Friday, September 09, 2016

Shenandoah Valley bookstore that opens six times a year draws customers from around the world

Six times a year people from around the country, and some from around the world, flock to a rural town in the Shenandoah Valley to buy books. The Green Valley Book Fair in Mount Crawford, Va., opens its doors for three weeks at a time to sell "a half million recent books at rock-bottom prices," James F. Lee reports for The Washington Post. The store opens again from Oct. 1-23. (Post map)

"Green Valley Book Fair opened in 1971 in an old barn that still stands on the property. Owners Leighton and Kathryn Evans initially sold used books, part of Leighton’s huge collection," Lee writes. "Today, the old barn has given way to an air-conditioned, 25,000-square-foot, two-building facility that opens six times a year, offering book lovers, teachers and bargain hunters thousands of titles, including cookbooks, literature, gardening, general fiction, history, nonfiction, mystery, science fiction and children’s lit. All the sections are well marked, and there are lots of clerks on hand to offer help."

Green Valley Book Fair (Post photo by James F Lee)
Reagan Neese, the fair's operations supervisor, told Lee, "There’s always a sense of anticipation of what you’ll find here."

The store's strategy of six fairs a year has been a great success, Lee writes. "Pins on a wall map of the U.S. show where visitors have come from. All 50 states are represented. Pieces of paper stuck to the side of the map indicate faraway places such as Brazil, Germany, the Marshall Islands and Nigeria."

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