Daedalus Used Book Store

In the course of my usual Friday afternoon “Photo-wandering” I made a delightful acquaintance. Sandy McAdams owns and runs The Daedalus Used Book Store which is on a side street (121 Fourth St.—Ph. No. 434-293-7595).

The attached (featured) image is a bit mis-leading. I chose it because of its dignity and masculine depth. Sandy  is actually a guy who smiles easily and has a very upbeat perspective on life.

I’d walked past the little store numerous times but never went inside. I stuck my head in yesterday and Sandy beckoned me inside.

Apparently confined to a wheel-chair Sandy previously owned the C&O Restaurant—which is now also a gallery just off the downtown mall. I think it’s on Water Street. Sandy explained he did the original renovation himself—the particulars of how it changed hands are unclear to me—you know how it is with old people and memory—meaning my memory—not Sandy’s. A point he was very clear about is he would much rather be known  for his bookstore than the restaurant.

A life-long lover of books Sandy says he has over 100,000 books in his shop and I believe it. I spent probably a half-hour exploring the shop—it’s a wonderful maze or warren of hallways, stairs up & down and odd shaped rooms—two stories up and a wonderfully mysterious basement. Some rooms are sunny and well-lit—others are delightfully dark and moody. The variety of titles and subjects is endless and every where you go there are these secret little spaces where the outside world becomes, momentarily at least, a fading memory.

Sandy & I talked for probably close to an hour—if spending your years doing what you love is the definition of success, Sandy is one of the most successful guys I’ve met in many years.

The Daedalus is a lot of fun. If you have a free hour next time you’re on the mall and you enjoy the physical proximity of books I can guarantee you’ll have a great time. To wander around in Sandy’s shop really is an intimate adventure in surprise and discovery. I urge you to go.

And tell Sandy I said “hi.”

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