Barns full of books and fields full of flowers

We were up in Buck County, Pennsylvania this weekend and spent the night in Philly.  When I did my research to see which used bookstores I might want to frequent I came across Baldwin’s Book Barn not too far out of Philadelphia in West Chester. It turned out to be a good call. The place is really charming and has a huge inventory. While I didn’t find anything that made me squeal I did leave with 21 books.

On the way to the Book Barn, John realized we were in the general vicinity of Longwood Gardens. He has been there before and loved it, so after adjusting my typical, I didn’t plan it so I don’t want to go attitude, I was really glad we went. Through John I have become a big fan of gardens, and not just as places to read. After a lunch in the cafe we had a lovely wander (and I got a chance to hear the pipe organ). We didn’t take many/any pictures of many flowers but he meadow was sure enticing.

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We spent at least an hour at the Book Barn but I was hardly able to scratch the surface.
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I ended up buying 21 books. Some Sarton, Collette, and lots of stuff I know nothing about.
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Happily I could stand up straight in the fiction section.
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The front flap made it sound pretty good, but I would have gotten it anyway given the title.

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16 thoughts on “Barns full of books and fields full of flowers

  1. Marcias Email July 28, 2015 / 10:14 pm

    How lovely, Thomas. Beautiful photos. It’s been many years since I visited Longwood. I lived in Bethesda & Gaithersburg for many years but have relocated to Seattle with my wife, who works at Starbucks corporate.

    I listen to the Readers podcast with great pleasure. You guys rock.

    It’s the East Coast & will plan to visit the Book Barn next time we return home. Marcia

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      I quite enjoyed Longwood. Next time I hope we have longer than 2 hours there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kaggsysbookishramblings July 29, 2015 / 2:43 am

    What a lovely place! Look forward to hearing what Colette titles you got!


    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      The post with titles should be coming soon. Hopefully before I go on vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane July 29, 2015 / 7:24 am

    This looks like a very cool place to visit, and I am awfully curious whether it is somehow associated with The Book Barn in Niantic, CT near Rocky Neck Beach — a place we love to visit each summer.


    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      I love any book barn. There is also one near Ithaca New York and I am visiting one near New Haven in October.


      • Bibliophilebythesea August 7, 2015 / 4:00 pm

        I think that’s the one in Niantic, Ct across from Rocky Neck State Beach.


  4. Laura July 29, 2015 / 7:24 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed both spots. I feel fortunate to live 20min from Longwood Gardens, it’s just beautiful. It was a bit of a detour for you en route from Philly to DC, but looks like it was worth it.

    (p.s. apologies if this is a duplicate comment, I had a WordPress login issue)


    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      Since we already out in West Chester it wasn’t so much of a detour. Plus you can kind of go backroads on 1 (I think) which keeps one of of 95. Always a good thing in my book.


  5. Joan Kyler July 29, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    Ah, you were in my current neighborhood. The Book Trader, in Philly, is my go-to used book store, within walking distance of my house. I’ve read about Baldwin’s Book Barn, but I’ve never been there. Maybe it’s time. Longwood is a wonderful garden. My family is from Chester County and my grandmother was a companion for a while to the wife of the head gardener at Longwood and lived there for a while in the lovely cottages they had for some of the employees. If you get up here again, John would enjoy Chanticleer in Wayne, PA. You would enjoy it, too, because they encourage relaxing, picnicking, and reading!


    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      I think The Book Trader is the place I bought about 8 Anita Brookner first editions a few years ago. We have indeed been to Chanticleer although neither of us could remember the name of it to save our lives the day we were at Longwood. John really likes Chanticleer, but it struck me as a little too suburban. Lovely garden for sure, but it didn’t speak to me for some reason.


  6. audreykun July 31, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Have you visited Winterthur? You must, you simply must.


    • Thomas August 7, 2015 / 2:16 pm

      I have not been to Winterthur. It’s one of those things where that area seems too close to DC to go and stay and do a vacation, but too far for a comfortable day trip. But we will get there at some point.


  7. nikki @bookpunks August 4, 2015 / 3:07 am

    Oh Bucks County. Yey. That is where I grew up. And somehow I don’t think I ever visited the Book Barn. Looks really awesome. Here here.


  8. Susan in TX August 9, 2015 / 5:56 pm

    Your trips always look so relaxing. Glad that it was a good trip and a successful book browse.


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