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The Book Place, 3129 Millwood Avenue: early 2000s   7 comments

Posted at 11:31 pm in Uncategorized

I suspect these are not the right pictures as the address I have for The Book Place is 3129, and this little plaza is 3121. However, numbers sometimes change and walking this stretch of Millwood, I can't find any place numbered 3129, and I remember The Book Place being in a strip like this where you had to watch carefully before backing out into Millwood. If this is the right spot, the The Book Place would have been in the center slot.

OK, regardless of all the above, the way I remember The Book Place is that it skewed a bit more to rare and antiquarian books than the other used book shops I frequented. There were also very few paperback books. As I recall it, the shop was run by an older gentleman, and he was usually carrying on a conversation with someone at the front desk. I don't know if these were friends who dropped by, or if they were customers, but it seemed the conversation topics were usually either literary or historical in nature. I think there may have been a bookstore cat who stayed around the front desk, but I couldn't now swear to that.

The Book Place wasn't on my regular bookshop rotation because they didn't have much in the way of science-fiction, and their prices tended to be a bit out of my reach. What they did have was a great vintage humor section, and over the years I picked up a number of volumes of classic cartoons by artists like Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and James Thurber. I also picked up a number of the hard to find collections of Walt Kelly's Pogo (Which is supposed to be issued in a complete collection by Fantagraphics "real soon now").

I'm not sure exactly when the place closed. It's in the 1998 phonebook, but I believe by the time I had moved back to Columba circa 2003, it was gone.

Written by ted on June 21st, 2010

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7 Responses to 'The Book Place, 3129 Millwood Avenue: early 2000s'

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  1. That sounds almost like Ed's Editions, in the Vista. Especially the chatty older fellow and the cat. I wonder if they're one and the same?

    Joshua Reynolds

    22 Jun 10 at 1:48 am

  2. Ted,
    I loved that place. It was actually on the end where that new construction is(if you're facing the building, it is down at the right on the end). I guess they knocked the part that had the Book Place down.


    22 Jun 10 at 5:25 am

  3. In the days before E-bay, if there was an out of print or rare book you wanted, they were the place to go to. They found several books for me at good prices and were always nice and friendly. Besides the aforementioned elderly man, there was an elderly woman who worked there too.


    22 Jun 10 at 5:35 am

  4. I drove by this building on a visit a few months ago, and it struck me that it was almost certainly originally built in the 1950s as a supermarket--probably an A&P or a Colonial. Anyone care to verify?


    22 Jun 10 at 1:15 pm

  5. I found a lot of good books at the Book Place. It seems to me that I heard people calling the older gentleman "Hamp" or something like that.

    Back in the 60s, somewhere in this stretch of buildings on Millwood, there was a restaurant called Henry's. The only time we got to go out to eat was when my grandmother visited, and that was where she'd take us.


    25 Jun 10 at 7:39 pm

  6. The Book Place was owned by Hamp Alvey. The nicest gentleman you would ever want to buy a book from.


    3 Mar 12 at 2:21 pm

  7. The Book Place was owned by my grandfather, Hamp. I remember when I was a little kid, he would let me come “work” for him there. A lot of my fondest childhood memories are from this place. Hamp passed away last year, but the store had been closed down for quite a while. I can’t remember.

    Sarah Alvey

    8 Jul 23 at 9:26 am

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