Do you have a great independent bookstore where you live? I’ve been spoiled in the past by having amazing bookstores a stone’s throw from places I was living or working. Some of those favorites are The Strand Book Store in New York City, Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, and the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, MA. If you find yourself in any of those areas, they’re fantastic places to discover new books or check out an author event.
If you don’t know of an independent bookstore near you, one place you could search is the Indie Bookstore Finder. I have two bookstores about twenty minutes away (which I know is still pretty good!), The Concord Bookshop, which I’d been to before and the Andover Bookstore which I decided to check out this past weekend. It was a fun bookish outing to take with my family on a below zero Massachusetts day. I loved getting a peek at the latest books, particularly in their middle grade section. It’s a great way to add to my “To Be Read” list. And it seemed meant to be when I noticed this book on display:
After just learning of the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition coming to New York, I was so excited to find the book that delves into the current exhibition at the British Library. (For more information on that exhibition you can check out my post Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Year). I had to buy this one and it’s been a fantastic read so far. I love getting to learn more of the backstory behind the evolution of the book from an idea JK Rowling came up with on a train, to the phenomenon the books became. It’s fascinating to see JK Rowling’s plan for the list of subjects the Hogwarts teachers would teach, a sketch of the Hogwarts grounds, or the synopsis she wrote of The Sorcerer’s Stone to pitch it to publishers. This book would be the perfect gift for the Harry Potter fan in your life (or yourself!).
What independent bookstores are on your list to visit this year? Check out that Indie Bookstore Finder if you’d like to research the stores in your area. An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA is at the top of my list. This bookstore is owned by Jeff Kinney, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid author and it looks like a stellar indie bookstore with great community events.