“I always wanted a bookstore,” said Tyrone Fine Books owner Harry Goodheart in an interview with The Tyron (North Carolina) Daily Bulletin.
Before opening the doors of his store, Harry, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1966, served in the Air Force for three years, including one in Vietnam, and then attended law school. He was a trial lawyer for 20 years before switching to mediation, which he still practices. “I decided to give up confrontation and arguing. I’d rather help people peacefully resolve their differences as a mediator,” he explained.
Always a book lover, he read “The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” at an early age, and in the mid-1990s decided to more actively scout rare books and bookstores for his own pleasure. In 2005, he opened what he calls “Harry’s Folly” with 6,000 of his own books. “I enjoy the tactile pleasure of a book not possible with a screen,” he said. “Electronic books are neither good nor bad, just another medium, and I am for anything that gets people to read.”
His discoveries have included Mickey Mouse first editions, a 1816 edition of “The Travels of Ali Bey,” a Dublin pirated edition of Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and a 1731 edition of “Gulliver’s Travels.”
“The excitement was the hunt,” he said. “The pay-off was the satisfaction of completing a collection. It was an afterthought to sell anything.”
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