It was a couple stories, and you could buy your books there, in addition to student stores. They were a regular supplier of textbooks, but also they had lots of just other kinds of books. It was just a great, family-owned place that had wooden floors. The stairs creaked when you would go up the stairs. It just had a great atmosphere; it had a great feel to it.

The Intimate was at one point kind of a mini franchise, there were a number of branch offices in it, both in Chapel Hill, there was one down in the old East Gate Shopping Center, and there were some in other parts of the state. I think at one point there may have been 11 Intimate Bookstores around North Carolina. But, the market changes. You go to Borders and Amazon and the market changes and it's really hard for an independent bookstore to stay in business.

There was a fire, the Intimate burned, and I don't think they ever fully recovered from that. It was arson. It burned, and they did re-open the Intimate for a while, but it never really flourished again.

Authors would do book readings and stuff. I have to admit I wasn't as intellectual as I should be. I was more likely to be in a bar. God, that's a terrible thing to say.

Steve Allred

When you're thinking about creaking floors then you think of the Intimate Bookshop. Because when they rebuilt it after the fire, they had to put those creaks back into the floor so that people would feel at home there.

When you're thinking about creaking floors then you think of the Intimate Bookshop. Because when they rebuilt it after the fire, they had to put those creaks back into the floor so that people would feel at home there.

Of course, the thing about Intimate Book Shop was that we just called it "The Intimate." I remember we had some colleagues come to Chapel Hill for a meeting. I said, "Let's go to the Intimate Bookshop." They said, "Dianne, we didn't know you were that type of person."

I said, "What do you mean? Oh! Intimate Bookshop! No, no, it's not like that at all! The Intimate Bookshop, that's just what it's called." But I never thought of it in that other context.

Dianne Gooch Shaw

Well, the Intimate was first up there beside the Presbyterian Church in a ramshackle old wooden building. Milton Abernathy opened the Intimate. Before that, I think, it was probably Hoop Patterson's store. It wasn't built as the Intimate. But, in the early 1930's, Milton Abernathy opened it up and he sold books around there. Actually, he sold books around the campus in a wheelbarrow.

Well, it was a haven naturally for the leftwing at the time and it was very successful. He later sold it to one of his employees, Kemp Battle Nye. Kemp Nye was the descendant of the Battles of the University of North Carolina. The McCauleys and the Battles were ... Well, McCauley gave some of the land for the university.

But, Kemp was a swashbuckling, very colorful businessman who really enjoyed life and he combined it and then converted it to music. Kemp's Music Store was a Franklin Street icon for years. Put up a sign every fall that says, "Welcome back money. Keep Kemp's Green."

Roland Giduz