Last Fall I had my annual Ladies Weekend getaway with my band of girlfriends. We've been vacationing together each November for the last twenty years, and while I haven't been able to attend each jaunt, it's always a treat to get away to a new locale, reconnect with my ladies and have a giant gab fest back at our hotel rooms. And drink copious amounts of wine and sample new varieties of cheese.
This past November we picked Great Barrington, Massachusetts as our destination and while most of our party enjoyed the nearby shopping outlets (blah!), my buddy Linda and I headed for our favorite kind of shopping: bookhunting.
We were both able to while away a pleasant couple of hours at Yellow House Books, a small used and rare bookstore located at 252 Main Street in downtown Great Barrington. The shop is small, but has a carefully selected range of interesting and unusual books. The front room has a nice selection of art and music, while the second room contains a fine array of antique children's books and illustrated volumes.
I spent most of my time in the innermost third room, which contained the history and cookbook sections, picking up some local history titles for the shop and a handful of unusual books for my personal collection. I was psyched to find a signed copy of John Thorne's book of autobiographical food essays "Outlaw Cook", a Sherlock Holmes cookbook and a delightful
"Cookbook for Booksellers", by Craig Claiborne, which was a promotional book handed out by the publisher to booksellers perhaps en masse at a large book fair or individually by a book sales rep to bookseller clients. This bibliophilic treat contains book quotes and recipes for such literary eats as Proust's Madeleines, a Virginia Woolf-inspired Boeuf en Daube, Clifton Fadiman's Yorkshire Buck, Lord Byron's Oyster Stew, Bookbinder's Soup, Tobias Smollett's Vitello
Tonnato and a Madras Curry for William Makepeace Thackeray.
The bookshop also had a nice selection of Modern Library editions (see above photo) which are one of my husband's favorite things to collect, so I will be bringing him back here to visit soon.
Yellow House Books is owned by Bonnie and Bob Benson, who were doing a brisk business on the Saturday morning I was there, so I did not get a chance to chat with them. The shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm and on Sundays from noon to 5 pm. The phone number is: 413-528-8227.