“Jacqueline could feel herself succumbing to the lure of the books.  It was all she could do to refrain from taking one of the volumes, squatting on the floor, and starting to read. …. Jacqueline…wandered on, marveling at the breadth….There was an entire shelf on the Brontes, including the standard works devoted to their juvenilia.  Poetry, ancient and classical history….”  Elizabeth Peters, on the lure of books ….

WonderBook bookshelf battle!
WonderBook bookshelf battle!

Our last post told the triumphant tale of Gandalf, who refused to be evicted from HIS chair in the MPM Manor kitchen.  In this post we introduce the person who gave Gandalf to Barbara — and who shared an abiding love of — well, really addiction to —  books with her.  Chuck Roberts, owner of the WonderBook warehouse and bookstores, met Barbara in the 1980s after she had made her way out to the Frederick area, hoping to escape the growing sprawl and traffic nearer to D.C. (and finding her dream home in the process).  The two friends bonded over their love of books — and Star Wars, and Tolkein, and …. the list goes on and on.    Barbara went from renting videos at Chuck’s first small store to signing books for him to sell through his now sprawling warehouse-internet book emporium.  Neither one of them could ever stand to let a book get thrown out if it could possibly be saved …  and neither one of them could stop talking if a good Tolkein or Star Wars argument was underway.  (Believe us on this one.)  There was often quite a crew of book-lovers gathered at Barbara’s, including writer friends as well of course, and the conversation got more and more animated as the evening (and the drinks) went on….

(Chuck was the only one of the crew who could manage gin and chocolate at the same time)

If you look carefully at these pictures, you’ll see a quarter that was put in for scale, and also a very small copy of “Little Women” — which is an actual edition of the book!