Arts & Culture

Hurricane prep broke a Beaufort bookshop’s window. Luckily, the owner had a spooky solution

After living in Beaufort for decades, David and Lorrie Anderson are no strangers to hurricanes.

When Hurricane Dorian was predicted to hit the Lowcountry last month, the husband and wife duo, who own NeverMore Books on Craven Street, knew how to prepare.

The store, located in a quaint red brick building in Beaufort’s historic district, houses hundreds new and gently used books, including literary treasures such as signed first editions. Its mismatched shelves are packed tight with trinkets and books for all readers, especially those with a love for fiction. Framed art and vintage posters fill almost every inch of wall space, broken up by the numerous windows.

While the brick may be sturdy enough to face hurricane-force winds, the store’s three massive arched windows are not.

As a precaution, their landlord installed plywood boards to protect them.

Thankfully, Beaufort was relatively unscathed by Dorian.

One of NeverMore’s windows, however, did not make it.

As the plywood was being removed, a screw hit the center of the glass and broke it, Lorrie said.

So, while the building awaits a replacement glass, a new piece of plywood covers the hole.

David quickly tired of seeing the plain plywood on his business’ front and put his passion for painting to work.

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David Anderson, who owns Nevermore Books with his wife Lorrie, painted a mural on a piece of plywood holding the place of a window in their store. Lorrie Anderson Submitted

He swiftly stenciled a design on the plywood, then spray-painted a mural of a moonlit scene with a black raven perched on a dark tree branch.

“It’s hard enough after a storm is over, even if it’s just a scare, for merchants to make a town look like it’s not all boarded up,” David said. “(The mural) was a way to make lemonade out of lemons.”

And, all of the customers seem to like it, he said.

How the raven ended up on Craven

The couple never thought they’d own a bookstore; it just kind of happened.

David had always collected books.

Eventually, the couple “amassed a huge amount,” Lorrie said.

“A lot of our friends joked we were saving up to open a bookstore one day,” she said.

In September 2015, the Andersons opened NeverMore Books in the basement of a building on Carteret Street.

A little more than a year later, Hurricane Matthew struck the Lowcountry and flooded the little bookstore.

David and Lorrie didn’t miss a beat, though.

NeverMore relocated to its current spot on Craven Street a month later, where it regularly hosts events such as book signings and activities related to the Pat Conroy Literary Festival.

David said the mural won’t last forever.

“It just depends on how long to get the glass,” he said.

But he is happy the Edgar Allen Poe-themed store has the perfect look just in time for Halloween.

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Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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