Here, by the side of U.S. 74 as you start up the Balsams after leaving Sylva, isn’t exactly the place you’d expect to stumble onto a bookstore with some 20,000 volumes of select, vintage books.
A photography shop bookends one side of this tiny, easily missed strip mall. Harry Alter’s used, scholarly and rare bookstore serves to bookend the other. And a thrift store and furniture store fills out the middle of this odd juxtaposition of businesses.
Be that as it may, Alton, 43, is here with his bookstore, and has been for about three years. The Pittsburgh native ended up in Jackson County six years ago after his wife, Elizabeth Heffelfinger, took a position in the English Department at Western Carolina University as director of motion picture studies.
Alter’s book selection in the store is tremendous — particularly choice in the political science and history venues, such as the Civil War, but there is also plenty to peruse for those who want books on gardening and the environment, or philosophy and psychology. ...Read the full article