A Nostalgic Trip Down (Atlanta) Highway

A Nostalgic Trip Down (Atlanta) Highway

First Stop: Avid Bookshop

On Saturday, I took a very rewarding road trip to Athens, GA, home to my alma mater and two wonderful independent bookstores. I came home with two large bags (reusable of course) FILLED with great books and a lot of old memories!

Avid has a beautifully curated collection of books and gifts; what a lovely place to visit!

Avid Bookstore on is on South Lumpkin St. From their website:

Avid Bookshop is a fiercely independent, community-focused bookselling business with two shops in Athens, Georgia. In fall 2018, Avid Bookshop was chosen as the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. Founded by Janet Geddis, Avid has been named by Flagpole readers as Athens’ Favorite Local Business for seven years in a row! As the country has become more fraught, Avid booksellers have become more outspoken about standing up for human rights, equality, and the freedom to read. We are a safe space and are proud to serve those here in Athens, Georgia and our website customers nationwide. 

In 2017, Avid was named a top-five finalist in Publishers Weekly‘s Bookstore of the Year competition, and Janet was named an Ambassador for Athensmade, a local group with the mission of “amplifying brands, attracting talent.” 

Who could disagree with this?
Very welcoming place, no?
Great card selection
Good for kids as well.

I was tempted by so many books there, but I couldn’t buy every book in the store (don’t think I wasn’t tempted). I brought home the books pictured below and a great sticker!

The Henning Mankell book, “The Rock Blaster”, has never before been released in English. It explores the reflections of a working class man who has struggled against the constraints of his station for his entire life. Having read all of his other available books, I was quite excited at this find.

I also couldn’t resist a very nice T-shirt!

I’m sure A.R. Moxon (aka @JuliusGoat on Twitter) would be happy to see his book featured!

The old bookstore sign
Helpful art in the restroom

Follow Avid Books on Twitter and Instagram, and check out their podcasts.

Half-Shepherd Market and Cheese Shop

I don’t know about you, but book shopping makes me VERY hungry. At the recommendation of one of the lovely young women behind the counter at Avid, we went to the Half-Shepherd Market & Cheese Shop on Prince Ave., known for their great sandwiches (specializing in grilled cheese), their well-stocked wine and cheese selection, and other gourmet items.

Conveniently, right next to Half-Shepherd is Normal Books, with a large selection of new and used books. I had a great conversation with the owner about authors, the Athens music scene, and book life in general. If you should find yourself in Athens, do NOT miss this wonderful store! Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

My purchases are pictured below; I don’t usually buy nine books from one store, but this place is irresistable! I was particularly glad to see a book by Per Wahlöö; I’d never read anything by him individually, only the series of Martin Beck mysteries that he wrote with Maj Sjöwall.

The owner was also kind enough to gift us with a copy of “The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South” by John T. Edge.

From the author’s website:

Beginning with the pivotal role of cooks in the civil rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the region’s journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration. In the process, he traces how the food of working class Southerners has become a signature of American cuisine.

Restaurants were battlegrounds during the civil rights movement. Access to food and ownership of traditions were key contentions on the long and fitful march toward racial equality. The Potlikker Papers begins in 1955 as black cooks and maids fuelled the Montgomery bus boycott and it concludes in 2015 as a newer South came into focus, enriched by the arrival of immigrants from Mexico, Vietnam, and many points in between.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without seeing the place where I spent so much of my college life; the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The building is in the same complex as the auditorium that used to be the campus movie theater (now located in the new student center) and the Psychology Building, which (legend has it) has an architectural window design that is meant to look like a punch card. What do you think?

Last but not least I couldn’t resist a visit to the “house” (i.e. uninsulated, wobbly shack) I lived in during my junior and senior years. Amazingly, it’s still there, and looks like it’s still worth the $70 monthly rent I paid (with two other rooommates). Fun fact: I lived either in an apartment or a dorm until I was 20, so this is the first place where I ever used a lawnmower!

Well, that closes out my Athens journal. Next post: A continuation of “Is There a Doctor in the Library?”, Part II.

Please share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *