Like many book-ish people, I love independent bookstores. Sadly, these are an endangered species in the book world. There isn’t one close to me that I am aware of, and if I am going to buy a book, I am forced to go to the Big Bad Barnes and Noble. With their evil Starbucks-brewed coffee that tempts me every time! Bad Conglomerate, BAD!
OK, so obviously this is not as painful as it should be. Especially since I LOVE Starbucks coffee. But I guess that’s the point. They are more convenient and able to offer things that the independents can’t.
One of the things I love the most about summer is that I get to spend time on Martha’s Vineyard. I have been going there for years and I know so many of its fantastic places. I know the best iced mocha (Mocha Motts), the best blueberry scones (Espresso Love), the best stores (Black Dog tops the list!), the best coffee-oreo ice cream (Vineyard Scoops) and the best Thanksgiving sandwich (Humphreys.) And so as a Librarian and a lover of books, I of course know the best independent book store, though some may argue with me over this one: Edgartown Books.
Located in downtown Edgartown, this cute bookstore is one of my favorite places to visit while on vacation. And I usually always buy a book here as a matter of habit. Their staff is always friendly, even when dealing with silly tourists. The building is older and has a great front porch to sit on and read or eat ice cream while waiting for friends or family in some store or other. When you first walk in, the stairway greets you with its painted steps, just begging to be climbed. I always head up there, since that’s where the YA books are! The whole place just has this great feel to it. It gives you the feeling that there is a book hiding somewhere on a shelf that will be the best book you’ve ever read. It makes you want to find that perfect beach book because, let’s face it, it’s the reading part that excites you more than the sand and water part! (at least, it is for me.) It has a cute little children’s nook with some great books – as many Island-themed books as can fit and some other classics. It’s just a great store. And I think I like it better in this newer location than the old – which was only a few buildings down the street a ways. Oh, and one of my favorite things about this store? When you buy a book, they put in a paper bookmark with their information on it, as well as a new book quote by someone famous every year. I have begun using them in my email signature for my work email and change it every year to the new one. Also, I use the bookmark all year until I go again and get a new one. Yup, I’m a dork.
Some might argue that Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven is the best independent book store on the island. It’s definitely bigger and I’m sure it has a bigger selection. But for me, it’s the atmosphere that makes Edgartown Books my favorite. Both of these stores are lucky enough to have a high volume of tourist traffic in the summer months. As a matter of fact, I am heading there this weekend – hopefully with my husband and Sasha (our Bernese Mountain Dog) to spend a night or 2. But I am also on secret library business….
Any independent bookstores in the Worcester area I should know about? I miss Tatnuck Booksellers in Worcester!