In a normal summer, last week – the week of Labor Day, would have been my traditional late summer vacation to the beautiful seaside town of Wellfleet near the tip of Cape Cod. Sadly, the stupid virus kept me from traveling this year so I will have to live with my memories of past trips. Luckily for me, and maybe for you, many of my exploits on Cape Cod have been documented here, so I thought it would be fun to republish some of my old posts – so I will be doing that all week. First up, Titcombs’ Bookshop – where many years we stopped to purchase books to read while on vacation.

DISCOVERED: Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich, MA (Originally published Oct. 1, 2010)

“You have to drive along 6-A,” Sophie told us when we met up before the road trip to Wellfleet, MA for our annual vacation.  Route 6-A is the old road that runs the length of Cape Cod that has been replaced with the more freeway-ish Route 6.  Route 6 is the road that you would normally take to get to the end of the Cape in the most direct and speedy way.  Route 6-A winds its way through every little village and borough and can be quite charming, but it takes a long time.

We were in no rush to make it to our rental in Wellfleet, so my traveling companion, Wayne and I thought we should take Sophie’s advice.  Boy was she right.  Within the first mile of 6-A we came across a cranberry bog being harvested, very cool and very Cape Cod.

And then we noticed a bunch of shops and galleries along the road and decided we should stop and check outticombs a few.

Our first stop was Titcomb’s Bookshop, a lovely new and used bookstore in a grand old house in Sandwich.  It was fun browsing the books – old and new – and I made a few purchases.  But more than anything I was intrigued by the store and wanted to learn more about it.

Well, I did some research and found the store website.  I just love their story:

“Titcomb’s Bookshop was founded by Ralph and Nancy Titcomb in July 1969 when they moved to East Sandwich, but their interest in antiquarian books began years earlier. In 1966, Ralph, an engineer with General Electric, was transferred to Connecticut. Finding a house for their 6 young children was difficult, but they settled on an old house with 7 acres and several barns in the small town of Canterbury. The house had not been lived in for over 10 years and the prior owners were a mother and daughter who died at ages 102 and 82 respectively. As the couple worked on the house, the children explored the property, and soon discovered in one of the barns a large pile of rare papers and books dating back to the 1600s. The Titcomb’s started a mail order catalog to sell some of the books and their business, aptly named ‘The Paper Barn,” blossomed from there. The very first sale yielded $44 that was quickly used to buy a Saint Bernard puppy for the kids. (They did, after all, find the treasure!).”

I feel like I found a treasure myself.  Thanks once again for a great tip Sophie!