Store: Galaxy Bookshop
Location: Hardwick, VT
Recommendation: The Golem & The Jinni by Helene Wrecker
Due to a combination of laziness and a business trip, I’ve fallen a bit behind in my bookstore blogging. When I got ready to write this post I found myself thinking, “Galaxy? Which one was that?”
Isn’t that Galaxy isn’t a memorable bookstore. I just visited Hardwick at the end of August and after a while all these store have started to blend together.
But I glanced at my notes and saw “mural” with several exclamation points and can’t believe I had forgotten.
One of the store walls boasts a big, beautiful mural. You can see it across the top their website. If I’m remembering correctly Sandy, the bookseller, told me that the mural used to be a part of an old location (a former bank) and was either moved or re-created for the new space.
I can see why. It’s stunning, painted with rich colors and wonderful detail. Apparently the store used to be home to a couple of cats and they make several appearances on the mural. Including one that looks like he’s standing on top of one of the bookcases, which was one of his favorite pastimes Sandy said.
Beyond the mural, Galaxy is charming. The largest section in the store is the children’s books and it features a chair with a giant teddy bear. I wanted to climb on his lap and read “Goodnight Moon.”
The mystery and fiction sections were small, maybe the smallest I’ve seen. The novels were even outnumbered by nonfiction in the Vermont section. But they did have all the bestsellers and a revolving display stand with staff favorites.
What it lacks in fiction Galaxy makes up for in charm. The oldies music playing of the speakers was fun, very sing-along-able. And the signs identifying each section looked handmade. Many of them were collaged and had a tie in with the section they were announcing. The maps section sign was on a map, for instance.
The store also sold some art and had a bunch of cds by local musicians on sale, which helped create the feeling of a very cool store.
Sandy, like many of the booksellers I’ve met, had many books to recommend. I have to say that I’m glad these folks have trouble suggesting just one book. It means they read a lot of books and appreciate a lot of books.
She settled on The Golem & The Jinni by Helene Wrecker a book I’m sure I wouldn’t have picked up on my own because it’s science fiction-y. But Sandy convinced me and I’m looking forward to reading it soon.
Along with a giant teddy bear and gorgeous mural, Galaxy Bookshop wins the award for the bookmarks in Vermont. They are a smaller version of their mural and it’s almost too pretty to use.
Hardwick is one of those Vermont towns that’s not all that accessible, at least from my part of the state. It’s just not a quick trip up an interstate. Galaxy, while smaller, is well worth the drive though. The mural alone is a great reason to stop by!