A different kind of bookstore in Asheville

After leaving the Biltmore Estate on December 12, 2014, I went to downtown Asheville and visited Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. I knew my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, had been available there since the week it was released in August.

My book on the shelf at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville, NC.
My book on the shelf at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville, NC.

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is an intriguing combination of old and rare books and hot-off-the-press books shelved and otherwise displayed on and around interesting pieces of furniture. There are cozy little areas where friends can meet for drinks and quiet conversation and chairs in corners where readers can sit and escape into the pages of a good book.

Western North Carolina section at Asheville's Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
Western North Carolina section at Asheville’s Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.

Seven copies of my book were on a shelf in the Western North Carolina section, a copy was on display on a table with several other Arcadia Publishing books, and one copy was on display on an end cap across from one of the bars! Wow!

My book on display with three other Arcadia Publishing books at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
My book on display with three other Arcadia Publishing books at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
My book on an end cap across from the bar at Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Great location!
My book on an end cap across from the bar at Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Great location!

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is located in the Grove Arcade. I included a postcard of the Grove Arcade in my book. It has quite an interesting history. It was built by Edwin Wiley Grove, who also built The Grove Park Inn. He made his fortune selling Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic.

Entrance of Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar at The Grove Arcade in  Asheville.
Entrance of Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar at The Grove Arcade in Asheville.

The Grove Arcade fills a city block at 269,000 square feet. It opened in 1929 with shops and offices. The federal government took over the building during World War II, but in 2002 it was restored to it’s original beauty and elegance and is again home to a variety of shops and offices. After researching it while writing my book, it was a thrill last Friday to get to see the building and enjoy several of the stores there.

One of the Grove Arcade entrances.
One of the Grove Arcade entrances.
Peering through the glass into Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar from inside the Grove Arcade.
Peering through the glass into Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar from inside the Grove Arcade.

As the sun was setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains, we (my sister/trusty photographer and I) returned to Lake Junaluska for the night and a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Lake Junaluska Singers and an orchestra.

What a wonderful day!

Beautiful Lake Junaluska

We arrived at Lake Junaluska late on Thursday afternoon. Lake Junaluska is a conference center of the United Methodist Church. My vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, includes many images from the conference center. After checking in, we visited the bookstore in Harrell Center.

Lake Junaluska Bookstore is in the Harrell Center.
Lake Junaluska Bookstore is in the Harrell Center.

I was pleased to find copies of my book on the shelf in the bookstore.

The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on the shelf at Lake Junaluska Bookstore.
The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on the shelf at Lake Junaluska Bookstore.
Section in Lake Junaluska Bookstore where my book and other books published by Arcadia Publishing were displayed.
Section in Lake Junaluska Bookstore where my book and other books published by Arcadia Publishing were displayed.

We had tickets to attend the Christmas portion of “The Messiah” that evening in Stuart Auditorium. It was a thrill to see the auditorium after researching its history for one of the vintage postcards in my book. The auditorium was originally green, so I was surprised to discover it is now a white building.

Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska Conference Center in 2014.
Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska Conference Center in 2014.

The Lake Junaluska Singers performed with back up from other singers and an orchestra that was made up of musicians from Asheville, Black Mountain, and Appalachian State University. It was a wonderful evening and a relaxing way to end a very busy day of traveling and visiting bookstores.

Stuart Auditorium and the mountains reflected in Lake Junaluska.
Stuart Auditorium and the mountains reflected in Lake Junaluska.