Joan Scott, the former owner of The Country Bookshop, passed away in 2005 — but current employees say she still likes to hang around and make sure her standards are being upheld.
According to bookshop employees, Joan’s heart resided among the shelves and pages in her beloved store. She was very particular about how the shop was operated, and employees swear she remained particular for a few years after.
When books weren’t alphabetized or she didn’t approve of a book title, the book would suddenly fly off the shelf.
“The book will jump off of the shelf, into the air and onto the floor,” says general manager Kimberly Daniels Taws. “And it is only books that are wildly out of place or a book that she might frown upon.”
Joan is also known to leave a notes every now and again. During her reign as owner, she objected the use of computers. Everything was handwritten, including inventory and the cards system, and those who worked there while she owned the shop knew each other’s handwriting very well. Occasionally, bookshop employees will find little post-it notes with book titles written on them … in Joan’s handwriting. Dun. Dun. Dun.
When Kimberly came across a portrait of Joan at The Art’s Council, she bought it and hung it in the store so the former owner could keep an eye on everything. Joan was obviously pleased with the purchase, because strange activity has dwindled; and Kimberly says books only fly off shelves when she’s “especially perturbed.”
Joan’s portrait hangs proudly behind the register at The Country Bookshop, so make sure to stop and say hello if you’re walking around town. But if you request Fifty Shades of Grey, you might want to duck and cover.