I’ve written before about what I would grab from my house in the event of a fire, besides any humans, pets and important documents, of course. The main thing would be my signed copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was a birthday gift from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Traci Parker. (See the book here).
She bought the edition at Reed Books, a one-of-a-kind experience in downtown Birmingham, Ala. Traci is friends with the owner, Jim Reed, and has encouraged me to visit.
Years after the gift, I finally took the time to spend a Sunday afternoon at Reed Books, which sells old, unusual and rare editions. Unfortunately, I visited on one of Jim’s rare days off, so I didn’t get to meet him. I did get to wander around his impressive store, though. The official name is Reed Books and Museum of Fond Memories and it is a treat.
The store is lined with shelves that are lined with books of all ages, shapes and sizes, as well as plenty of vintage kitsch. No surface is left unadorned, from floors to walls to ceilings. There’s a neon sign that says “Flamingo.” There are mannequins and leg lamps, albums and posters. There’s a toy monkey with a plastic snout and a side-eye that’s the stuff of nightmares. There are Santas on top of Santas and more Santas.
Reed also has a section of books signed by Alabama authors, which I also collect. I already had most of the editions he had so I didn’t add to my collection that day but I’ll definitely be back.
The store is located at 2021 Third Avenue N., in downtown Birmingham. Definitely worth a visit!