The old Annapolis campus bookstore, circa 1940s. Image courtesy of the Greenfield Library Archives.

The end of World War II affected St. John’s College in numerous ways. Here is a vignette from the 1945-1946 yearbook that comments on regime change and the goings-on in the Annapolis bookstore during that tumultuous time:

“Mrs. Lathrop, after serving as manager of the bookstore through 1944 and then being forced by geographical considerations to leave us to be near her husband, back in the States after submarine cruising, seemed to us an irreparable loss. And indeed she was, for her gay charm had endued the bookstore with a unique atmosphere which left with her. But soon the loss began to be repaired, for Mrs. Nabokov took over the duties of Manager and the pleasant place of browsing and lounging was born again. But with a difference, for the bookstore, more than any other institution on the campus displays a discernable personality, and it varies according to the talents of the director. Those of us who have known both Mrs. Lathrop and Mrs. Nabokov in the bookstore know that both are greatly to be appreciated and commended.”

“Several auctions, those stand-bys of bookstore social activity, took place this past year, and true to form, they were more humorous than they were interesting, to the exasperation perhaps of the serious book-buyer, but for the greater enjoyment of most. Unfortunately, no group interested in poetry reading got together these last years, thus the bookstore was denied the opportunity of playing host to them and perhaps serving tea. For the future, if no one will rise to the occasion for love of poetry, let him at least be moved by his afternoon hunger.”

—Brady Lee (AGI14)