Since 2005, Shelley and Son Books has been passionate about books, and preserving their importance for current and future generations.
We believe that virtue and beauty have a close relationship. By reading we gain knowledge. In knowledge we find things that inform our choices and beliefs.
Therefore, as booksellers, we see that books have an aesthetic value and a heuristic value.
- We specialize in The Inklings, primarily "The Seven'": C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams.
- A sub-specialty is our significant collection of Christian Theology.
- You'll also find works across the centuries, first editions, signed copies, and even modern books, too, across a broad selection of categories and genres.
Customer service is of utmost importance to us, and our friendly staff is always happy to help.
We assure our clients books of quality, as each copy is carefully graded and shipped with care.
Located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, we can be found on Main Street in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
We are primarily an online bookstore, but we invite you to make an appointment for an on-site visit!
In the News & Additional Bookstore History:
(click on the image to be redirected to the article or podcast below)
Owner Stan Shelley's Interview with the Marion E. Wade Center Podcast at Wheaton College (Hosts: David and Crystal Downing)
Stan Shelley ~ Owner
Stan graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in engineering and pursued that profession for six years. After that I joined my father in the retail jewelry business for many years. In the 1990s we opened a high-end auction gallery and one of our consignments was a collection of nearly all first editions by Arthur Conan Doyle. I did not know anything about identifying first editions, so I took these books to Chandler Gordon of Captains Bookshelf, and he confirmed their authenticity. I have always been a reader but this spurred real interest in books in general.
In 2001 I started buying and selling books online working out of my basement. After a few years I needed more space and since I owned a large Main St. building in Hendersonville, I moved my book business to the second floor of that building. Somewhere around 2011 I attended CABS and learned a great deal about the rare book business. One speaker at CABS suggested that it was wise for a book dealer to have a specialty. I immediately chose a writers group called the Inklings which was composed of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and over a dozen other British writers. This was a good specialty because it was somewhat narrow and at the time, I was still working in the jewelry business. I got to know the people at the Wade Center at Wheaton College in the Chicago suburbs. The Wade Center has the largest collection of CS Lewis research materials of any institution in the world. My relationship with them has been very rewarding. They specialize in four of the Inklings plus three British writers who were influential on the Inklings. Thus, my real specialty is in those four Inklings plus the three British writers mentioned. They are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, George McDonald, and Owen Barfield.
Over the years there were a few occasions where Chandler Gordon and I purchased collections together. There were other times that I referred collections to ABAA dealers, and times when I received referrals from ABAA dealers. The world of book dealers is a wonderful place.
In addition to normal Internet business I have, on many occasions, set up book tables for Inklings collectors at various conferences. I do not generally do appraisals for insurance purposes, but on two occasions I have done thorough appraisals for charitable purposes. On one occasion a family in Savannah GA had a collection of CS Lewis books that they were donating to Taylor University in Indiana. And on the other occasion, a retired professor living in Black Mountain NC was donating a large theological library to a seminary in Texas. I did these appraisals at no charge.
Over the years my love for books has only grown. When people collect some objects, for example Hummels, there is a limited number of items they can collect. But with books there are millions upon millions. There is no end to it and there is no way to know it all, so one must constantly keep growing. I love that aspect of the antiquarian book business.
Jessica Bradley ~ Sales, Marketing, Cataloging & Customer Service
Once upon a time, a little girl started a library from the books and books and books her father collected. She made library cards, due date slips, and arranged her editions in perfect order on dusted shelves. She asked her friends to check out her books -- keeping close tabs on when a book became overdue -- and she was relentless about getting her books back. She was five years old. Her mother taught her to read when she was three...not because the little girl was so smart, but because her Mummie was. She knew the gift of reading, of loving wisdom that only books could hold, and the importance of passing that love on to her daughter. When she was older, this little girl would scour shelves at her local Goodwill store...searching to see if she could identify first editions. Then that little girl grew up and lost so much of the wonder life had once held. Searching for her life's work, she embarked on a kaleidoscope of ventures, twists, and turns -- none of which made her heart sing. That little girl was me.
After several hard challenges, and by divine intervention, my paths crossed with Stan Shelley, whose family has been friends with my family since I was little. My siblings and I grew up with Stan's kids.
Since the spring of 2021, I've finally had the career that makes my heart sing. I've had the privilege of working at Shelley and Son Books for the best boss I've ever had, and I'm fortunate to get to do a little bit of everything here. I've learned so much ~ cataloging, pricing, book anatomy, illustrators, authors, publishers, book preservation, and all about beautiful bindings. Every day I am thrilled to learn something new, and deepen my understanding of books and the wonderful and unique world of booksellers. I am also tremendously fortunate to be a 2023 CABS graduate, (Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar ~ Minnesota), where the knowledge I gained, and friendships made, are priceless.
Customer service is also a specialty, where I have the joy of working with our clients and collectors, as well as accompanying Stan on some book buying adventures. We meet all kinds of fascinating people! I love my role in our store's marketing strategy through design and editing of our store website, catalogs, and participating in on-site and virtual book fairs. It's always a treat to discover unique provenance and other treasures nestled inside antiquarian books that extend the story beyond the book's content -- adding clues about where the book traveled, and whom it may have encountered along its journey -- and then including these discoveries in the descriptions of our treasures for sale.
So if you've ever sent us an email, or called us on the phone, you've likely spoken with me! If we can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out! We are always delighted to hear from you.
To receive digital or print catalogs: (including our specialty Inklings Catalog) please complete this form.
To reach us: Please call our bookstore at 828-697-2166. We invite you to leave a message.
Alternatively, you may email us at email@example.com.
We will do our best to get back to you within 24 to 36 hours!