Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Purple Crow Books - Hillsborough, NC

Purple Crow Books - Hillsborough, NC

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Here it is again readers, another small populated town able to support and sustain an independent bookstore.  But there is a BIG difference with this town of approximately 6000 and many of the others I've visited.  This town was named the most literary small town in America by the Wall Street Journal.  So you shrug your shoulders and say big deal, right?  Yeah, well, it is a big deal because there are a couple of dozen established and published authors that call Hillsborough home.  That's what I call one literary town.  People like Allan Gurganus, Lee Smith, Thomas J. Campanella, Michael Malone, Frances Mayes, and Jill McCorkle, just to name a very few because there are SO many more.  If Purple Crow would ever stumble, and I doubt that will happen, you'll have authors galore riding to the rescue of this super indie.

One of the disappointments in my travels is that I can't spend more time in the places I visit.  This town absolutely oozes history so history buffs will love visiting here.  Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress, was a slave here.  There's a signer of the Declaration Of Independence buried here.  And there's a bookstore that fits nicely with all of this.  Of the 90+ bookstores I've visited up to this point, Purple Crow is in the top 5 for smallness.  The store features a main room of adult fiction and a 2nd room of all children's books that is very popular.  There are a few sidelines including individual greeting cards as well as boxed sets and a selection of journals.  There is an incredibly strong local customer base and also some tourist traffic, thanks to the historical attractions.  Sharon, the owner, has to be selective with her inventory due to the small size.  What does this mean?  It means any book you pick out here will be a winner.  She has all the recent releases and best sellers as well as an extensive offering of books by the many local authors.  If she doesn't have it she can easily order it for you.  Also, if you're in a book club you can get that book for 15% off, just let her know it's for a book club.

I had a wonderful time talking to Sharon and she was very generous with her time to visit with me.  Her journey to the present has been a lesson in perseverance.  Purple Crow bloomed from the tragedy of losing her husband.  She made the decision to start this business despite no business background, everyone advising her to the contrary and telling her it would fail.  Thanks for ignoring that advice, Sharon!

So let me tell you how you'll do this.  Take your history buff spouse or children on a wonderful, educational field trip to Hillsborough, NC.  Enjoy all it has to offer.  Then carve out some time to visit a quaint, charming bookstore in the historic district.  You'll enjoy a great indie and the fine owner you'll meet there.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Shadow Of The Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Guests On Earth, Lee Smith.  27 Views Of Hillsborough, Intro by Michael Malone (not purchased, gifted from Sharon.  Thanks Sharon!)

Ignore my reflection to see the great window display.  

View to the left from the front door.  The doorway in the rear leads into the children's section and a small room of sidelines.  

View to the right from the front door.  

Looking through the store from the front door.  That's the owner, Sharon W.  

Some timely ideas for Mother's Day.  


A portion of the children's room.  

What kid couldn't get comfy in this bathtub in the children's room?!

This smaller room offers sidelines including greeting cards. 

Another view of the sidelines room.  


View looking toward the front of the store from the rear.  

You'll find bestsellers here.  

With Sharon, the fine owner at Purple Crow.  Thanks for a great visit.   


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