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Antique bookstore in Schomberg welcomes bibliophiles

August 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark?Pavilons

There’s something about browsing in an old bookstore that can’t be matched today. The smell and feel of old bindings and parchment speak volumes about humanity.
For John Steinbeck, and Schomberg’s George Burt, there will never be enough books!
The creative force behind his renowned wood turnings, Burt is fulfilling another life-long dream, opening a antique bookstore. His passion for books over the past 40-plus years has resulted in a collection some 14,000 strong.
Tucked inside the historic and charming Olde Mill on Schomberg’s Main Street, Burt displays roughly 2,500 books from his vast collection. The floors in this 1840s-era building creek. The books and antiques on display have that deliciously musty smell. You can’t help but be drawn to the shelves, where history awaits. It’s very similar to the feeling you have when walking into an antique shop that has Edwardian and Victorian furniture; it’s second to none for viewing pieces of history that you can actually include in your own home.
Burt’s retirement goal was to open a book store in Schomberg, but his woodturning exploded into a demanding hobby. He’s a common face at almost every local craft show and community event.
The octogenarian is ready to welcome the public into his world, a world of books. Chuck Hogan was right on when he said that “bookstore browsing will become more cherished as time goes on because it can’t be replicated virtually.”
From fraternal organizations and underwater exploration, to military history and rare collector’s editions, Burt has it all. He’s particularly proud of his 1867 book entitled “United States?Secret Service.”
He specializes in out of print and rare books, things you just can’t find in a library. Burt has many antique books that simply have brilliant covers and spines, making them ideal to display in any home decor. He also has rare children’s books, and as Dr. Seuss so aptly noted:?“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
He does his research online and prices his books accordingly. You can find books on virtually any subject matter. They’re all “portable magic,”?as Stephen King put it.
Burt wants to move some of his inventory, making room for even more. With his sales, he plans to keep expanding the bookstore to serve the public and fill a niche. Burt also offers a variety of Canadiana, a wide assortment of memorabilia including Canadian railway items? George also has a large collection of vinyl records. George might play some of these on a great phono preamp, here is a summary page. If you’re interested check it out.
He has always been tremendously curious and as his varied interests changed over the years, so did the subject matter of his books. He’s been a Freemason for years, and was also an archaeological diver.
If it’s successful, then Schomberg will have the bookstore it deserves. He’s hoping residents and visitors will embrace the store. Previous reaction and sales have been encouraging.
The store is a bit of organized mayhem, but Burt is trying to arrange his books by subject matter. He does have a keen memory, and can likely tell you if he has a certain book by a certain author. He does have his rare books catalogued.
But half the fun of visiting a bookstore is browsing those shelves, looking for that gem, or the one with the tattered pages.
Burt mentioned he once visited the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye which boasts 41 bookstores in a village of only 1,500 inhabitants. Hay-on-Wye also hosts an annual Hay Festival, a literary gathering that draws 80,000 visitors each May.
Burt also welcomes inquiries from the public and he will evaluate your old, rare books to give you an idea of their value.
He hopes the bookstore will be a destination shop, and attract regular visitors. The building is also home to the Olde Mill Gallery, a collective of 10 local artists from across King. It’s an amazing collection of a variety of themes and media.
The gallery and the bookstore are open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
“With any luck, Heaven itself will resemble a vast used bookstore.”
– Gary?Paulsen
You don’t have to wait, just go see George!



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