As I’ve often said, going to Omaha is like going to Rome for us. Located on the Missouri River, it is the biggest city in a tri-state area. (But no there aren’t seven hills.) Today was a beautiful spring day, so we headed west on the interstate, R.E.M. blaring “Daysleeper.”
“Yeah, ‘Odyssey,”” we said as we crossed the bridge from Council Bluffs to Omaha. I sort of like this spiky metal bridge sculpture, called “Odyssey”: many do not. It looks Western, doesn’t it? I always think of Nebraska as the beginning of the West.
And then we bumped over potholes in a run-down city neighborhood and shortly arrived at the Old Market District, with its charming cobblestone streets, old warehouses, art galleries, antique stores, lawn ornament stores, bars, restaurants, and al fresco dining…
Naturally our favorite place is Jackson Street Booksellers, a huge used bookstore.
It has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, two big rooms and many nooks and crannies, a few comfortable chairs, and stacks on the floor. Even though it has expanded, there is not enough room on the shelves for all the books. Lots of books by Trollope, Angela Thirkell, Edna O’Brien, Norman Collins, Nicholas Mosley, collectible editions of classics in a box, Black Sparrow Press books, and a beautiful tempting illustrated hardcover of The Yearling. I love this book: it won the Pulitzer in 1939.
I was looking for and found Hermione Lee’s biography of Virginia Woolf: $20. I’m a prudent shopper this spring. Maybe next time.
I did buy a lovely first edition of Virginia Woolf’s Flush: $6.
Here are the charming endpages:
There were two copies in the store: this one s a 1933 first Harcourt Brace edition, and the other a nearly identical Book of the Month edition. A Book of the Month Club pamphlet with an essay by Heywood Broun was tucked (mistakenly) inside the book.
But I love it!
There were two stacks of Miss Read books. Any fans? I must admit I’ve never read any of them.
I didn’t make it out of the literature section today. Too bad! They have a good Western history section.
A great day in Omaha!
The Old Market Street area sounds lovely – and the bookstore looks amazing! Isn’t it fun when you find interesting things in old books. I read some Miss Read a while back but found it perhaps a little soft for my taste. But maybe I would think differently nowadays!
So many stunning books at Jackson St.! The store is enormous and has a very odd but good collection,many small-press books as well as more mainstream ones. I did try a Miss Read once and didn’t get through it,. I like the idea of it, though.:)
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Uh, that would be me, Kat. I read Miss Read years ago and liked her. I wouldn’t pay $20 for the Lee either. Keep looking. I just found Flush at a thrift shop but it’s a cruddy copy.
The Miss Read books are so pretty that I wanted to scoop up all of them (and I wouldn’t even have been able to carry them). Our library has them. If there’s one I should start with, let me know.
Funnily enough I never read the Fairacre books even though I have them and plan to someday. I’d start at the beginning with Thrush Green and see if you want to continue. Great literature they’re not but they are sweet.
I love light fiction! And if I like these, there are so many to read. The joy of a series.