My Real Life

September 14, 2015

Bookstore Heaven

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 4:22 pm

A few days ago, I got a text from Erin.


We used to devour those Dark Forces books.

I haven’t thought about them in years, but as soon as I saw the picture, I was transported in time to my childhood bedroom, sitting in front of my bookcase, pulling one out after the other and just laying on the floor and reading all day.

Between Dark Forces and Sweet Valley High, I don’t know how I had time for much else.

Anyway, I’ve got a bit of a “thing” for old books, to begin with, and seeing this text gave me an itch.

I needed to have some of those books.

However, the only used book store in our town caters to an adult audience, and by that, I mean grown ups, just in case you weren’t sure.


When I was a kid, there was a used book store in Chester, a neighboring town, which is where I got many of my books by trading in the old ones.

My grandparents would give me books, I’d read them and instantly trade them in for more Sweet Valley Highs or Dark Forces or Nancy Drews.

My Dad and I would spend hours in that store, but eventually, it went out of business.

It’s always been my dream to open a used book store.

A place where people could come and trade in their old books, get someone else’s treasured books, sit, read, enjoy.

It’s not happening today, but hopefully, someday.

I went to Facebook and asked local friends if they knew of any good used book stores and a few people chimed in.

I looked up the places they were offering on Yelp and one of them looked really interesting, but a bit too ecletic.

It was a used book store, but billed itself also as a comic book store.

I wasn’t sure I’d find what I needed.

However, many of the other places were a further drive, so I decided to give it a shot.

We had no school on Monday, and I wasn’t feeling well at all.

However, I had to go pick up the kids instruments from the store where they were getting their fall “tune-up” so I figured I’d just drive a little further and check the place out.

Monkey Girl agreed to come with me, and we were off.

The minute I walked in the door, I was hooked.

Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling.



Monkey Girl inhaled and said “I love that smell. It smells like old books.”


I took two steps in the door and knew I’d be making at least one purchase.


I’ve got a thing for Archie comics, and believe me when I tell you it was an exercise in control not to just sweep the shelf and buy them all.

I made a few selections, and then continued on.



Sweet Valley High originals.

Oh, Sweet Valley High.

So many times when I’ve found myself being too straightlaced, I’ve said “What would Jessica Wakefield do?”

And when I’ve felt that maybe I was being a little too carefree and needed to exercise a bit of caution, I’d ask myself “What would Elizabeth Wakefield do?”

Not really, but oh, how I loved those books.

So, I made a few more selections.

We spent approximately 45 minutes in the store.

If I had felt better, I would have spent the entire day.

Packed a bag lunch and made an adventure of it.

In the end, here’s my haul:


4 Archie comics

4 Sweet Valley High Books (2 series regulars and 2 Special Editions because they are awesome)

2 Nora Roberts paperbacks, because I picked up the third in the series at a library used book sale, but haven’t read it yet, because I was looking for the first two

A Dark Force book (YEAH!!! They had one!)

An antique, original Bobbsey Twins book.  This one is pure sentiment, because my Dad used to have a set of those books, and I would read them, every summer, when I would stay with my grandparents in Ohio for a month. I always wanted those books, and think my grandfather may have thrown them out when in the midst of his Alzheimer’s. I saw it on the shelf and got a little teary. It needed to come home with me.

And…I had to get the My Little Pony Rainbow Dash Pez dispenser, because Rainbow Dash is Tiny’s favorite and we can never find any toys that aren’t all sold out of Rainbow Dash.

A Pez dispenser was the perfect fit, because that kid loves Pez like Olivia Pope loves her wine.

As we left, the store owner said “Tell your friends about us!” and I promised I would, and so here I am…telling all of you.

So…if you are in Northern New Jersey, hop over to Ray and Judy’s Book Stop at 40 West Main Street in Rockaway, NJ.

It’s worth the trip.

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