Bookstores in New England
23 Aug 2015
States and areas include:
other geographic areas
[Note 0: These lists were started thirty years ago, before search engines,
Yelp, and so on. Because those are now available, these listings will
include only places that are noteworthy, or have substantive descriptions,
or have been visited by me. Old "minimalist" listings will remain as long
as the stores are open, but no new "minimalist" entries will be added.]
[Note 1: This list includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut. There are separate files for the Cambridge/Boston/Cape
Cod area and for western Massachusetts.
Go to the bookshop index file for details.
[Note 2: I collected these comments from a variety of people. I personally
have no knowledge of many of these places and take no responsibility if you
buy a book you don't enjoy. :-) Phone numbers and precise addresses can be
gotten by calling directory assistance for the appropriate city. Call ahead
for precise hours, as even when I list them they are subject to change.]
[Note 3: If you can add information for any of these, in particular
addresses when they are missing, please send it to me. *PLEASE SPECIFY CITY
[Note 4: Area codes change so quickly these days that these may be wrong.]
[Note 5: Thanks to Nichael Cramer, who maintained these lists for many
[Note 6: Bookstores in the smaller towns of New England, especially in
"tourist" areas such as the Maine coast often have very limited hours
off-season. If you are traveling in the winter, call ahead!
Betts Bookstore (584 Hammond, Bangor, 04401, 207-947-7052, FAX 207-947-6615,
http://www.acadia.net/betts). Specializing in
Stephen King, also some new and used aviation and automotive. Open
Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM, Sat 9AM-3PM (possible longer in summer).
Big Chicken Barn (1768 Bucksport Rd (Route 1), Ellsworth, 207-667-7308, FAX
"Well, if you don't mind it being a wee-bit messy, often chilly, kind
of out of the way, and the fact that the building was a former
slaughter house, you might want to give the "Big Chicken Barn" a
try. They have an enormous stock (I believe they bill themselves as
the largest used dealer in NE), with a pretty good turnover from
what I can tell. The people are nice, and the prices seem fine
to me, and I don't mind mulling through the stacks while the
floorboards creak. Some people might get turned off if they are
expecting cafes and finely finished book shelves." The books are in
the upstairs, which reminds me of a sort of poor man's version of the
Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin. Open seven days 9AM-5PM.
The Book Shelf (14 State, Ellsworth, 04605, 207-667-1120).
General used books, about 20,000 volumes. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM.
Bookmarc's (78 Harlow, Bangor, 207-942-3206, http://www.bookmarcs.com).
New and used.
Camelot (40 N Main, Wolfeboro, 603-569-1771). "A very small number of
books in a gift shop." [04/07]
Country Bookseller (23 N Main, Wolfeboro, 603-569-6030)
"Nice store with coffee shop, free wifi. Good selection of
new books." [04/07]
Dave's Book Shop (270 Main, Old Town, 04468, 207-827-4510, Gnerphk@MSN.com).
New and used. New books discounted $1 each; used half cover. Open
Mon-Wed 10:30AM-5:30PM, Thu 10:30AM-8PM, Fri-Sat 10:30PM-6:30PM.
Eyes Of The Owl Books.Com (59 B Glendon, Wolfeboro,
603-569-4040). Used, rare & out-of-print books. "Friendly,
garage-based store. Small SF collection." [04/07]
Innisfree Bookshop (312 Daniel Webster Hwy (US 3), Meredith,
603-279-3905). A large store with a small selection (mostly
Mary Robertson Books (146 Daniel Webster Hwy (US 3) S, Meredith,
603-279-8750). "Books are kept in a barn and many are the
worse for it. Children's books may be better kept." [04/07]
Mystery Cove Bookshop (Bar Harbor Book Shop, Inc.) (1 Dewey, Hulls Cove
(Bar Harbor), 04644, 207-288-4665,
http://www.barharborbookshop.com/). New and used, with an
emphasis on mystery and regional books. Open Mon-Sat
Pro Libris (12 Third, Bangor, 207-942-3019). "A very nice slightly
funky bookstore. They carry both hardcover and paperback
fiction. Open "most days" 9AM-6PM. [07/03]
Twice-Sold Tales (155 Main, Farmington, 04938, 207-778-4411). Over
25,000 used volumes "ranging from antiquarian items to collectibles
to hard-to-find items and everything in between."
Used Books-Chester Van Why, Bookseller (333 W Main, Searsport, 04974,
Bearly Used Books (414 US Route 4, Enfield, 03748, 603-632-9871).
Dartmouth Bookstore (3 South Main, Hanover, 603-643-3616). "Not owned by
Dartmouth College, in spite of the name, and in spite of the fact
that it is the primary source for textbooks at the school. Claims to
be the largest independently-owned bookstore north of Boston, and it
certainly is large: it occupies three floors of a landmark building
just south of the Dartmouth campus (as well as one floor of two ugly
modern buildings out back.) Particularly strong selections of
fiction, literary criticism, travel books, children's literature, and
business-management-type stuff. Good but slightly pricy selection of
CDs and tapes, as well as extensive office-supply and stuffed-anaimal
Eyes of the Owl (Wolfeboro, http://www.usedBQQKS.com). "Over 10,000
used books, specializing in children's illustrated,
transportation, how-to, New England and New Hampshire, and
foreign language. Most paperbacks priced between $1 and $3,
while hardcovers are generally $5 to $15." Located in a
barn. Open by appointment or chance May to October. [11/05]
Jumpgate Science Fiction and Fantasy (Portsmouth; 78 Market St, Somersworth,
802-659-7696). The Somersworth store is open Tue-Sat 11AM-7PM,
Sun 11AM-6PM. No further info on the Portsmouth store, which was
Northwood Old Books (Northwood). Antiquarian. One poster writes, "We
suspect NOB is constructed inside a tesseract, as it appears
to be much larger inside than it is outside. It's also owned
by the same people as the Old Number Six Book Depot in
Henniker, NH, which is nothing short of amazing. My wife and
I have been doing a lot of bookstore hopping in the last
half-year or so, and these three stores [Northwood, Old Number
Six, and Epsom] are probably our favorite places to go. Well,
except for The Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth, Maine." [09/08]
Old Forge Books (18 Goboro Rd, Epsom, 03234, 603-736-4597). Used books.
Two-story building with 35,000 volumes.
The Second Page (Epsom). Used books. One poster writes, "There's one
store my wife and I like that, remarkably enough, is pretty
even on most genres. Along one whole wall is the Romance
section. Opposite that, with just about as many bookcases, is
the Mainstream section. Next aisle over, the Horror section
takes up a couple of bookcases, while the rest of the
bookcases down that side is Mysteries. Opposite that, the the
entire length, is SF. Next aisle after that, on one side of
the aisle, half of its length is Adventure/Thriller, the other
half is mostly Historical Fiction, with some Westerns. On the
other side of that aisle, half the length is kids books, the
other half is non-fiction." [09/08]
Titles and Tales (138 Guider Ln, Bethleham, 03574, 603-444-1345). Used
books, 40,000 mostly hardcover. The owner also has a small "mostly
paperback" store in Littleton.
Wheelock Books (two blocks from the Dartmouth campus, Hanover, NH,
603-643-6567). Buys and sells used textbooks. [06/09]
Baker's (87 Main, 802-223-3345). Primary an office-supply store, Baker's has
a very good magazine selection. Nothing terribly exotic, but a
fairly large selection.
Book Cellar (1290 Main, 802-254-6026, http://www.bookcellarvt.com). Nice,
largish "main-street" Vermont bookstore. Best bet for Vermont books.
Brattleboro Books (34 Eliot, 802-257-7777). Nice, densely packed used
bookstore. "I just discovered Brattleboro Books, on Elliott St,
Brattleboro, Vermont. It has a very large stock (several good-sized
rooms), is clean and well-organized, offers comfy chairs & sofas for
browsers, and you can get a mint hardback for a couple of bucks and
up! It is also close to excellent cafes and restaurants, in a rather
Collected Works (29 High, 802-258-4900). Breezy, open full-service store.
Good childrens's selection. Some magazines. The stores holds a lot
of readings, so check the local paper. Cafe Beyond, a pleasant
deserts-and-coffee cafe is in the back.
Everyone's Books (23 Elliot, 802-254-8160). Books, tapes, t-shirts, buttons,
bumper-stickers, cards, some magazines. "Being a smaller town (i.e.
smaller than, say, Cambridge or Boston) Brattleboro needs to be more
'compact.' In short Brattleboro's Radical/Lesbian/Gay/Eco/
Whispering Hope (Putney Rd (just past the West River), 802-254-3889).
Standard, small-town "Christian Bookstore."
In Brattleboro most of the stores are downtown. Park in the municipal
parking lot downtown, behind the buildings bordered by Main, Elliot
and High streets. This will put you within about half a block of five
of the bookstores.
Codex Books (near Church and Cherry). Used. Specializes in rare and
out-of-print books. Very reasonable prices."
Crow Bookshop (14 Church, 802-862-0848). "Used, remainders, imports,
out of print, comics. Scholarly emphasis, heaviest on
literature and social sciences." Open 7 days. [07/03]
Kids Ink (Masonic Temple, head of Church Street). Specializes in children's
books, and usually has public readings by well-known authors once or
twice a month."
Annie's Book Stop (170 South Main Street, Rutland, 802-775-6993).
Across from the fairgrounds, co-located with a Ben & Jerry's.
"Great if you're with someone who doesn't like bookstores as
much as you do. Good mix of new and used. Good SF
Arch Bridge Bookshop (14 Village Sq, Bellows Falls, 05101, 802-463-2098).
General used books. The owner also sells his more expensive books
from home on a by-appointment basis,
Bulwagga Books & Gallery (3 S Main, Whiting, 05778, 802- 623-6800).
"Located in a 19th century former general store, the store offers
an interesting assortment of about 10,000 used books, aimed mostly
at general readers. What makes the store different, though, is
that it also functions as an art gallery for local artists, sells
crafts and other gift items, has a snack bar and tables, and hosts
literary events." Wheelchair accessible.
Chapman's Pharmacy (Main (US 5), Fairlee, 802-333-9709). "Actually,
this picturesque little store is everything but a pharmacy.
The back room is devoted to a densely packed selection of used
books. This is mostly the usual stuff gleaned from the
bookshelves of the surrounding farmhouses and summer cottages
(i.e., lots of old travel books, hardcover fiction from the
1940s through early 1980s, books on animals, etc.) but for
some reason there is an unusually large proportion of
interesting politcial books, largely right-wing but lots of
mainstream and some left-wing items as well." [04/06]
Hermit Hill Books (95 Main, Poultney, 05764, 802-287-5757,
email@example.com). Used books. Open Tue-Sat 10AM-5PM;
Sun 11AM-4PM. [04/07]
Seasoned Books (30 Main, Rochester, 05767,
http://www.seasonedbooks.com). "Specializing in books on
sustainability, wilderness adventure and rural enterprise."
Book & Tackle Shop (7 Bay, Watch Hill, 02891; 166 Main, Westerly,
phone/FAX 401-596-0700, http://www.bookandtackle.com).
150,000 used science, scholarly, cookbooks, and general
rare books. Open summer daily 9AM-9PM (Bay St only);
(all year) daily 10AM-5PM (Main St). [09/10]
Brown University Bookstore (Thayer and Angell, Providence). "Although a poor
relative to the University bookstores of schools of similar caliber,
it does have a decent academic selection (especially in the textbooks
area) not otherwise found in the area."
Cellar Stories (190 Mathewson, Providence, 02903, 401-521-2665,
FAX 401-454-7143, http://www.cellarstories.com).
"Good selection of just about everything. Recently doubled
its space. Contrary to its name, it's on a second floor
downtown, just off of Weybosset. Can usually be spotted by a
banner hanging from the upstairs window." Open Mon-Sat
10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM (winter only). [04/12]
Allison B. Goodsell, Rare Books (2528 Kingstown Rd, Kingstown, 02881,
401-792-8662, FAX 401-789-9923,
http://www.abgbooks.com). 20,000 used books
in an old country store. Open 10AM-5PM, later in summer;
closed Tue-Wed in winter. [04/12]
Myopic Books (5 S Angell, Providence, 02906, 401-521-5533). Used books.
Open Mon-Sat 10AM-7PM, Sun 12N-6PM. [04/12]
Newport Book Store (116 Bellevue Ave, Newport, 02840, 401-847-3400,
http://www.nptbooks.com). Used Americana, military, and
local. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5:30PM, Sun 12N-5PM. [09/06]
Tyson's Old & Rare Books (178 Taunton Ave, East Providence, 02914,
401-431-2111, FAX 401-421-3939, http://www.abebooks.com/home/TYSONBKS).
30,000 general antiquarian books, specializing in Americana.
Open Mon-Fri 11AM-5PM, Sat 11AM-4PM, closed Sat Jul-Aug. [04/12]
Arethusa Book Shop (87 Audubon off Whitney Ave, 06511, 860-624-1848,
http://www.arethusabx.com). Used and antiquarian.
Ancient history, art, philosophy, cookbooks, children's. Open
most Mon-Sat afternoons.
Atticus (1082 Chapel). New books, strong in fiction. Open late (a rarity
in this area) and has a cafe on the premises.
Barnes & Noble (470 Universal Dr (in the strip mall city at I-91 exit 9),
North Haven). Typical B&N superstore with a cafe. The selection
of books is large but kind of bland, as if catering to
suburbanites who are too timid to venture into downtown New Haven
to patronize the Yale Co-op.
Black Cat Mysteries (77 Whitney). A reasonably okay selection of mysteries
(better than the Yale Coop). Mostly new books, except for a small
rack of collectible paperbacks.
Book Haven (290 York). Stocks a lot of literary criticism and generic
Book Trader (Chapel St). Used, from old paperbacks to first editions, with
Bryn Mawr Book Shop (56 1/2 Whitney). Cheap used books. Good for picking up
some light reading (most paperbacks are $.25 apiece). Open limited
Foundry Book Store (33 Whitney). New books. Has the best selection of
children's books in town, as well as literature and nature books for
Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel). The museum shop carries books on
British art and architecture. Also has some British children's books
and related toys.
Yale Bookstore (77 Broadway). New books, large full-service bookstore. run
by Barnes & Noble. Strong in academia, literature, and history, and
"monstruously good" in foreign languages. They also have one
corner set aside for used scholarly books.
Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel). A more generic selection of art
Barnes & Noble (on Farmington line, West Hartford).
Brick Walk Bookshop (966 Farmington Ave, 06107, 860-233-1730,
West Hartford, firstname.lastname@example.org). Literary firsts, poetry, etc.
Open Tue-Sat 10AM-5:30PM.
Jumping Frog (56 Arbor, Suite 107, Hartford, 06106, 860-523-1622,
http://www.thejumpingfrog.com). Used books, general stock.
More a warehouse and less a store than their old location.
Open Thu-Sun 10AM-4PM. [08/09]
Barbara Farsnworth, Bookseller (407 Route 128, West Cornwall, 06796,
860-672-6571, FAX 860-672-3099, http://www.farnsworthbooks.com).
45,000 used books. Open Sat 9AM-5PM but call first. [02/08]
Barely Used Books (5 Roosevelt Ave (Rte 1), Mystic, 06355, 860-572-0003).
General used stock. Not listed in 2008 Connecticut Antiquarian
Booksellers Directory. Open Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat 10AM-6PM,
Sun 11AM-5PM. [02/08]
Barnett Books (20 North Plains Industrial Road, Wallingford (off Route
68 just west of Route 5; I-91 exit 15), 203-265-2013,
remainders dealer, open to the public on weekend afternoons.
They have sales several times a year where everything in the
store is an additional 30% off. Open Feb-Dec Fri 11AM-4PM,
10AM-4PM, 12N-4PM. [12/06]
Book Barn (41 W Main, Route 156, Niantic, 06357, 860-739-5715),
http://www.BookBarnNiantic.com). 350,000 used books.
(including a former outhouse), seven cats, two dogs, a sheep
and a goat. Great prices." Open Sun-Mon 11AM-6PM, Tue-Sat
11AM-9PM; summer seven days a week 9AM-9PM. [02/08]
Book Barn Downtown (269 Main, Niantic, 06357, 860-691-8078). Smaller
(15,000 volumes) branch of the main store above. Same hours.
Bookloft of Clinton (59 W Main (Rte 1), Clinton, 06413, 860-664-1699,
email@example.com). Used books specializing in history,
religion, art, children's classics, and fiction. Open Wed-Sun
12N-5PM (fall/winter), Tue-Sun 11AM-5PM (spring/summer).
Books and Music (311 East St, Sno-White Plaza, Route 10. Plainville,
860-747-0770, firstname.lastname@example.org). Used
books. Large, well-organized sections of mysteries, SF, best-sellers,
literature, etc; also a few new books. It doesn't look very large
from the outside, but goes back a fair ways; they have 30,000+
volumes. They also sell used records, tapes, CDs, and DVDs.
You won't find any big bargains here, though; prices start at
slightly higher than half cover. As of 01/09, the back room
was being re-built, and more stuff was crowded in the front
part. (Driving directions: take Route 10 west/north from
I-84; it's on the left in a tiny strip mall.) Open Mon-Fri
10:30AM-5:30PM, Sat, 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-4PM. [01/09]
Books by the Falls (253 Roosevelt Dr (Route 34), Derby, 06418,
860-734-6112). Used books. Affiliated with Kaye's Books by
the Falls shop in New Haven. This one is considerably larger
but just as disorganized. They probably have some good things,
but who knows where to find them? (Driving directions: from
Highway 8, follow route 34 west of the downtown area; the book
shop is on the right in an old brick mill building.) Open
(theoretically) Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM, but calling first is
strongly recommended. [02/08]
Centerbridge Books (33D Deep River Rd, Rte 154, Centerbrook, 06409,
860-757-8943, email@example.com). Art, modern firsts,
and general used books. Open Wed-Sun 11AM-5PM.
Colebrook Book Barn (657 Colebrook Rd (route 183), Colebrook, 06021,
860-379-3185, firstname.lastname@example.org). Americana, first
editions. Open daily 11AM-4PM, but calling ahead is advised.
Collected Stories Bookstore (12 Daniel, Milford, 06460, 203-874-0115,
http://www.collectedstoriesbookstore.com). Used books.
General stock, regional history, first editions, etc. Open
daily 10AM-7PM. [06/08]
Collected Stories Bookstore of Walnut Beach (16 Broadway,
Milford/Walnut Beach, 06460, 203-874-0115;
http://www.collectedstoriesbookstore.com). Used books.
New England, nature, and nautical. Open Tue-Sat
Elm Street Books (New Canaan). New books. [01/10]
John Bale Book Company & Cafe (158 Grand, Waterbury, 06702,
203-757-2279, http://www.johnbalebooks.com). Americana,
religion, and music used books. The better (antiquarian)
books are on the second floor; the main floor is primarily an
eclectic selection of reading copies, categorized and *lightly*
alphabetized. No bargains to be found here. Metered street
parking only (and apparently strictly enforced). Open Mon-Fri
7:30AM-5PM, Sat 10AM-4PM. [05/08]
Johnnycake Books (12 Academy, Salisbury, 06068, 860-435-6677,
FAX 860-435-6688, http://www.johnnycakebooks.com).
Used books. Open Thu-Mon 11AM-5PM.
Joie de Livres (7 Academy, Salisbury, 06068, 860-435-2332,
http://www.joiedelivres.com). Used books. Specializes in
wome's literature, photography, signed contemporary. Also an
art gallery. Open Thu-Sun 10AM-5PM (summer); Sat-Sun 12N-5PM
Lavender Path Antiques & Books (50 South Rd, Harwinton, 06791,
15,000 titles in cookbooks, gardening, biographies, children's
series books, and the occult, as well as other categories.
Open Wed-Sun 11AM-5PM. [02/08]
Leaves and Pages (59 W Main, New Britain, 06051, 860-224-4414,
email@example.com). Used books about King Arthur and British
Isles. Open Mon-Fri 6:30AM-3:30PM, Sat 8AM-12PM. [02/08]
Nutmeg Books (354 New Litchfield, Route 202, Torrington, 06790,
860-482-9696, FAX 860-482-7970, http://www.nutmegbooks.com).
Used and rare, mostly non-fiction. Open Fri 12N-4PM, Sat-Sun
11AM-5PM, holiday Mon. [02/08]
R. J. Julia Booksellers (Madison). [01/10]
Ye Olde Book & Tea Shoppe (167 Main, Seymour, 06483, 203-888-9910,
firstname.lastname@example.org). Used books, specializing in Irish and show
business, with some general stock. Open Thu-Fri 11AM-2PM,
On the Road Bookshop (163 Albany Turnpike, Route 44, Canton, 06019,
860-693-6029, http://www.ontheroadbookshop.com). Literary
first editions, cookbooks, art, and general used books. Thu-Sat 11AM-6PM,
R. J. Julia Book Sellers (768 Boston Post Rd, Route 1, Madison, 06443). "One
of the best new bookstores in CT. It specializes in all types of
literature--not just beach fiction."
Reid & Wright Books, Maps & Prints (287 New Milford Turnpike, Route 202,
New Preston, 06777, 860-868-7706, FAX 860-868-1212,
http://www.mapsofthepast.com). Twenty-five dealers in
used books in antiques, art, architecture, and maps and
prints. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 11AM-5PM. [02/08]
Traveler Restaurant Book Celler (1257 Buckley Hwy, I-84 at the MA/CT border:
Exit 74 [visible from the Interstate], Union, 06076, 860-684-9042
for the bookstore, 860-684-4920 for the restaurant, email@example.com).
The upstairs is a restaurant with a gimmick "a free book with
every meal," though the books here are the sort one finds at the
end of the day at a rummage sale and the food undistinguished.
The walls are covered with autographed fan mail from famous
authors. The basement is a serious used bookstore. It's out in
the middle of nowhere, but definitely worth a visit if you're
passing by on your way between NYC and Boston, for example. The
restaurant is open seven days a week, 7AM-9PM; the bookstore hours
are Sun-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 9AM-8PM.
Whitlock Farm (20 Sperry Rd, Bethany, 06524, 860-393-1240,
http://www.whitlockbooksbarn.com). The upper barn contains a
general selection of used books at very reasonable prices (all under
$5). The lower barn has pricier collector's items, sets, and first
editions--everything $5 or more. (Driving directions: take highway
69 to Morris Rd (four miles north of the Wilbur Cross Parkway;
there's a small sign at the intersection). Morris ends at
Sperry; turn right and then right again into a gravel
driveway.) Open Tue-Sun 9AM-5PM. [02/09]
William and Lois Pickney Antiquarian Books (240 N Granby Rd, Granby, 06035,
Open Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM. [02/08]
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Evelyn C. Leeper
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