Point your car away from Interstate 81 and drive into the fertile farmland of the Shenandoah Valley, past cows standing in fields and silos rising like monuments to rural America.If you are patient and don't need to have the latest book as soon as it hits the book store shelves, you may find it discounted 60-90% at Green Valley. My political library is full of book fair purchases ... all those little gems I wanted immediately but held out until they were more affordable.
Turn off a country road onto the driveway of a family farm, park behind an old barn and you will come upon a most unlikely sight:
The world's biggest bookstore. Sort of.
Green Valley Book Fair, south of Harrisonburg, can be found behind the walls of nondescript warehouses stacked with about a half-million books at discounted prices. If you like books, you can lose yourself in here for hours. The book fair is open to the public only a half-dozen times a year for a couple of weeks per session. The final session of the year began Friday and concludes Dec. 13.
Green Valley is open daily 9-7 now through December 13 in Mt. Crawford. (800) 385-0099 and is about 2 1/2 hours from Richmond.
While in the vicinity, be sure to check out the Dayton Farmers Market on Rt. 42 about 10 minutes away from the book fair, open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm through the holidays. Besides unique gift items, they offer those big, soft pretzels ... yum. Or grab something to eat at Hank's and sit at the table and people-watch. (The rest of the year they are open Thursday through Saturday.)