Bookstores are magical places.
Stepping inside a bookstore is like walking through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia. Every book represents an opportunity to travel, to learn or to simply escape reality. They are collections of big ideas and familiar stories. They hold new ideas and stories so foreign you marvel at their originality.
I get excited at the sight of a bookstore but it’s rare to find one with atmosphere as exciting as the contents of all those books they sell.
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar in Asheville, North Carolina is incredible.
With thousands of books packed into two levels of space, it’s a book nerd’s paradise. The space itself is eclectic and fun with interesting art to enjoy if you aren’t completely preoccupied by the eclectic variety of titles.
There are comfy couches and chairs available for settling in with a drink and a book. There are also nooks and crannies with chairs to settle in and get to know a book before you buy.
The title I selected is a gorgeous photography book called “The Face of Appalachia.” This is a superb book of photography by local resident Tim Barnwell. It’s signed and the images, along with their accompanying stories, are exceptional. The photographer made the pictures of people in their own environments and he wrote snippets about the people’s lives. These black and white images are rich with detail and nearly every image is worth a slow study.
I am good at getting people to talk but I am in awe of how this man convinced Appalachian people to open their doors and invite in a stranger to take photos and listen to their stories.
When I went to pay, the store’s proprietor waited on me, flipping through the book and providing some insight into the photographer. He seemed as excited about my choice as I was!
He was delightful.
Don’t be fooled by the name of this place, they sell other libations besides champagne along with some food and deserts that looked amazing. They also have some outdoor seating where, on that night, live music kept people engaged with toe tapping tunes.
If I lived closer, I would be there all the time. Want to know more? Click here to visit their website. You can also follow them on Facebook. Battery Park is located in The Grove Arcade in a historic neighborhood of Asheville. Click here to read about that place.