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March 21, 2013

Visiting Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, Vermont


It had been almost a full three months without leaving NYC (since the holidays!) when a skiing trip to Vermont last Friday seemed like the most perfect opportunity to escape. Haphazardly and in typical twentysomething, last-minute style, my two best friends and I secured a rental Jeep, threw our equipment and makeshift ski wear in the trunk and high-geared it up to the mountains for some fresh air. In between numerous cups of free, around-the-clock lobby coffee, clean hotel sheets, one too many maple sugar candies and of course, adrenaline-inducing adventures on the slopes, we managed to stop off at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT --- a town twenty minutes from the mountain where we ate a much-needed --- and may I say delicious --- dinner (in other words better than the takeout I had all week). One of my friends who lived and worked in the area two years ago insisted that I would absolutely fall in love with Northshire --- she was right.

In a food coma, we walked into the store and ran to find our "go-to" sections. Any book lover is familiar with their "go-to" section (mine are Literary Classics, Cookbooks and Used Books), and no matter what bookstore you go to, your "go-to" section cannot be missed.

Discovering a new bookstore is always magical...seeing the Staff Picks, the different book displays and all the other little, non-book trinkets you find at the register are small delights. It’s always a treat to find a vast collection of titles that truly offer something for every kind of reader. The charming, well-curated independent Northshire is a literary wonderland, complete with a two-story cafe, an entire second floor Children's department (my twentysomething excitement in this department matched, if not beat, that of a seven-year-old girl) and a Used Book nook. Staff-recommended suggestions flooded the entire store, were hand-written on small index cards, well-thought out and incredibly useful. The staff was especially friendly and seemed more than happy to be in such a pleasant atmosphere and interact with their customers. One friend left with an awesome treasure --- THE COMPLETE CALVIN AND HOBBES collection and the other friend got a great find --- a mint condition, used copy of THE COLLECTED STORIES OF COLETTE. Needless to say, I will be returning to this Vermont jewel the next time I head up North. And for you upstate NYers, they are also opening a second store in Saratoga Springs this summer!

We know that there are other excellent bookstores you frequent...and we want to hear about them! Share with us below, so when our readers travel they can also enjoy them.