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Diana's Books

Chester, Virginia, USA

Diana's Books specializes in Americana, Appalachia, Ephemera, Genealogy, History, Occult, Rare, Spirituality, Virginia.

About Diana's Books

20 years experience buying, selling and trading books, retail and online. Personal customer service includes special request acquisitions, book collection valuations and personal library liquidations. Contact to make an in-house appointment:

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Diana's Books

12414 Branner Pl
Apt. 104
Chester, VA 23836 USA

Terms of sale for Diana's Books

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, Return for a full refund plus return postage.

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Interview with Diana Fields of Diana's Books

When did you get started in bookselling?
I began selling books in 1997.
What drew you to bookselling?
I moved up to the Appalachian Mountains in 1995. There was not much to choose from as far as occupations go. My background was in accounting and school bus driving. Well I had had all I wanted of accounting for someone else's money and I sure wasn't going to drive a bus in the mountains. So I saw an ad in the Trading Post for 2,500 books for sale cheap. I drove my Volvo wagon over Cloyd's Mountain and hauled them all home. From there I bought a second house on Main St. and opened shop.
Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?
I didn't really have any mentors. Appalachia being rather remote for the rest of the country. However, I have had my share of benefactors and sages. My first big boost came from the Mackies who gave me their book collection. He was a retired history professor so as you can imagine there were many interesting titles in the lot.
What are your specialties as a dealer?
I specialize in books relating to Virginia history. I can trace my family's roots in Virginia back to 1621. My parents were both born in Kentucky, which was once part of Virginia. So you could say we have stayed in the land of the Virginia Company for nearly 400 years.
What's the most amazing book you've ever sold?
Amazing is a pretty strong word. I wouldn't say that I have had an opportunity to possess an amazing book. But, the one that was the hardest to part with was an Atlas of the United States printed in 1861, with hand colored maps.
What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?
Books. Lots and lots of books. There is just so much to know. So much to see. I can't possible read everything I would like to read, but being a bookseller allows me to browse through many varied subjects before I pass them along to a buyer. And I love the buyers who cherish their newly purchased book. Sharing the joy with other book lovers is a great pleasure.
Do you have an open storefront or have you in the past?
I did have a small bookstore in the mountains for about 10 years.
If so, do/did you have any bookstore pets?
I had a pair of cats in the mountains, but they were not bookstore pets. Many people have pet allergies and I would not want someone to not shop in my store because of cat hair. I have yet to hear of anyone not shopping at a bookstore because they didn't have a cat. The cats were just as happy at home.
What is the funniest / strangest / scariest thing that ever happened in your store?
Well the funniest/strangest/scariest experience I have in my many years of buying, selling and trading books has to be the time I was pulling books for trade out of a bag, while a woman and her elderly mother stood across the counter and watched. I reached to the bottom of the bag and grabbed what was left. When I pulled my hand out of the bag, lo and behold I was holding a sex toy. I dropped it back in the bag like it was a piece of hot coal and grabbed my hand sanitizer. Well the woman turned beet red and her mother just kept saying "What was it? What was it?". I laughed about that one for days.
What is your favorite bookshop (other than your own)?
The Black Swan in Richmond, VA is what I aspire to be.
What do you personally like to read? Collect?
I don't read as much as you would think that a bookseller should. However, when I read, what I read varies greatly. I read history and philosophy mostly. I enjoy books on art and architecture as well. I don't read a lot of fiction but occasionally one will catch my interest. As a bookseller, I don't consider myself a collector. All books I acquire are destined for resale, but I do have preference for Virginia history books.
What's your favorite book you personally own? Would you sell it, if the price were right?
All books are for sale if the price is right. In my personal life, I am a minimalist. I try not to hold material possessions too tightly. All things are transient. That said, the book I own currently that would be the hardest to let go of would be my copy of Kegley's Virginia Frontier. It has great fold out maps of Virginia during the mid to later 1700's.
What one book would you buy if price were no object?
If I could buy any book in the world, I would say it would be "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles" by John Smith
If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring three books, what would they be?
The Complete Tales of William Shakespeare The Autobiography of a Yogi A Guide to Celestial Navigation