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Bookstores Across Pennsylvania, Part II

November 18, 2012

Another Pennsylvania bookseller we visited was a wonderful seller from what I’d call the “old school” – DJ Ernst of downtown Selinsgrove.

His description on AbeBooks is as follows:

Established in 1975, DJ Ernst-Books is a small clean orderly book shop located in downtown Selinsgrove, a college town along the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania. My emphasis is on quality of content and condition. Dust jackets and general appearance and condition are important to me. Because the space here is limited, I focus on quality rather than quantity. My store is open six days a week. I personally respond promptly to all inquiries.

I can certainly vouch for the “quality of content and condition”! This was the kind of store that almost made me forget I was a book SELLER, looking for books to RESELL! Shelf after shelf of beautiful, well-cared-for OLD hardcover books in dust jackets protected in plastic, clean and inviting.

I wanted them all – for ME!!!

My husband and I were really charmed and spent at least an hour wandering around, slowly savoring each shelf, picking up book after book just for the sheer pleasure of touching them. It’s THAT kind of bookstore!

I was a bit surprised when it came time to pay for my purchases – Mr. Ernst said he doesn’t take credit  cards. Yet he was willing to take my check – even though I was a total stranger from clear across the country! That’s one of the reasons I call him a bookseller of the old school – and actually, I would say that makes him a merchant of the old school. (Though it’s worth noting he does list books on AbeBooks, so he’s not completely out of the Internet loop!)

All in all, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this lovely bookstore in the beautiful town of Selinsgrove, and highly recommend you visit it yourself, if you’re ever in the area!

And you know – so many bookstores like this are closing, partly due to the economy and partly due to the Kindle, and it’s really sad because they are such a treasure! I hope anyone who reads my blog will make an effort to find and support your own local used-and-rare bookstore – while you still have it!

(In fact, later in December, I’ll be profiling one of those bookstores in Southern California: Cliff’s Books, a fixture of downtown Pasadena, California for over 25 years, which will be closing its doors forever at the end of 2012. Watch this space!)


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