This Indie Bookstore Day, get to know your local book shops.
We are fortunate to live in an area with easy to access to several independent bookshops. In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, we visited three local bookstores to learn more about their businesses. While their personalities are as varied as the books they stock on their shelves, they are all delightfully charming in their own unique ways.
67 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge, NY
What began five years ago as a tiny storefront intended to offload used textbooks is now a homey, eclectic, British-tinged ‘happy place’ for book lovers of all kinds. Customers can order pastries to be picked up at the shop on weekend mornings before stepping inside to browse owner Susan Williamson's diverse collection of best-sellers and vintage books, what Williamson lovingly calls “treasures.”
“When you walk in, you might not be sure what you want, but you might find something you didn’t think of,” Williamson said. Williamson wants Booksy to be a happy space for customers, so that “when someone walks in they feel comfortable and relaxed. You take a deep breath and feel that it’s a bit of a sanctuary.”
Saturdays are typically frequented by new book fans. “They’re reading the New York Times Book Review,” said Williamson. Sundays, meanwhile, often attract people who love vintage and used books. “They’re bookstore browsers. They don’t really have an agenda, but they are exceptionally happy to find a used copy of 1984 with the vintage cover.”
29 King St, Chappaqua, NY
“No less than twenty people have suggested that we create our own sitcom,” said Laura Scott Schaefer, owner of Scattered Books. This little shop charmingly built inside of an antique house is brimming with personality. “Acorn,” “Meatball” and “Moo” are the store’s mascots – a trio of delightfully fluffy bunnies who call the bookstore home. Scattered Books may be one of the few bookstores to have its own YouTube channel, one that Schaefer describes as “like Seinfeld, but on speed.”
A tight-knit crew of employees help keep the shop running, catering to locals and local celebrities alike. The Clintons, Vanessa Williams and New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz are just a few well-known names to have frequented the shop. Scattered’s clientele tend to be “intellectual, family-oriented and upbeat,” according to Schaefer, and she and her staff make every effort to ensure that everyone who walks in their doors is treated like family. “I want [customers] to feel comfortable, happy and inspired,” said Schaefer.
Books on the Common
404 Main St, Ridgefield, CT
Within its 2,100-square-foot space, Books on the Common proudly houses a massive collection of 18,000 books.
“We don’t order 10 copies of the best-sellers,” said co-owner Ellen Burns. “We try to have a very wide breadth.”
Now in its thirty-sixth year in business, Books on the Common is a hallmark of downtown Ridgefield. The store is bright and interesting, and aims to be a place where “people can come together to discuss books, local politics, world affairs or anything else on their minds,” according to the shop’s website. Burns is particularly proud of the kids’ section. “It’s very reassuring to see teens and young kids still wanting to read physical books,” she said.
Tell us, what’s your favorite local bookshop?