Ed’s Editions isn't your typical bookstore.
From the outside, Ed’s Editions looks small, but inside it holds a staggering amount of books — around 40,000, in fact, and about 10,000 of which are available on the store's online database.
Around 80 percent of the books in the store are non-fiction, and the fiction tends more towards classical literature than anything else, so don't treat it like Barnes and Noble. Above all, Ed's Editions strives to provide hard to find, used, out of print and rare books.
Founder Ed Albritton, was looking to make a change after a long career in community mental health when he opened the store in the summer of 2001.
Getting a physical location was the end point of a long process.
“My business has gone through a number of steps, but it originally started out as book scouting to book dealers,” Albritton said.
From scouting, he went on to sell books at an antique mall. Then he started selling books online with Amazon — in fact, he's one of Amazon’s earliest customers, and he's been in business with the company for almost 20 years. So once he finally started to get a customer base, he decided to create his own store.
“I was ready to do something different,” Albritton said. “I’ve always liked books, and this seemed like a fun venture to take on.”
The store is family run and operated — his wife, son, daughter and grandson are all involved in the stores operations.
Ed’s Editions is known for specializing in South Carolina history and military history, but there's a large range of categories to choose from — more than 100 major categories of books can be found throughout the store.
Albritton obtains some of the hard-to-find and rare books at estate sales and auctions, but most of his books come from well-known customers trying to downsize the number of books they have.
Since there are so many categories of books on the shelves, Albritton is open to receiving a wide variety of books. The limiting factor, though, is their condition — he won't take anything too beaten up.
“Condition is critical for us when we buy books,” Albritton said. “Even if it’s a 100-year-old book, it’s still got to be in good condition.”
Albritton takes pride in how the store has come along in its 14 years. The shelves are constantly changing because of all the books he acquires and sells.
“We try to bring a different bookstore experience for our customers," he said, "and so far, I believe we’ve done a good job."