I’m a reader. My love of books goes way back. As in, I fell in love with them the minute I learned to read. So imagine my Wizard of Oz moment when I left this black and white world to enter the Technicolor dream world of Coram Deo Books & The Irish Store in Carbondale, Illinois.
There aren’t words to do this literary haven justice. There’s so much to explore, you could spend hours there. *swoon* Want to find out about Irish heritage? This is the place for you! Want some beautiful jewelry? Toby bought me a lovely ring there. Do you collect Guinness items? Want to find books by local authors? Searching for an original copy of The Chronicles of Narnia or a lovely old copy of The Swiss Family Robinson? You’re in the right place…and this is all in just the first floor!
After you’ve perused your favorite authors’ sections down stairs (some of mine are Elisabeth Elliott, C.S.Lewis, and Charles Spurgeon), head upstairs to the Pastors’ Corner and Children’s Section. The Pastors’ Corner has an impressive collection of theology books: commentaries, systematic theology books, dictionaries, etc. This is Toby’s favorite room. Mine, of course, is the Children’s Section. It is everything I dreamed of as a little girl: a cozy room with murals on the walls, a small table and chairs, and most importantly shelves and shelves full of books. I have plans to do some Christmas shopping for Miss Claire and Mr James there (so thankful my kids love books too!) There’s fiction, non fiction, Irish books for children, and even a section for homeschoolers.
The ambiance is incredible in this place–warm, inviting and just plain lovely. You can sit and read, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, chat with the friendly owners, or just relax and enjoy some kid-free time (can I hear an amen from any other desperate housewives?) . If you are planning on buying the collectors books, make sure you’ve budgeted for them accordingly–there are some really nice ones here including hard-to-find editions. Since I don’t really know the first thing about collecting books, I’m not sure if these are priced low or spot on. However, I am a connoisseur of finding new & used books on the cheap. From my experience, the non-collector books are priced at or below Amazon prices. Of the dozen or so books we’ve purchased there, half of them were priced well below Amazon sale prices! The others were at Amazon price or slightly below. I LOVE getting great deals like these while supporting a local business!
Go see this store for yourself. You’ll enjoy your experience and you’ll wonder why you never knew about this awesome place before now. Coram Deo is open every Saturday from 10am to 5pm or by appointment. Check out their website and Facebook page for more info. Oh, and did I mention that this store is a few miles outside of town, in a lovely old farmhouse with horses and farmland all around it? I may never go back to Kansas, Toto.
*Photos courtesy Coram Deo Books & Irish Store. I did not receive any type of payment for writing this review. All the opinions are my own. Thanks for reading! When you visit Coram Deo, feel free to mention that you heard about this store on The Good Enough Mama’s blog. 🙂