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Independent bookstores take readers deep into New England words and traditions

independent bookstores People who love to read: don’t miss any chance to visit an independent bookstore on your travels in New England. All states have great small bookstores, where you may find local authors reading their works, knowledgeable staff members, lots of choices for kids, restful corners to read and explore, and a purely welcoming atmosphere. Many are near dozy coffee shops or restaurants where you can retreat with your booty.
Then get out and explore the region at wonderful events , fairs and festivals , and museums.
bank square books
Connecticut -- Bank Square Books

53 West Main Street Mystic, CT Phone: 860-536-3795

In the heart and crossroads of downtown Mystic, Bank Square Books looks out upon a classic bank building and famous Mystic Pizza. Offerings include bestsellers, classics, children's books, gifts and toys, postcards, journals, and stationery. Take advantage of gift cards and gift wrapping, and make a visit to the adjacent Mystic Museum of Art. The store organizes a self-improvement series with experts on many topics; and beer, dinner, and lunch series with authors at a local brewery and the Mohegan Sun.
block island bookstore
Rhode Island -- Island Bound Bookstore

Block Island Water Street New Shoreham / Block Island, RI Phone: 401-466-8878

As fans know, Block Island bustles in summer and rolls up the sidewalks in winter. This small bookstore with an extensive collection – and ability to order and receive anything you request in a flash – operates year-round, keeping the Island well-stocked in literature. This is not a place to find trashy beach novels that you can get in the book rack at the drug store. Island Bound stocks the island's widest variety of fine literature for all ages, and also everything you could want about Block Island: boating, cooking, gardening and more. A children's section offers fun activities for rainy days. You also will find puzzles, games, art supplies, stationery and cards, craft kits and reading glasses. Open daily, year-round, with limited hours January through March.
broadside bookshop
Massachusetts -- Broadside Bookshop

247 Main Street Northampton, MA Phone: 413-586-4235

With a motto, “a feast of books, exceptional service,” this Main Street bookstore declares its devotion to books. Founded in 1974, Broadside Bookshop is a downtown establishment in this progressive New England community. It is managed by three of the longest-serving employees of the late founder, Shoppers here can open a credit account with $200, and later get 10 percent off purchases through the account (nice for gifts for local friends). Besides a wide array of books for adults and kids, the store offers non-reading goods like Cards, jigsaw puzzles, bumper stickers and pins, mugs, dolls, socks, bookholders and book lights, tee-shirts blank books and address books, bookmarks, and candles.
books on the square
Rhode Island -- Books On The Square

471 Angell Street Providence, RI Phone: 401-331-9097

The first asset of this small but well-stocked bookstore is its location – on the East Side of Providence in the Wayland Square neighborhood, near Brown University and plenty of interesting neighborhoods and cafes and shops. Books on the Square has a neighborly feel – it’s is clean, organized, and easy to navigate. And it’s not packed to rafters, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. Staff picks, nice children’s section, book clubs, and author talks. This store has been a local resource for decades. Open daily.
flying pig bookstore
Vermont -- The Flying Pig Bookstore

5247 Shelburne Road Shelburne, VT Phone:

Stepping away, for a moment, from the customer’s vantage point, let’s note that The Wall Street Journal chose The Flying Pig as one of seven bookstores around the country that help serve as anchors for their wonderful towns. The bookstore’s collection is not huge, but it is well-chosen and staff members helpfully direct you. Co-owner Elizabeth Bluemle's book, “Tap Tap Boom Boom,” was chosen for the New York Public Library's 100 Best Children's Books of 2014, and staff member write for Publishers Weekly about children's books and bookselling, so you know they know about children’s literature. [photo by Emily Copeland]
white birch books
New Hampshire -- White Birch Books

2568 S Main Street North Conway, NH Phone: 603-356-3200

This store, founded in 1992, looks like a super-quaint knick-knack shop, but once you walk through the door you will see it is packed with book-loving people and knowledge. And books! The stock is complete collection of all the latest bestsellers, hot reads and literary stars, lots of local authors, a big children’s department and a unique card department. Monthly happy hour is on fourth Thursdays of the month, with specials, munchies, beer, wine, and 15% off the featured books of the night. Open year-round.
house of books
Connecticut -- House of Books

10 N. Main Street Kent, CT Phone: 860-927-4104

House of Books considers itself the literary landmark of this perfectly beautiful and classic Litchfield town. As early at 1915, a committee of book lovers met here to plan opening a free library in the town. Today, the bookstore, founded in 1976, offers high-quality literature, books on art, history and politics, biographies, fiction, and a special room with children’s books. Kent is on the Appalachian Trail, and the store offers lots of maps, trail guides, books on local lore and the out-of-doors. You will find board games, art supplies, puzzles, chess sets, checkers, and playing cards.
left bank books
New Hampshire -- Left Bank Books in Hanover

9 South Main Street Hanover, NH Phone:

Located in the hyper-cool college town of Hanover, home to Dartmouth College, the 15-year-old Left Bank Books at 9 South Main Street “beckons to the curious” to come explore 9,000 used, out of print, and rare books carefully selected by owners Nancy, (aka the Bookstore Lady), and Alan. The vast collection takes browsers indirectly into the bookshelves of retiring professors and to library and book sales all over Vermont and New Hampshire. Come enjoy author talks, performances for kids, semi-silly themes and displays, and a welcoming atmosphere.
longfellow books
Maine -- Longfellow Books

1 Monument Way Portland, ME Phone: 207-772-4045

As is the case with independent bookstores generally, customers love Longfellow Books on the Old Port neighborhood because of its intimacy, its knowledgeable and helpful staff, and a good assortment of new and used books, including best sellers and titles that are more obscure (its poetry section has won praise). The store has a helpful Staff Picks shelf, lots of chairs for lounging, a kids’ section, no fewer than four specialized book clubs, and an in-house cat, whom you may adopt, through appropriate channels. Greeting cards, too.