Books, Cats, and Adventures in Parking

I started working at E. Shaver, Bookseller about four weeks ago. It’s a quirky, fabulous, independent bookstore in Savannah’s historic district. The bookstore has been around since 1975, though the building that houses it is from 1842.

E. Shaver has rooms of books separated by odd steps and doorways with wide moldings. There is a plush couch that often has a cat laying across it, and a typewriter where customers can craft poems on scraps of paper and tack them to the wall.

The store has four cats. Two, gloriously long-haired, seem to have appointed themselves supervisors. They stretch out on the floor by the Bestsellers looking ever so regal. One is a calico with a penchant for napping in the cubby under the front register. The tiniest and shyest of the four, Morticia, was named after she and her brother were rescued from a coffin in a prop warehouse. I understand her story, and E. Shaver, has made it into the script of at least one Savannah guided ghost tour. Really, there is cuteness around every corner at work for me.

Tourists and locals flock to the store everyday. I ring up purchases and dole out much-sought-after E. Shaver cat bookmarks. I guide customers to Essays, or Poetry, or Savannah History, or True Crime. I tell customers the cat’s names and where in the shop they might be hanging out. I shelve books. On Tuesdays, the New Releases come in. I get a thrill, I admit, from seeing that cart full of books nobody has been able to buy yet. Honestly, between the books and the cats, I’m pretty much in heaven.

Working there brings me into the historic district about 4 times a week. I have learned ALOT about finding free parking. At first, I struggled to find parking and to manage the anxiety. How early do I have to leave for work? Will I be able to find a free spot? Will I be late for my shift? Will I be able to find my car after my shift? Will I get a ticket? Will my car get stolen? It was exhausting.

I am happy to report, however, that I have have gotten into the swing of things. I reliably find free parking near Whitefield, Troup, or Lafayette Squares. I’ve made it to work on time each day. I’ve found my car at the end of my shifts. No tickets. No break ins.

I get to walk 5-10 minutes from my car through the shade dappled streets of the historic district. I pass the gorgeous jade-green fountain in Lafayette Square and the airy metal Armillary Sphere in Troup Square. We’ve had many gorgeous days– between 60 and 75 degrees– so I pick a bench after work and eat my snacks in the enticing mid-February warmth.

The other day I walked up E. Jones Street on the way to work, and was captivated by the details I saw: a wrought iron gate enclosing a long green garden with a statue of Poseidon at the back; round iron detailing covering milky white glass at street level; a fountain on the side of a house; and a glorious, huge house with wooden scrollwork and intricate, stacked porches lining one whole side.

That was a fun morning in the city.

It’s time to wrap up this post so I can get back to my latest read….Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn. I can’t put it down.

Please Note: I am an employee of E. Shaver, Bookseller. However, everything in this post is my personal opinion and in no way reflects any views, positions or policies of E. Shaver, Bookseller.

Photography Credits: The photos contained here have all been taken by me R. Goldstein 2022-2023.

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