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Purple Crow Does Things by the Book

Purple Crow Books was voted Best Bookstore by readers in our July/August 2016 issue.


We spoke with Sharon Wheeler, who owns Purple Crow Books, about Nancy Drew, Lee Smith and what she’s reading.

The Purple Crow Books storefront.
The Purple Crow Books storefront.

What’s your ideal reading scenario?
These days, I love to read in the bathtub in the winter and on my porch in the summer.

What books are currently on your nightstand?
There is a long list of books – including “Redemption Road” by John Hart and “The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson – on my nightstand. I always keep a pile going.

Which childhood books have stuck with you the most?
I was an avid reader as a child, frequently taking my flashlight to bed to read beneath the covers. I entertained myself often in a backyard hammock with North Carolina ghost stories by Nancy and Bruce Roberts. I read these over and over again. Like many girls my age, [I wanted to be Nancy Drew] when I grew up.

What’s the one book right now you’d like to recommend to everyone?
Lee Smith’s “Dimestore: A Writer’s Life.” I’ve long been a fan of hers, and this book captures so much of her resiliency, strength and humor. She lives in Hillsborough and is a frequent visitor to Purple Crow.

Who would you want to write your life story?
I would most certainly pick a Southern women’s writer … probably Lee or Jill McCorkle.

Jessica is the Executive Editor for Chapel Hill Magazine. As a 2010 grad of UNC, she's happy to be back in town writing, editing and eating around the Triangle.