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Bookstores of Ashland, Oregon

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, it was another weekend with little reading, but it wasn’t altogether literature-free. We headed south to Ashland for a weekend of plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, wine tasting, and just relaxing. Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Friday night we saw Much Ado About Nothing. This year’s production was fun and well done. We’d seen it here several years ago, but I think this year it’s better. One of my favorite actors in this company (David Kelly) played Benedick with just the right amount of charm and cynicism. There was one scene in the middle where purely with fabulous physical comedy and timing he had the audience rolling with laughter without uttering a word. Saturday night’s production of the rarely performed Henry VIII was also good, but we both decided that ultimately it was a gorgeous and well done production of what is definitely not one of Shakespeare’s better plays. Vilma Silva was fabulous as Katherine of Aragon.

We spent much of Saturday afternoon wandering around enjoying the atmosphere of Ashland. For a fairly small town, it’s got plenty of bookstores in the older part of town near the theaters without a chain in sight. I decided a visual tour of Ashland’s book stores was in order.

Rogue Books – the building that houses this used bookstore has an interesting history. Built in 1908 for Ashland Hose Company No. 2 it was originally home to two horse drawn fire engines. In 1945 it became Haskin’s Garage and was an engine repair and gas station until the owner died in 1976. After a stint as an annex for the Deluxe Awning Company, it is now a used bookstore.

The Book Exchange – another used bookstore

Shakespeare Books and Antiques

No longer the Blue Dragon Bookshop – it’s now Antiquarium Books and Antiques and appears to be more antiques than books these days.

Bloomsbury Books is one of my favorites in Ashland: Inside it’s crowded, but cozy with lots of wood, warm lighting and books.

Tree House Books is another favorite of mine – they specialize in kids books and a few toys.


Mary 7/20/2009 4:13 PM  

Wow! A book lover's paradise! What a lovely place to spend a weekend. Thanks for sharing : )

Framed 7/20/2009 5:53 PM  

It's a good thing I didn't know about these bookstore when I traveled through Ashland several years ago. I didn't have that much trunk space. Utah has a great Shakespeare Festival as well. I really need to go again.

Eleanor 7/20/2009 7:52 PM  

Love this! The Festival is beautiful, and wow on that many indies in a small place.

Teddy Rose 7/20/2009 10:17 PM  

I love Ashland! It is a relaxing , yet fun place to visit!

SuziQoregon 7/21/2009 8:26 PM  

Mary: it's one of our favorite getaways. We go at least once a year during the summer for the outdoor theater and often a trip in the spring when just the indoor theaters are open.

Framed: Make notes for your next trip this direction - via Ashland!

El: Knew you'd like this one ;-)

Teddy Rose: Exactly - a great combination of relaxing and fun. Definitely on our regular travel itinerary.

Wendy 7/24/2009 7:44 AM  

I've been to Ashland a few times (great town!) and love Bloomsbury Books too...I always visit it when I'm there. Thanks for sharing, Suzi!

SuziQoregon 7/24/2009 1:53 PM  

Wendy: it's a known fact that there's some sort of vortex on that street that sucks you right into Bloomsbury Books. There's really no point in trying to resist.

Wendy 7/24/2009 3:27 PM  

LOL! Is that what it is!!! Okay, now I know why I am helpless in my urge to enter!!

Les 8/18/2009 4:47 PM  

Very late posting this comment, but I just had to pop in and say how much it reminded me of my post when we were in Friday Harbor and Sidney, British Columbia two summers ago. Lots of bookstores! I think Bloomsbury Books is my favorite in your bunch. Looks quaint and cozy. Love all the woodwork.

BTW, I've never been to Ashland, although I think my hubby has. He got his Masters (in Education) at U of O and spent a bit of time exploring the state. Sounds like it's a fun place to visit.

SuziQoregon 8/19/2009 8:37 AM  

Les: Bloomsbury is great! Oh next time you head to see your folks you should check into what's playing in Ashland - it would make a great side trip for a couple of days.

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