They entered Pennsylvania and the road grew smooth for a few hundred yards, like a good intention, before settling back to the old scabby, stippled surface.
— Anne Tyler, Breathing Lessons


Abi has lived in Bedford County for the best two years of her life. She enjoys toting her own stacks of books around town and reading them in happy spurts. Find her online at Nettle Nest


Relationship to Bedford: Two-year resident

Writer you’d like to invite to dinner: Elizabeth Strout

Chef you’d like to prepare the meal: I’d want to cook it myself

Writing soundtrack: Either Simon & Garfunkel or the actual sound of silence

Pen or Pencil: Pen

Coffee or Tea? Tea

Paperback or Hardback? Paperback, no deckle edges

Good Reads


Founder’s Crossing. Find a huge selection of antique and used books here. You can get lost in their stacks.

Bluefield’s Herbery and Wholesome Living Marketplace. Not traditional bookstores per se, but both Bluefield's and Wholesome Living have hard-to-find-elsewhere informational books on a variety of topics.


Everett Free Library. Beautifully housed in an old bank on the main street in Everett. The facility and librarians are excellent.

The Pioneer Library. A trove of genealogical and historical resources for the county.

Bedford County Library.  Established in 1944 with only 4,000 books, the library is now home to 67,000 titles.


Briar Valley Winery. An inspired venue for readings by local authors accompanied by Briar Valley wines.

The Pioneer Library. This location regularly holds readings and lectures by authors and historians of local interest.


Bad Boyz Bistro. This restaurant features a menu crafted in reference to infamous characters in history and literature such as the Fight Club Sandwich.

Local Festivals. Bedford hosts several festivals, including historical events, each year. From Fall Foliage to Rebels & Rye hardly a month goes by without the celebration of the area’s history and culture. 

Good Eats


HeBrews. A wide selection of specialty drinks featuring something for everyone.

Everything Tea. This shop stocks an extensive array of teas, all hand-blended by the proprietess. 


The Jean Bonnet Tavern. This historical restaurant maintains its 1760’s credibility with the addition of ghost stories to accompany your meal. If you ask, you can also read a book and see photos of the various ghosts dating back several years.

LIFeSTYLE. An Italian grocery store for most of the week, but hosts an elaborate, three-hour meal on Friday and Saturday nights. It may be the best food in Bedford.

Eat 2 Live Bistro. Adheres to the Weston A. Price Foundation nutrition guidelines while serving almost exclusively local dishes


The Bird’s Nest. Features more cookies, tarts, pies and other baked goods than you can imagine.

The Corner News Tavern. A cafe by day and a bar by night, with bluegrass music and local murals spanning the length of the building and spilling out onto the patio. 

ABI's 5 Favorites

1. Favorite bookstore: The Book Center in Cumberland, Maryland. Although it isn’t in Bedford proper, this is one of my favorite places in the world and is very close. It stocks new, used and rare books and hosts cats from the local shelter who are free to roam as you browse.

2. Favorite place to write: The Lost Children of the Alleghenies memorial in Blue Knob State Park. It’s the perfect eerie reminder that stories unfold as they want and how they will.

3. Favorite museum: Locality in downtown Bedford. With a solid permanent collection of local art and frequent shows of a variety of styles, Locality is a fabulous gallery. They also host workshops and have unique opening receptions with local music, wine and, once, live tattooing. 

4. Favorite coffee shop: HeBrews has the best coffee and the best corner window seat in town.

5. Favorite thing about Bedford: Bedford has such a vibrant and open spirit. It is always growing and embracing new ideas and opportunities.