Rediscovering Independent Bookstores in the Upper Valley

Posted by Sherry Noyes on Jun 18, 2019 Sherry Noyes

Where can you go to find quite a lot of humanity’s collective wisdom, plus a whole lot of wonderful entertainment, at your fingertips for a very reasonable price? And where there are friendly, knowledgeable people eager to help you find what you’re looking for?

A hanging sign with the word "books" against a clear sky

Independent bookstores are wonderful destinations. Need the perfect gift for someone? Have an hour to kill before dinner reservations? Looking for that book from your childhood that you want your own children to read? Bookstores have you covered.

While online shopping is usually fast and convenient, there’s something about stepping into a bookshop and meandering the aisles that promises a pleasant experience. And here in the Upper Valley, there are several independent bookstores to choose from. Take a look!

  • Left Bank Books stocks used, out-of-print, or otherwise rare books, in downtown Hanover, and there’s a really good chance you’ll find something there worth reading. You’ll find (or rediscover) the shop up the stairs at 9 South Main Street, where you can pull up a comfy chair and settle in for a nice read. Be sure to check their website for upcoming author events, too.
  • The Norwich Bookstore is just across the river from Hanover, on Main Street in Norwich, Vermont, and it’s everything you want an independent bookstore to be. It’s cozy. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, with great suggestions for what you should read next. They have a robust, year-round program of literary events, including author talks, book signings, and fundraising social events that include books, beer, wine, and conversation at the local pub.
  • Have you forgotten about the Yankee Bookshop on Central Street, in Woodstock, Vermont? Sure, it’s a tourist destination, but it’s also Vermont’s oldest, continuously operating independent bookstore. The shop has catered to the whims of book lovers since 1935 and can definitely ease your pain at the loss of the Dartmouth Bookstore. Yankee’s current owners are Kari Meutsch and Kristian Preylowski, who purchased the business in February 2017. Pay them a visit and let them know they made a wise decision to invest in books.
  • Another option in Woodstock is Pleasant Street Books. The shop is not open for regular hours during the winter and spring months, but summer and fall, you can browse two floors of used books to your heart’s content. With more than 10,000 titles in all fields, you may come across a first edition or rare copy of something that you would never have found anywhere else.
  • New London, New Hampshire, is home to Colby Sawyer College, and this college town has Morgan Hill Bookstore, on Main Street, where they are ready and willing to meet your reading needs. The shop features 2,000 square feet of retail space, a Book Buyer’s Discount Program, 20 percent off all New York Times bestsellers, and a special order service that gets out-of-store books in your hands within 24 to 48 hours—with no shipping charges.

Topics: Local Interest