In a state many highly educated readers have chosen in search of a more fulfilling life, these bookstores have turned into community centers for kindred spirits. Owned and run by lovers of the written word, protectors of an art in trouble, those who work there appear like members of an extended family. Should you be a reader, or a writer, or a child ready to start exploring the magic of the written word, you will feel at once at home. I live in a tiny village, yet there are two of these inspiring stores nearby. The bigger one, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vt. (a must see should you come visit this wonderful area), consists of three expansive levels of books, displayed with thought and enthusiasm, of toys and children’s book to inspire the young, and a generous coffee shop where you can meet, mingle and chat.
The second one, Mystic Valley Books in Chester, Vt., is more of the same on a smaller scale, but worth the visit. Both feature calendars packed with readings by authors and other literary events.
These stores are reminiscent of a time when literature in the U.S. was flourishing. To my mind, having fought the struggle of marketing my own novel for close to a year, they are essential to the survival of literature as an art in our country. Like Public Radio, they deserve our support. We need them as much as they need us. Go browse, and choose them as their place to buy. With both the visit and the buy you demonstrate your support.