Richard Owen Roberts Booksellers

I love to visit unique local bookstores when I'm traveling, and I came across a great one yesterday. It is located just around the corner from the Billy Graham Center on the Wheaton College campus.

I walked there in the morning, but the store hours are somewhat limited: 1:30-5:30 p.m. most weekdays. So I came back in the afternoon, and was amply rewarded.

The store is a rich warren of shelves and tables and boxes, stuffed with old and rare (and some new) books. The woman behind the counter made a point to tell me that if I didn't see what I was looking for, the bulk of their inventory is kept behind the scenes.

I loved it. So fun to browse the shelves. I saw an ancient three-volume set of Matthew Henry's commentary:

And a fifty-eight volume set of Dumas's works, above a thirty-two volume Balzac set (below).

And those were just the beginning. Row after row of carefully shelved and alphabetized books. Even one in the "ethics" section by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler:

I wish now that I had pulled it off the shelf to see what they were asking for it. The prices were not bargain-basement level at all. After looking through all the shelves, I asked the woman for a book for which I've been looking for nearly thirty years, Safed the Sage by William Barton. She looked it up in her computer files, disappeared for a few moments, and then produced the thin paperback volume. It cost me fifteen dollars, but I was glad to get it. Plus, I now have a souvenir (the best kind) of Richard Owen Roberts Booksellers in Wheaton, Illinois.

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