>> 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.
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.