231-A Broad St.
Dogwood Books, owned and operated by Kenneth Studdard, has been a part of Rome’s selection of bookstores since March 2007. Studdard opened his store because of his own love of books.
“I’ve loved books since I was a kid,” Studdard said. “And I especially love used bookstores, that’s been something that I’ve enjoyed visiting since as long as I can remember, and I wanted something like that for our town.”
Some people may not consider themselves to be strong readers and have trouble getting invested in books. According to Studdard, interest in reading is typically easier when the book is about something the reader is already interested in, or it pertains to something they enjoy.
“When you find something that you can relate to, something that strikes a chord with you, it just transforms your whole view of reading,” Studdard said.
A book fan himself, Studdard enjoys books series over standalone stories. Enjoying series like “The Hardy Boys” while growing up, Studdard becomes invested in the world the author creates and enjoys getting a chance to revisit the characters that a book series can introduce.
Bookstores have become less common in recent years, but Studdard believes they create a sense of community for those who live in Rome.
“I think one of the things that bookstores do is they give a place where people can come together and share ideas,” Studdard said. “It’s a place where they can feel a part of a community. It’s a place where they can discover new things.”
Over the Moon Antiques
27 Central Plaza
One of Rome’s newer specialty stores, Over The Moon Antiques, is an independent store owned by Joyce Lewis that features booths for individuals to sell their own items. The store has been open since September 2018, and feature a selection of items sold by multiple people including a variety of different books.
Since the shop features multiple sellers, there are many personalities and lifestyles that can be found in the shop. One recurring theme is a focus on the history of the city, with yearbooks from many of Rome’s schools.
As a reader, Lewis prefers to get invested in non-fiction, like biographies and other real stories.
Some people may not consider themselves strong readers or unable to find the will to get invested in a book, but Lewis believes that there is something for everyone in the world of books, and it is just a matter of finding what is right for each person.
“When you really dig down and find what your real true passion is and then find a book you’d be amazed how you cannot turn it loose; you cannot let go, ” Lewis said.
Because physical copies of books are becoming less prominent, and bookstores are becoming more difficult to find, Lewis finds it important to remember how things used to be before the digital age.
“Going through (the store) is like going back in time,” Lewis said. “Seeing things that have been way past, how people lived, and the looks of the books and all. It’s interesting.”
Yellow Door Antiques and Art
219 N Fifth Ave.
Hidden treasures such as furniture, clothing, pottery, paintings and books can be found at Yellow Door Antiques and Art in downtown Rome, according to owner Nedra Manners. The store opened about five years ago, and she said the goal is to garner people’s attention by selling products that buyers can collect and treasure. One focus of the shop includes literature, which ranges from comic books to poetry and noteworthy classics.
Manners provides different kinds of books for different audiences. For example, some are targeted towards children, while others include printed materials like magazines and travel pamphlets. Manners said her favorite type of texts are the older books, which typically have engravings.
“I like, usually, a lot of the older books,” Manners said. “I love how they’re printed and I love the art in there because a lot of those are done on engravings. So, they’re actually a piece of art.”
Some of the classic leather-bounds the store carries include “The Yearling” by Marjorie Rawlings and the “Call of the Wild” by Jack London. Other genres that Manners often stocks include historical books that focus on the Civil War and World War II since they sell well with customers, she said.
“A lot of the older poetry and novels and things like, sometimes you have people that come into an antique store that kind of lean towards more that kind of thing,” Manners said.
Because of the store’s involvement with local artists and local vendors, Yellow Door Antiques and Art holds events, such as book signings. Manners mentioned that while there are not any events planned for September there are upcoming signings in October and that anyone interested in the shop’s items should stop by.
Cotton Block Pickers
137 E First St.
Located on the Cotton Block in historic downtown Rome, antique mall Cotton Block Pickers is owned by Jim Morris who said he focuses on curating a high-end collection of products. While the shop contains different booths from local vendors, there is a wide collection of literature and printed texts available for customers.
Morris attended Berry in the 1970s and said if any students visited the shop, he would most likely recommend texts that focus on music or agriculture. For example, the shop carries sheet music and music magazines.
“I would probably ask them what they’re majoring in or what they’re interested in,” Morris said. “And tell them that it might be in booth so-and-so.”
Cotton Block Pickers mainly carries older classics and authors who are hard to find, along with literature that focuses on music and history.
Since Sept. 6 is National Read a Book Day, Morris hopes it encourages people to get out and buy or borrow books. For example, he said he has seen many neighborhoods that have started book clubs where people who are interested can leave or take a book from a stand.
“People are staying home, maybe, because of this virus,” Morris said. “You can just watch so much TV, look at so much Facebook and play on the computer so much, so they might be going back to the old school of reading books.”
Morris said that due to today’s circumstances, it may remind people to stop by shops and buy a book they are interested in. He said a prospective buyer may even find a piece of furniture they enjoy, like a lamp or end table, in the antique mall.