The Captain’s Bookshelf


Whenever we travel, I’m always on the lookout for the coziest, most delightful independent bookstores. Here, I’m pleased to introduce you to one of our favorite indie bookstores in Asheville, North Carolina. (Find more of our favorite cozy, independent bookstores here.)


When we were in Asheville, we paid a visit to the magnificent Battery Park Book Exchange. Afterward, we wandered out of the Grove Arcade, walked across the street, and discovered yet another bookstore.


Celebrating its 40th birthday in 2017, The Captain’s Bookshelf is another of Asheville’s many bookish gems.


The larger Battery Park may have coffee, snacks, wine, and dogs, but — to be perfectly honest — the smaller selection of used books at The Captain’s Bookshelf feels slightly less overwhelming.


In a single large room, they have old bookcases filled with beautiful antique children’s books, and shelf after shelf filled with intriguing titles on a variety of topics. Plus a few chairs so you can sit while you browse.



And because one of my criteria for deciding that a bookstore qualifies as a favorite is its level of coziness, I have tell you that The Captain’s overflow books — all the ones that won’t fit on the many shelves — are stacked companionably on the floor.




I can relate: in our house, books are arranged (somewhat) neatly on shelves, and not-so-neatly in cozy-looking piles.


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“The only important thing in a book is the meaning it has for you.”

W. Somerset Maugham

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”

Marcel Proust

“Standing there, staring at the long shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace.”

Helene Hanff

“What a happy woman I am, living in a garden, with books … birds, and flowers, and plenty of leisure to enjoy them!”

Elizabeth von Arnim

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”

Neil Gaiman

“The art of reading is … an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us; when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“When I … looked round at the familiar bookshelves, and could hear no sounds but sounds of peace, and knew that here I might read or dream or idle exactly as I chose with never a creature to disturb me, how grateful I felt to the kindly Fate that has brought me here and given me a heart to understand my own blessedness.”

Elizabeth von Arnim