Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC
BACKROADS BOOKSTORES, literary ramblings from sea to shining sea.
The township of Franklin, NC is in Macon County entirely within the Nantahala National Forest. It is a popular stopping point for AT through hikers and is an official AT friendly destination. If you hike the trail near Franklin you will often find through hikers headed to Maine, all fresh from their stop in Franklin. Franklin is also known as the “Gem Capital of the World.” The population is about 3,800 and the elevation is 2119.
I spend a good amount of time in Cashiers, North Carolina which sits proudly at the crossroads of U.S. Route 64 and North Carolina Highway 107. It is a world away from chaos. U.S Route 64 stretches from Whale Bone Junction, North Carolina to Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. I’ve found several Backroads Bookstores in communities along the western mountains section of Route 64: Hendersonville, Brevard, Highlands, and Franklin. And it is just a short detour to Tryon, Sylva and Waynesville, each sporting a vital bookshop.
Books Unlimited located in Historic Downtown was established in 1983. The current owner, Suzanne Harouff has owned the bookstore for almost 12 years. Before that she was manager for 13 years. She tells this story about buying the store:
Father Henry . . . came in a few weeks after I became the owner and asked if I had any surprises or things happen that I wasn’t expecting. I shook my head and said “No, Father Henry. After 13 years I think I’ve pretty much handled every situation. But you know what? Some mornings, I look in the mirror, slap my palm to my forehead, and say “What the hell was ya’ thinkin?!!”. He put his arm around my shoulders, leaned his head on mine, and said “You’re going to be just fine!!” He was right.
The staff includes book lovers who are always ready to recommend good reads. The four cats practically run the store: Junie, Bea and Nancy, Drew. Suzanne stays active in community activities: Read Local Days featuring local authors, Find Waldo Day, and with the library which often hosts readings out by the fireplace.
And who says international authors don’t make it to the backroads bookstores? Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants, is scheduled to appear in person on Saturday June 20th, during the Taste of Scotland Festival to sign her new book At the Water’s Edge. And what better way to announce Sara Gruen’s event that to pass out gift bags of personalized M&M’s?
The Taste of Scotland Festival will be held this year June 18-21, 2015. “Always Father’s Day Weekend” Featuring: Scottish fun, food, fashion, music, dancers, games, clans, border collie demonstrations and crafters. Franklin has the only Scottish Tartan Museum in the United States.
60 Main Street
Franklin, NC 28734