I found it.
My Summer 2019 Book Shop Tour consisting of one book shop is complete.
• Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC •
It’s a great shop located in the historic shopping section nestled between other unique (and some not unique- Banana Republic and Rack Room Shoes, I’m talking to you) spots on King St. There are metered spaces to park up and down the street, so I was able to park right in front.
It was smaller than I had hoped, but really unless it is the size of a Barnes & Noble or McKay’s Used Books, it will always be too small in my opinion. Upon walking in, along with new releases and bestsellers, local authors and authors who write about SC were also prominently displayed with pictures of them visiting BBB. Authors like Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Margaret Bradham Thornton are favorites of mine who were front and center.
There’s just something about beautiful stacks of books. I want to buy them all. If you haven’t read these authors, here are my top recommendations from each:
-Prince of Tides
-South of Broad
Conroy is a true artist. His words paint SC vividly and allow you to feel right at home in the palmetto state. His stories will catch your heart and his characters stay with you like dear friends, especially the first two. I don’t usually reread, but Beach Music has been calling me back for sometime. Conroy passed away in 2016.
Dorothea Benton Frank:
-Return to Sullivan’s Island
-Same Beach, Next Year
Her books are beach reads with the best of them. Or- pick one up in the heart of winter to warm your soul and remind you of the sunny days that lie ahead.
Margaret Bradham Thornton:
-The Theory of Love
Wonderful love stories. No cheesiness, but rather depth and beauty that is a little breathtaking, especially TTOL. That is not meant to be a slight on Charleston, I like them equally.
BBB has both new, used, and some rare books. There is also a small staff-selection section up front. Seeing what books the staff selects not only introduces me to great new books, it also shows me that I am not alone in my bookworm tendencies. Recommending books (when asked) is something I love to do. Clarice Lispector was among the recs- so I know there is good taste floating around amongst the staff in BBB.
Something I do when I fly (there’s usually a cool airport book shop, like in Austin, TX) or go somewhere like an independent book store is make a purchase of a new book, meaning a book at full cover price. It doesn’t happen often, so it’s always fun when I get the chance. Since I’m such a cheapo, or shall I say frugal (because it doesn’t sound as hideous), buying a book at full price feels quite indulgent. Maybe that’s what it feels like to be a Kardashian- assuming they know how to read properly.
This is the book I bought: The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin D. Yalom. I was introduced to Yalom many years ago by my sister. He is a a master in the world of psychiatry and is a psychiatrist himself. I have read Love’s Executioner-Tales of Psychotherapy (nonfiction) and Lying on the Couch (fiction). Both are fascinating books. I had never heard of The Schopenhauer Cure, but as soon as I saw it and read the back, I knew it was my choice. If psychology interests you at all, I recommend checking in to Yalom. The Amazon synopsis is below:
Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine check up, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work — and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured — miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer — and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training.
Philip’s dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.
Photo Disclaimer: Jam Jar wine is a favorite, if you haven’t noticed. Books + wine = the best equation.
“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”