Some people say books are going away, but Jan Bolgla and her husband Bob Roarty, owners of Atlanta Vintage Books, disagree. The two, who met while working together at a printing company, have always loved books, printing and publishing, but the grind of their demanding 24/7 jobs — Bob as a printing company manager and Jan as a graphic designer — was wearing them down.
Atlanta Vintage Books owners Jan Bolgla and Bob Roarty
“We had talked about buying a bookstore,” says Bob. “We rarely saw each other, and I told Jan if I don’t do something else, I’m going to have a heart attack.” On a November Sunday six years ago, Jan was looking through the classified section of a newspaper and said to Bob, “Hey, there’s a bookstore for sale.” By February 1st, they owned Atlanta Vintage Books.
“We have loved every day,” Jan says, and Bob adds, “I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”
With the store came a colony of stray cats that were being fed by the previous business owners. Although Jan says, “We love cats and wanted just one in the store,” eventually Boo, Callie, Frieda, Little Boo and Mickey all took up residence inside, sometimes curling up in a customer’s lap as they sit and read in one of the many comfortable chairs placed through the store. Jan says many people come by on a regular basis just to visit the cats.
Atlanta Vintage Books has 70,000+ books and specializes in vintage, rare, out of print and signed first editions by the likes of Margaret Mitchell and James Joyce and its collection of vintage children’s books is one of the largest in the southeast. An extensive inventory of modern and used books covers every conceivable subject matter from military history to metaphysics and there is a large collection of ephemera to search through as well.
“When you come in here you’re going to find something you didn’t know you wanted,” says Jan.
Atlanta Vintage Books is located at 3660 Clairmont Road, Chamblee,30341 and is open Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun 12 p.m.-5 p.m. For information, call 770-457-2919 or go to www.atlantavintagebooks.com.