Store: The Norwich Bookstore
Location: Norwich, VT
Recommendation: Benediction by Kent Haruf
Have you ever noticed that we tend to take the people and places closest to us for granted?
I, for example, live mere miles from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store. I’m told that chefs far and wide make a pilgrimage to the shop, or at make a point of shopping there on vacation.
But I rarely go to the store. I could walk there but I only shop at King Arthur if they are having a sale.
In the same vein, I have taken nearby Norwich Bookstore for granted too.
We went to Norwich on a Thursday night, the one night of the week they are open past 6 pm.
Being a small community, and from having attended author events at the store, I recognized the woman behind the counter as Liza, one of the stores owners.
At readings and events, the center of the small store is filled with folding chairs so I’ve never spent much time exploring the shelves and I’m ashamed to say that I had never been upstairs to the children’s section at all. A children’s section that, it turns out, is one of the best I’ve encountered during my adventures.
The shop is arranged like many stores, staff picks and best sellers greet you when you arrive; fiction shelves are in the main area of the store; cards and other gifts are scattered throughout.
But while some stores can feel either spare or overly stuffed, the Norwich Bookstore has gotten it just right. The store is inviting and cozy, with plenty of books to explore but comfortably spacious as well.
Besides the kids book, the upstairs also houses a lot of non-fiction and a sale island where I found a copy of Bugs, Bowels and Behavior, a title I found intriguing but not intriguing enough to buy even on sale.
Liza recommended Benediction by Kent Haruf when I asked her for a suggestion.
I embarrassingly have never read anything by this author even though a copy of Plainsong has been on my “to be read” shelf for at least two years. I’m excited to have a reason to finally read one of Haruf’s works.
Two things made me very happy at the cash register of Norwich Bookstore:
First, I was able to use a 20% off birthday coupon. (What a nice why to thank your customers even infrequent ones like me.)
And second, Liza told me that even though I own an e-reader made by an evil corporate empire (an e-reader I love none-the-less) I can actually buy e-books from independent bookstores through their website and the Kobo store.
I’m thrilled that I don’t have to buy a new device to support independent bookstore.
So while I may have taken The Norwich Bookstore for granted in the past, I intend to correct that mistake. Not everyone is luckily enough to leave so close to a wonderful independent bookstore and from now on I will take advantage of it every chance I get!