Carroll & Carroll

Independence is dependent on literacy and the right to free speech. To celebrate, today we take a tour of one of my favorite bookstores, the first of an occasional series.

Carroll & Carroll are the local booksellers in Stroudsburg PA, home of my in-laws.

A trip to Carroll & Carroll is a portion of the activities during family visits.

They’ve been here for bloomin’ ever and it shows on their shelves. All of the volumes are clean and in good repair. No musty, mouldy bargain bins here. They know their trade, pricing books appropriately, which always intrigues me: why is this copy of this book so much more expensive than other volumes of the same title next to it?

They carry both new and used books, which provides a collection even more complete and various (times a million) than chain bookstores.

The store’s precariously piled stacks and treasure heaps on the floor invite exploration. I especially love the double-shelved titles. What’s lurking behind there?

The stock rotates frequently. I only get up here on a semi-annual or annual basis, but I have been in many bookstores which are, title for title, exactly as they were when I visited last. There is so much to look at on these shelves that my funds limit me long before my interest. Hours, I’m telling you.

The layout is sorted by subject and genre, including a spinner rack of westerns, columns of “movie tie-ins”, and a center-stage S&SF– so many titles that I get a neck cramp trying to make sure I’ve picked through them all. The fiction wraps around the perimeter wall like a big hug, and the more or less alphabetical shelving style is much appreciated. I tend to not want to paw through fastidiously set up store displays. These are not, these are groupings. What I’m looking for should be here, if it’s not, they don’t have it. Easy. Welcoming. Low on the fuss-o-meter.

Carroll and Carroll know nearly everyone who walks in their shop, asking after relations and family news. I was even asked about my in-laws this time. Yah! Plus One for Regular status!

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