Rebekah from Coelacanth Books managed to coax me out of my hovel yesterday. Tempted by a sunny day of bookish shopping, we nipped down to Worcester, MA to check out a few places starting with C.C. Lowell arts supplies, she was looking for book binding papers, I was just trolling for new erasers for my collection. The shop was smaller than expected but with quite a wide variety tucked into it.
Then we moved on to Ben Franklin Bookstore And Worcester Antiquarian Book Center a Worcester staple. Still the deep cavernous rabbit warren of bookshelves, that I remembered from way back in the day. I had been one of the group shop booksellers about 15 years ago. Ben Franklin is the kind of shop that used to be the trade standard – cluttered and deliciously inviting, you may not find exactly what you want, but you would be hard pressed not to walk out with something you didn’t know you wanted.
I bought an old book on library binding tech, a signed 1st of Jasper Fforde’s Lost in a Good Book at half price, a really well beaten up school book and a rare cookbook to resell and pay for everything else. And I wasn’t even looking all that hard.
That wasn’t even the BEST part of the day, near C.C. Lowell’s is a seafood restaurant to die for – the Sole Proprietor. I’m a sucker for a raw bar. Their lobster bisque is actually a lobster chowder. The place has fresh asparagus and Hollandaise sauce as a side order. I could read their menu like a novel. If I lived nearby I’d be so freaking broke.
Before we made it to the street, we got lured into a teeny wine & cheese shop. The Wine Vine was remarkable for what’s wasn’t present – nothing from major wine labels, everything was produced by small independent vineyards – and the price range was very broad. There was stuff that I couldn’t even afford to sniff the cork – but there was plenty I could choose from, in the end I settled for a bottle of White Port. Something I hadn’t seen anywhere near me. Problem is if I like it, I will have to drive back down to Worcester just to restock. . . . oh well life is just full of these tough chores.