|Beckham's Bookshop, New Orleans, LA|
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There are so many amazing stories here I don't even know where to begin. This bookstore is deserving of national renown for its longevity and its owners. Mr. Beckham and Mr. Cook are both in their 80's and are as knowledgeable and experienced as you'll find. They're also extremely kind and welcoming which should be no surprise. After all, that is the true characteristic of most booksellers. Beckham's Bookshop has been in business since 1967 and for the past 43 years in their current location on Decatur St in the French Quarter. I'm truly amazed by indies who've enjoyed this length of operation and I always ask the owners what their secret is. Mr. Beckham gave me a one word answer followed by a slight pause and then a hearty chuckle. Beer! Of course, he wasn't serious but I always say, hey, whatever it takes.
This is a true old-school bookstore and I absolutely love it. There's no internet here, no inventory, no online book sales. They really don't dabble in collector's editions or expensive books. As Mr. Beckham told me they carry and sell books that people want to read, not collect. There are no sidelines here, just books along with a few antique prints. Two floors of all used books with just a few new ones up front. Most of the books they take in come from customers who bring them to the store. In exchange, the store will offer cash or store credit. Mostly though, this is a butt-kickin', floor to ceiling books and a rolling ladder to reach them. All packaged nicely in a historic 1800s building.
The other thing I enjoyed about Beckham's is if you're a fan of vinyl you won't be disappointed. Climb the stairs to the 3rd floor (after you browse all the books on the 2nd floor!) and enjoy a terrific space with its own name, No Pulp Records. Vinyl fans will be able to spend just as much time on this floor as the book lovers will spend on the other two floors.
The French Quarter in New Orleans is a huge tourist attraction. Do yourself a favor when you visit. Avoid the tourist shops and step into Beckham's Books for an oasis of calm and enjoy a wonderful bookstore experience. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Last Slave Ship, Ben Raines. The Clotilda was the last ship that brought enslaved people to America from Africa. By now this was illegal and it required a lot of deception and dishonesty to do this. But just as today there is corruption, there was corruption with immoral, unethical people in 1860 who would do anything to bring more slaves to our shores. A true story that follows the lives of those brought to this country, their descendants, the perpetrators, and the fate of the Clotilda. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Manfried Saves The Day, Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Not purchased but gifted, Lost Enlightenment, S. Frederick Starr. Thanks Mr. Beckham.
|One of the many historical buildings in the French Quarter. |
|Maybe at one point in history these were doors but now they make the perfect display window. |
|I love it!|
|This is all you need to know. |
|View looking into the store from the front entrance, a beautiful space. |
|Straight down one of the center aisles. |
|The perfect place to sample a book. |
|View looking to the left from the front entrance. Enjoy browsing some older editions. |
|The tall books are on a tall shelf. Step-ladder provided. |
|Prints like these are available for sale. |
|Spotted on the floor near the back of the bookstore. Clear evidence of a bookstore cat on the premises. |
|The store is so packed with books it makes it difficult to get an overview. This is the view from the back of the store looking toward the front entrance. |
|You'll need this ladder for the high shelves. |
|One of the few non book items available. A collection of small prints. |
|Aha! I found you! Keep your eyes open for Juniper when you visit this bookstore. |
|Follow this stairway located in the front of the store, to the 2nd and 3rd floors. |
|At the top of the stairs and looking to the left on the 2nd floor. |
|An overview of the 2nd floor from the stairway going up to the 3rd floor. |
|The well-organized and well-lit 3rd floor of vinyl. This is the location of No Pulp Records. |
|Looking to the left from the top of the stairs on the 3rd floor. |
|They even carry 45s. |
|A great customer service. Especially good for tourists who might have limited space. |
|I love this overview of the ground level from the stairway. |
|With Mr. Cook on the left and Mr. Beckham in the center, the fine owners at Beckham's Bookshop. Thanks for a great visit. |