Best Collectible Bookstore Phoenix 2010 - Charles Parkhurst Rare Books
Okay. This is not a bookshop for the faint of heart. Parkhurst and company aren't offering for sale first-edition Clive Barkers here. This isn't the place where one goes to upgrade one's worn copy of Catcher in the Rye. This four-year-old bookseller is where one might, for example, go to purchase a pair of leather-bound volumes of Tobias Smollett's The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote, a first translation from the Spanish of Miguel de Cervantes' original. For $5,500. Serious collectors (like A.S.W. Rosenbach, widely considered the greatest antiquarian bookseller the world has ever known, whose rare 1960 biography is available here for only $125) flock to this beautifully appointed, museum-like store for fine first editions, manuscripts, signed and inscribed, books and special-bound, rare and unusual 19th- and 20th-century literature. The staff, smart and helpful and as in love with books as their customers, aren't at all stuffy about the many exceptional titles they offer for sale. We love them, and we love that this store — where we can ogle a rarely seen copy of C.S. Forester's Flying Colours (priced at a still-reasonable $650) or purchase a near-mint printing of J.M. Barrie's A Lady's Shoe (a bargain at $35!) — is right here in our town.