Miss Bookstores? Browse Rare Poetic Finds at ‘Between The Covers’

I know that we are all starting to feel the immensity of the pandemic: the isolation, the uncertainty, and just the sheer tension of it all in our lives. There are so many beloved bookstores and shops that I know we are all missing right now. I miss lazily walking down the aisles and perusing the titles of their selection, especially in the poetry section. I know that we are living in some unprecedented times right now, and it may be a while before we return to some semblance of normal. But I wanted to share with you all the way I spent my afternoon. With a little bit of digging, I uncovered a really amazing place that made my heart race in excitement as I perused their selection of poetry books. 


I chose this bookstore because, as I was scrolling through their poetry listings, it felt like a virtual visit through their store. They have great pictures of the books available as well as very detailed descriptions of them. With the pandemic changing the way we interact with books, I thought that this was a great way to continue to foster our love for poetry in the best way we can right now. 


Between the Covers: Rare Books Inc.

Located in Gloucester City, New Jersey, this gem of a bookstore was founded in 1985 by Tom Congalton. Tom is a member of The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and his passion for collecting rare books has blossomed into this incredible inventory of over 100,000 books available in their online catalogs. The reader experience for Between the Covers is best enjoyed online:  


“Although our website is designed to emulate an open shop, our building is really more like an antiquarian and used book warehouse. Most of our stock is not shelved or stored in a manner conducive to browsing (we actually use our own website to browse our inventory, just like you), and so we do not actively encourage visitors. But if you are traveling through the Philadelphia area and would like to stop by, please contact us (856-456-8008) to arrange a visit.”


This description from the website piqued my interest. Because that is exactly how I felt as I was looking through the catalog. I felt the excitement of physically being at a bookstore while I browsed from my laptop. I think we all need to find ways to reconnect with that excitement right now. The world looks very different as we find ourselves in the midst of this pandemic, and we may not be able to enjoy walking the aisles of a book store at the present moment, but Between The Covers really does a great job of capturing that feeling for you from the comfort of your home. 


So, let’s take a look at some of their inventory shall we? 


You. Guys. This place is a book lover’s dream. As I was looking through their poetry inventory, I found The Poems of Oscar Wilde, 2 volume collection. They are first editions from 1906 and hardcover in really good condition. Or check out the Poems of Robert Burns. The website does a great job describing each book’s character with its slight imperfections and charm.


As I was browsing, I came across Poems by Emily Dickinson, Second Series. This floral patterned hardcover first edition is priced at $12,500. With its rare binding, it is a true treasure for book collectors and poetry lovers everywhere. Or if you’re anything like me, it’s something to drool over and admire from afar. 


I cannot tell you how much joy I experienced browsing through their catalog. When you are finished with poetry, they have lots of other book collections to check out as well. 


It’s rainy here today, and there is nothing that sounded more soothing for my soul than browsing through a virtual bookstore’s aisles and admiring what I find. I hope that you decide to check it out too.


If you do, let me know what poetry books you were the most excited to find. Did you see any of your favorites? Which books would be on your dream purchase list? Let us know in the comments. 


Happy browsing, everyone.