Jean Dixon Sanders has been a painter and graphic designer for 30 years. A graduate of Washington College, where she majored in fine art, She lives in Florida. She contributes several weekly illustrations to The Chestertown Spy. Her blog, Fine Art Daily, can be seen at www.jeandsanders.blogspot.com
When you go to Charleston you must tear yourself away from the glories of the gardens and window boxes and your new friends, the gardeners. You simply have to visit Blue Bicycle Books at 420 King Street. The facade is narrow, but the shop itself telecopes and extends magically back from the street for miles! The Tall One and I had to make two visits because we were overcome with Stendahl's Syndrome after the first go round: the sheer number and array of books was too much for us.
We had a restorative lunch at The Pita Pit (351 King Street) another little, narrow, crooked-fence sort of interior with what the Tall One proclaimed the best gyro he had ever eaten. Then we girded our loins and prepared for the second onslaught on Blue Bicyle Books (BBB).
When we returned Purdy was not in her place in the window, which was momentarily disappointing. I sat down at a reading table with that day's New York Times while the Tall One started combing through the stacks (which if piled one atop the other would reach a height of 1565 feet [according to www.bluebicyclebooks.com] which is 1300 feet taller than St. Matthew's spire). Some people have amzing gifts: Best Beloved has Parking Karma, whenever he wants a parking place, SHAZAM, one magically appears. When I sit down to read a newspaper, WHAM, a cat appears. Purdy wound through my ankles, up to my lap and then onto the article that I happened to be reading. Hmmm. The Evil Roxanne must have sent her telepathic messages.
Purdy and I had a nice visit, and eventually the Tall One found the book of his dreams, a nicely illustrated copy of Ivanhoe.
Jonathan and Lauren Sanchez have a very nice, encyclopedic independent bookstore. We encourage you to visit them, and be sure to give Purdy our regards!
Blue Bicycle Books
Used, Rare & Local
420 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403