I visited “Books on Bay”
If you’ve arrived at this page, and wondering… “what does Nancy Drew have to do with Books on Bay.” Well, this awesome bookstore is the Mecca of bookshelves filled with Nancy Drew books… and other children series books.
“Books on Bay”
Hubby and I arrived in, Savannah, Georgia somewhat unplanned, in leaving Georgia on hubby’s birthday (June 16th)… heading home to CT. As we hadn’t had a chance to explore anywhere while visiting my mother, we decided to swing further South and stop in Savannah. We arrived to find a super crowded city, full of awesome architecture and moss hanging trees.
While I secretly had my own agenda in visiting Savannah, I was planing to spend a night and take hubby on the dolphin cruise that Dolphin Magic offered at the river piers. While I did make reservations, I ended up canceling later as I couldn’t find a room for the night unless I was willing to pay almost four times of what we usually pay for a room when traveling. I later learned that a convention was in town, which had caused the prices to skyrocket… so visiting the dolphins wasn’t going to happen on this trip, but I’m already planning another trip in the fall when its much cooler; it was like walking around inside a sauna that day… I knew it’d be hard for us to enjoy! While Dolphin Magic advertised free cancellations within 24 hours, they were awesome and graciously offered to cancel… even though I had just made them… less than 24 hours away.
After circling several blocks in the downtown historical area, trying to find Books on Bay… while actually, we had already driven by several times without even knowing it. I had my GPS set for 224 West Bay St., and although it kept telling me “arrived“… I was lost! After pulling in a parking area hubby finally found… one of almost “impossible” parking spaces… and quickly parked. While I had almost been on the verge of saying goodbye to Savannah for another day, I called the bookstore once again.
I finally found it!
With my second call, I told them that I was finally parked, and gave them my location of where I was… I was quickly told… “stay right there, I’ll send my mother out to show you where we are, she’ll be wearing a red apron.” I immediately knew who he was talking about, and said: “Ok, I know what your mom, Betsy, looks like… I’ll be standing in the lot looking for her.” I exited the car and scoured the area looking for the red apron… I soon saw her walking out toward the sidewalk and quickly waved to her. We walked toward each other, hugged, and chatted all the way back to the store.
Books on Bay is nestled among shops inside a parking area, just up above River Street and across from the actual West Bay Street. If you find The Indigo hotel, stand with your back to it and look directly across to a parking area! I had been super close all along!
My first Oh, Oh, Oh…. Nancy Drew Books!
I was so excited to finally find it and see the name “Books on Bay” as we walked over… finally I had arrived! Even though I’ve seen photos of the inside areas of the store on the Nancy Drew Book Fans Facebook group, I wasn’t truly prepared for all I saw when walking in… especially the glass-front desk with piles and piles of Nancy Drew yellow spines… teasing me behind the glass as I walked by. I suddenly felt like a kid in a candy store, and I wanted to just go behind that desk and touch them all!
Being so overwhelmed, as was hubby, I didn’t know where to go first, but Betsy quickly took me under her wing and guided me back to the Nancy Drew “Mecca” area and introduced me to another Facebook member, Joe Driskell, who had arrived earlier that morning by train.
Did I say there were “lots” of books there!
As I looked up to the tippy top of the tall bookshelves… there they were… a complete 56 volume set of yellow spine Nancy Drew’s. It was awesome to actually see a full set in one place! Good thing they were on the top shelf and out of my reach!
Even though I had a list of what I have and what I needed to complete my 56 full set, I didn’t want to pull my eyes away from the books too long. But as my time was limited, I soon began looking for the volumes that I actually didn’t have vs the volumes I hoped to upgrade to one day. After finding 2 yellow spines I needed, I moved over to the earlier dust jacket section. I immediately wanted to scoop them all up, but I refrained myself and added 2 more to my pile of books hubby was politely keeping watch over for me… I didn’t dare lay them down as someone might have scooped them up when I wasn’t looking.
As I continued to peruse more books, Betsy appeared back to check on Joe and I and brought another Nancy Drew fan to introduce… a super cute 7 1/2-year-old named Aubrey. It was also her first time visiting and the youngest Nancy Drew fan to ever visit. Betsy quickly corraled us all for a group photo in front of the famous Nancy Drew wall of books.
Betsy rounded us up for a group shot in front of the “mecca” wall of Nancy Drew!
In making my way up toward the front area to check out, I stopped to view The Haunted Showboat painting prominently displayed on the fireplace mantle, with a yellow spine Nancy Drew book sitting alongside. It was another reason I had wanted to stop on this trip, as I knew it was on temporary loan from collector Michael Gauwitz, who just happened to also purchase the newly auctioned The Secret in the Old Attic. Oh, I can’t wait to go see that one if it comes to Books on Bay! Thank You Michael for sharing your art!!!
My purse I made fit perfectly for shopping at Books on Bay!
When I began reading Nancy Drew, around the age of nine years old, I never knew anything about the who, the where, and the how that went into the creation of the books. I only thought about when could I buy my next new book… and all my books were bought “new” at stores; I have no memory of checking any out of the library. Never did I give a thought about all that went into the actual writing… much less book cover designs, such as the actual paintings they were created from.
It was only after I began buying Nancy Drew books for my granddaughter Ella, did I fall down the rabbit hole of rediscovering my love for Nancy Drew. In reconnecting back again, I soon became more interested in the who, the where and the how of all Nancy Drew. I wanted to discover all the who’s… especially, such as who wrote the stories, who painted the book covers… where were all the places Nancy visited… and how did Nancy solve all those mysteries! Suddenly a light bulb clicked… I would write my April A to Z on Nancy Drew. My 2018: A to Z “All About Nancy Drew” was quickly born. Even though I was over 6 months away from the April challenge… I knew I would need every last bit of that time to fully research Nancy Drew… and I’ll still never know it all, but it certainly gave me a great head start!
My Nancy Drew A to Z notebook soon filled up quickly with notes, history and more ideas on writing prompts that soon caused me to even questioned myself… could I even do this? I began to eat, sleep and drink All About Nancy Drew, and it was during that search when I learned about Books on Bay… dreaming that one day I would visit!
Back to Books on Bay…
I left Books on Bay with two new yellow spines, leaving me only a couple short of now having all 56… and two more to add to my dust jacket collection!
After several more photos… and one with The Haunted Showboat, it was sadly time to pay, say my goodbyes and head home…. secretly against my will; I would never qualm about being locked in overnight there! Actually hubby took my books to pay for, giving me a few more moments of looking time!
The Haunted Showboat painting!
While my 1st visit was super exciting, I’ll be much more prepared on my next visit… having a more detailed printed list of my wants and needs! My 1st trip was actually all about meeting Betsy and seeing the inside of her store with my own eyes!
Thank You, “Betsy” and “Books on Bay” for an awesome visit…
I’ll be back!
© 2018, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved