Sunday, November 7, 2010

Explorations: Vandergrift

Vandergrift is not terribly different from a lot of other steel towns in the tristate area, at least at first glance.  But take a look at its history, and you will see it is a little different.  Vandergrift was designed to represent the ideal American industrial town, attempting to increase loyalty and satisfaction among the steel workers.

Lots of gorgeous Victorian homes can be found in this town, along with some interesting businesses.
Greece Lightning

A very pretty First Commonwealth branch

 and Sue's Brews are examples.

It was one such interesting business that had us heading to this Westmoreland County town last week.  The place in question?  Reads, Ink.
This off the beaten path used bookstore is a little unusual.  You see, the building used to be a funeral home, but was then converted to a book store.  Recently sold to new owners, the book store lives on, with some great improvements.  Lots of activities are scheduled to draw in the community, including open mic nights for local writers, and book clubs.  

The day we visited, it was part of an open house event, and we got to register for prizes.  They had coffee and tea available, and some goodies to nosh on.  And books, lots and lots of books.

Because it was just after Halloween, all the spooky decorations were still up, and some displays of gothic, horror, and mystery books were located at the front of the store.  I spotted a title or two that were particularly interesting, including a first edition of one of the Hitchcock collections for 3 bucks!  Thats a great deal!

The books are all sectioned off, and the store is divided into different sections.  Rumor has it that the room containing the true crime, horror, and mystery books is the old embalming room.  I loved it!

 I could easily have spent all day there, and never gotten tired.  There were chairs to sit and read, free wifi, and of course, the resident cat was available for snuggling.

All in all, I am pretty impressed with this store.  It is not often you find a used book store that has something different to offer, especially in small town USA, so I am sure we will be heading back out soon, particularly because they are once again accepting used books for trade.

So we left with a bag full of books for twenty bucks.  You just can't beat that deal.  I can't wait to read them, so I can justify going back for more!