finds indeed, including both paperback and hardcover titles.  More in the photo captions!

I definitely want to come back to New England--the pungent aroma of old books and ancient (well, by American standards) learning was everywhere. 

Providence Atheneum: a severely classical exterior, yet what bookish beauties await within!

quite an impressive pack of Peter Loveseys

Delight and Darkness:
I was amused to see Golden Age patrician Margaret Armstrong
--a writer I believe was instrumental in getting reprinted
(though the publisher never bothered to acknowledge this)--
rubbing shoulders with "gritty" specimens of Icelandic Noir

Now on to Commonwealth Books.  Follow me, dear readers!

Duck between those two buildings....

Down that alley....

Keep going!
Through this door....

Say hello to Willa, Bill, Oscar and the rest....

You should see my mantel...

On to the mystery section, of course!

a happy customer with his convivial author friends

Some of my haul at hand....

A better copy than mine of Carolyn Wells's Furthest Fury was here (far left at top), so I bought it.
I hope HarperCollins will reprint Fury, the best title by her which I have read, I think.
Also, note the Crippen & Landru volume at the other end! (I have that one too.)

The rivals of Nancy Drew....I bought the Judy Bolton!

Addie must have been a good aunt indeed.....


  1. That is a gorgeous library, but the bookstore is to die for. What a wonderful time you must have had.

  2. Yes, we don't have good ones in my part of the world, so it was great indeed getting see this place! Spent about $100.

  3. Fantastic photos Curt - and what great places to visit.

    1. I want to go back already! This is a place I would hit every week if I lived in Boston.

  4. I just read this post. There used to be something similar in Chapel Hill, NC called The Bookshop. Unfortunately, it closed in July 2017. It had more than mysteries, but that section was very well represented in both hard and paperbacks. I actually purchased a U.S. 1st of "Phantom of the Opera" prior to Anthony Lloyd Webber for $45.