If you haven’t visited a local independent bookstore recently, you may want to plan a trip soon to get reaquainted with browsing the shelves for something exciting to read rather than downloading the latest bestseller or ordering it online. We have an expert on hand to remind us what we have been missing out on in our technology-advanced modern world!
Bernier's books sees the central protagonist, Kate, a mother of two, deal with the loss of her best friend and sets herself the task of reading her friend’s journals that summer. As Kate devours the diaries, she comes to terms with the fact that there was a lot she did not know about her close friend and such revelations lead her to reevaluate what she has come to accept as life’s simple truths. Are some secrets better left untold? Can women balance a career and motherhood and just how much are they forced to give up? But most importantly, how well can we ever really know a person? Bernier handles these hard hitting questions and universal themes with an effortless grace that translates into a thoughtful yet complicated page-turner.
When asked her thoughts on the state of bookshops these days, Bernier told us:
“Bookstores have never been under as much pressure to survive as they are today. Online vendors who don’t have to pay for retail shops are using physical bookstores as their showroom, by offering customers apps to scan the ISBN numbers on books in bookstores, then buy them more cheaply online.
“Bookstores offer such personality and selection and expertise — imagine your area without one? Or maybe it’s already lost its bookstore. It isn’t inconceivable that the sci-fi day will come, in our children’s future, when someone asks, Wouldn’t it be cool to invent a place where you can actually WALK IN and buy books?”
So with this in mind, we had a look around and found some great little book nooks for you to visit this summer! But don’t draw the line there; remember to keep an eye out for these hidden gems when you’re on your travels and prevent the independent bookstore from becoming a dying breed.
Park Road Books is more than just a bookstore, although they do offer a wide array of books, from fiction to non-fiction and children’s to adults. There is always something going on and we’re just dying to join their Foodie Book Club, which is currently reading A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage and will meet on August 28th. Furthermore, there are always great deals to be had here, especially in their bargain bins! So check it out this summer if not to join one of their clubs or events, simply to pick up a good read!
The Bookmark is home to a varied range of books and is true to its name; some great bookmarks! They also do beautiful cards and the owners are knowledgeable, friendly and extremely helpful. Nestled in the uptown area, it’s a great little place to pop in and pick up a present with a card for a birthday or simply to treat yourself to a little summer escapism.
We couldn’t finish the article without mentioning The Last Word, which is a great mix of slightly new and brand new, both of which are reasonably priced, but they’re still willing to help you out further: senior citizens and public service workers receive discounts on purchases and save 10 percent by showing a receipt from a nearby store or a recent report card showcasing As or Bs. Also, don’t forget to bring your old books and DVDs to trade in for cash or store credit. And that’s not all; the free coffee, hot chocolate, tea and cider on Wednesdays coupled with their comfy chairs, you’re going to find it difficult to tear yourself away, so consider yourself warned!
GalTime's Top Tip: Go these bookshops with an open mind and intention to browse, because although they may not always have the specific book you had in mind, the staff have a surprisingly firm handle on what’s out there and can point you in the right direction, whether it’s one you’re familiar with, or somewhere new and exciting!