Put me in a bookstore, and I can happily browse for hours. If it’s a big bookstore, I would stay for days, if I were able. Though I have been known to frequent the larger chains, and mega stores in the bigger cities, my favorite bookstores are small, independent shops…. They tend to be unique, often suited to the owners tastes, or to the tastes of the local clientele, and that’s one of the reasons that I like them so much. Not only are the décor and book selections different in each one, but also the overall vibe of each of the places. Here, in the Berkshires, we are lucky enough to have a few wonderful, independent bookstores to keep me happy. I live in south county, so I am usually found browsing the ones in close proximity to me, but I know there are also a couple in central and northern Berkshire county. My favorite of all in this county, is The Bookloft(http://www.thebookloft.com/) , in Great Barrington. It is set in an older shopping complex, sitting seamlessly between a grocery store and a department store. When you step inside, you are instantly filled with a sense of peace. Their selection of books is fantastic, and they also have a fairly complete collection of local Berkshire county books, which is where you will usually find me when I am there. There are also comfy seats placed throughout, so you can relax while checking out a book. They often host author readings and talks, geared towards community interests(such as gardening, arts, and cooking). My kids grew up reading in their children’s section. They do a fantastic job of making it a literary wonderland for the kids, with all of the award winning books, as well as those that simply intrigue the children. Further up north a bit in Lenox, is The Bookstore(http://bookstoreinlenox.com/). This is a cool place to find really unique books, and my kids love the children’s section, which is set up higher than the rest of the store, making it extra fun for the kids. It is a must stop visit when we are walking through town in the summertime. They also offer a wine bar, where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine, in between your browsing.
There are great, independent bookstores everywhere, and I have my favorites in all of the places that I travel to, but I love the fact that I can head two or fifteen minutes down the road, and be inside of a couple the best.
Tags: berkshire county, berkshiregirl, berkshires, books, bookstores, independent bookstores, local, reading