A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Terrace Books


Columbus, Nebraska (pop. 24,028)

It was a Saturday when we left Loup Park Campground for the five mile drive south to Columbus. 
The town had a bookstore.  I would hit that first before a grocery shop at Walmart and Tractor Supply for propane.  The bookstore was located in what appeared to be the old part of town.
I like this setting.  It was like this on down the line, old stores refurbished. The railroad was behind me.

Oh this looks like a nice bookstore.

Oh yeah, this is gonna be a great bookstore.

I was right.  I stepped in and my first thought was this is just what I would want in a bookstore if I were to own one.  I met the owner Dee.  I shared with her my once upon a time dream of owning a bookstore and this was it.  She was pleased to hear that saying it was always of dream of hers too.  
She made her dream come true opening just this year.

Off to the left lying in his chair was Kojak, the bookstore cat.  Naturally after I am done petting him and get ready to take a photo, he gets up.  We wound in and around my legs smelling Beans.
Dee and I began sharing our cat adoption stories.
Dee said one day the UPS guy rang the doorbell to her home deliverying packages.  She opened the door.  The UPS guy said “Your cat wants in.”  “That’s not my cat” replied Dee.  Kojak decided I am now.  He walked into her house and made himself at home.  He was in poor shape, just skin and bones and injured.  It looked as if something had caught him about the head.  Dee took him in, cleaned him up and took him to the vet to treat his injuries.  Dee already had two cats (plus two dogs) and the elderly two female cats were not happy one bit with the new arrival.  So Dee began taking Kojak to the bookstore with her everyday.  And the rest is history.  Kojak has become somewhat of a celebrity.  People come into the store just to see him.  The school kids stop by to see Kojak to and from their way to school everyday.

Dee had only a small section for used books.  I didn’t see any James Patterson or the other few books I had on my list.  She said she may have some down in the basement.  I handed her my notepad with the list of stand-alone novels by Patterson.  She came back with two like-new hardcover books.  I bought them.  I asked if she wanted a Michael Connolly and Lee Child Jack Reacher book, both hard to find.  “I’d much rather leave them with a store like yours than a thrift store.”  She was happy to have them.  When I was at the register and we’re still visiting (Kojak had gone down into the basement to eat) Dee gave me this map of all the independent bookstores in the midwest from Kansas up the Canadian border.  Look at that!  This is so cool looking.  I’d put it up on the wall in the RV but I don’t have the wall space.  
I was happier with this map than the two Patterson books!

Later in the day I looked into the two books.  Dee had slipped in a bookmark in each, the real good kind of bookmark printed on heavy stock and laminated.  I love bookmarks.  Call me weird.

Later I had wished I looked around her store more.  But I had errands pressing on me, 
errands that didn’t go so well.

- comment replies -
“Is there a reason why you always winter in Quartzsite, Arizona?”  I am beginning to question that myself. It sits in the warmest part of the country for the winter along with Florida which I wouldn’t even consider. In Arizona I can stay for free for months.  As for Quartzite versus other places such as Yuma I can get around on my motorbike for groceries and package delivery easily.  Other places would require taking my home with me.  That’s the main reasons.

As for walking across the border to Algodonas, Mexico, many snowbirds do that for cheap dental care, eyeglasses and prescriptions.  And the food.  I’ve been down there but never crossed over.  I know once I was over there I’d be saying to myself what was I thinking coming here?  The line coming back into the states, you are standing there for hours.  No thanks.


sparklingmerlot said...

That is a perfect book store. I wonder what Kojak (who is a gorgeous cat) would have made of Beans. Do you ever take Beans into shops? Not the big ones, obviously. Sorry your errands didn't go well.

Gardener said...

This is a lovely post and a really nice pic of a really nice cat! I’ve never met/seen a cat I didn’t like but Kodak is just like my boy and with a similar back story too. You have excelled yourself today John. Thank you and take care.

Gardener said...

Kojak not Kodak! Auto correct working overtime!

Barbara R. said...

Love our Indie Bookstores! The lifeline for all things we read! And Kojak is adorable, of course...seems to have added a few pounds since his adoption. Glad you got some Patterson's...I'm in the mood to re-read a few of the Child books. Like everyone else, Reacher in my mind was never Cruise. Great map...glad you took a pic, so you can look on your phone to see where the next one might be!

Debby said...

I love that bookstore! It really is perfect! I can understand the thrill of the hunt a little better, finding these little remarkable stores. I like that you give back!

Ellen D. said...

That was a nice visit to the bookstore. Hope she stays in business a long time.

Kathe said...

I'm really enjoying your books. On the second one. Some of the places you mention I've actually seen here in New Mexico. Your life on the road takes a lot of energy and lots of patience, not to mention innovation and flexibility. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I am growing to just love Beans! What a character! Have you ever visited the Acoma Village on top of the plateau west/southwest of Albuquerque? It's very interesting and easy to access. You could even hike up there. Lots of ghosts from the past. Balloon festival here this week. Not a good time to avoid crowds.