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23.02 20120

Rare, Antique Book Shop in Savannah

By: Renee Categories:Buzzworthy

Books on Bay in Savannah, Georgia is a dream shop for book lovers and collectors. It is truly a unique store complete with it’s own clever categories for their book collection and friendly atmosphere in which avid readers can sit for hours. I found Books On Bay during my last visit to Savannah.


You never know what you’ll find in Savannah. If you’ve been there before, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the perfect city for walking and when I was there recently that’s exactly what I did. The tree-lined streets, cobblestone roads and temperate weather had me wandering all over the place and taking many pictures.

When I found myself strolling down lower West Bay Street on Factor’s walk, I spotted a little known gem tucked away underneath an antique shop. It was a book collector’s dream. The name is Books On Bay. (Book collectors and lovers alike—please try to contain your excitement, for what I’m about to describe is quite remarkable.)

Books On Bay is full of treasures that held my attention for an unknown period of time (let’s just say when I walked back outside, the sun was going on). After I made it past the Fiestaware on display in the front (a difficult feat, because let’s face it: who doesn’t love Fiestaware?), I found myself surrounded by bookshelves of material just waiting for me to explore.

While embarking on this endeavor, I took note of all the little oddities that make Books On Bay unlike other antique book shops that I’ve seen. First of all, the owners of Books On Bay have created specific, yet amusing categories for organizing their vast selection. I had to chuckle out loud after I saw the category ‘Heaving Bosom Books.’ What a descriptive way of categorizing literature. Barnes and Noble should take note. I spent some time looking at the ‘For Children of All Ages’ category and I was particularly mesmerized by the ‘Pretty Covers’ category. And it’s not just books that make Books On Bay unique.

The store is full of interesting trinkets. Among the shelves are non-matching, one-of-a-kind bookends. I never thought about the statement a provocative bookend could make, but I will now. While I was perusing the various categories, opening books, remarking on publication dates and font styles, among other things, I was greeted by the owner. Betsy, a lovely woman, showed me some of her more precious inventory. Books On Bay has an original 1936 version of Gone with the Wind. My grandmother would kill for that one. The pages were in mint condition; I couldn’t believe it, but then again all the books I touched were as good as new. Except for the normal wear and tear that comes with age, Betsy’s entire inventory has been well-preserved. I must say, it really is an eerie feeling to hold a book that is older than your country. It’s like a holding a piece of the past that will go on to intrigue and inform readers for all time. It is books that truly let us know what people were like in the past; their worries, their struggles and their celebrations are preserved in the pages of literature. Think about all the books that haven’t been kept since the 1600s. If only I could discover an antique book store that has them all!

That’s why Books On Bay is such a great find. Five hundred years from now, no one will ever wonder what we were like. The internet is preserving us at this exact moment, so they will know and understand us. Yet somehow I know that even five hundred years from now, finding an antique book shop will have the same effect it does today: Jackpot! Books are our closest conection to the past.

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