Chapel Hill, NC

The three cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill in North Carolina are some of my favorites in the entire South; in fact I would move there given the right opportunity. Let's see, there is tons of green space and undeveloped land, there is a well educated populous (there are colleges and universities everywhere) who are relatively liberal in their politics, and geographically, more bookstores per square mile than anywhere I travel! It takes me a full week to see all of them, which is great because I love the area and as a bonus I don't have to change hotels every day!
 The hotel where I stay in Chapel Hill is just a half mile from this incredible nature preserve, and if I can get up early enough, I can get in a run there before seeing accounts.

 On my most recent visit I found this flowering plant on one of the paths. Its blossoms are HUGE, can anyone tell me what it is?

At the beginning of my weeks stay, I usually see the University of North Carolina's Bull's Head Bookshop in Chapel Hill first.

Below is the building where the bookstore is located on campus.

and some interior shots...

Stacie Smith is the manager/ head buyer and she  is such a pleasure to work with. Many book buyers I work with have interesting offices but Stacie's is one of the best! I love to check her wall collage to see what she has added since my last visit.

Stacie is a native North Carolinian who attended UNC in Greensboro. "I'm technically still a junior" she joked. The lure of not living at home, along with a stint working at the local News-N-Novels bookstores, interrupted her studies. After falling in love with the book business, she considers News-N-Novels her alma mater, and wears their sweatshirt with pride.
As a part of the Bull’s Head Bookshop’s long tradition of bookselling excellence (they've been around since 1925), she’s a store manager who knows her store from the ground up. Starting there in 1994, she has been everything from a part-time book re-stickerer, to buyer, returns guru, and now the boss.
As she says, “What I didn’t learn at my “alma mater”, I learned by watching the store's previous manager, legendary bookseller and author Erica Eisdorfer, for 15 plus years.” That's Stacie in a very small nutshell, as she says, "without even touching on my animal grace, sparkling personality and cutting wit! 
Here I am with Stacie in the store
and her answer to the time travel question:

If you could go back in time, from before recorded history to as recently as last week, for one month and be completely safe (if you wanted to be) live comfortably (also if you wanted to), meet anyone, whether famous or not, and really get to understand that time and those people,
where would you go,
when would you go,
late 1500s
who would you want to meet 
Queen Elizabeth 1
AND most importantly, why do you think you chose your answer.
A) I love history and B) it would be interesting to see what such a powerful and massively written about woman was really like.

Seems a fitting answer as we are honoring the other Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee year, thanks Stacie.

And finally here's a magnificent note that a third grader, who was on a UNC field trip, left after their visit to the bookstore.


Personal said…
I went to junior high and high school with Stacie. She has always been smart, clever, interesting, and adorable. It's great to see her making the world a better place in her own inimitable way. Thanks for "showcasing" her on your blog. :)
Jon Mayes said…
The pleasure was all mine.
Jon Mayes said…
By the way, I found out the flowering plant is an Elderberry. Thanks to Nicki.

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