At the Children’s Literacy Foundation, we are huge fans of the many independent bookstores we partner with across Vermont and New Hampshire. Their support is invaluable in helping us get beautiful, high-quality books into the hands of the children we serve.
We want to offer special recognition to our bookstore friends who are holding book drives for CLiF this holiday season. Each of the stores below is a mainstay of the communities they serve, and we are so grateful to them and their patrons for giving back to young readers throughout the Twin States. Just one more reason to shop small, local and literary this season…and every season!
Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT
A mainstay of downtown Montpelier’s shopping district since 1973, Bear Pond Books is a destination for readers of all ages. The store offers a wide selection of both new and used books, expertly curated by the dedicated staff. An inviting children’s room on the second floor houses both an impressive assortment of books for young readers, and a resident Russian tortoise named Veruca. (You can follow Veruca on Instagram.)
Bookery, Manchester, NH
Bookery aims to be more than just an independent bookstore within its community; it’s also “a hub for book-lovers, artists, politicians, workers, dreamers, and those with extraordinary imaginations.” With a balance of mainstream and lesser-known titles on offer, Bookery stocks something for every type of reader. There’s also a tasteful selection of book-themed merchandise available, including candles, T-shirts and mugs; as well as an in-store cafe that features specialty doughnuts on Saturdays.
Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, VT
Serving as Waterbury’s independent bookstore since 2009, Bridgeside is in the business of keeping brains engaged. With over 3,000 books in stock, as well as art supplies, puzzles, games and other unique treasures, there’s no excuse for boredom within these store walls!
Ebenezer Books, Johnson, VT
Housed in a red brick building on a street corner, this cozy bookstore is named in honor of an “extraordinary” dog, whose name meant “place of refuge.” True to its name, Ebenezer Books seeks to be “a place of discovery and sense of home for people who find refuge in the literary arts.” The store sells a carefully considered collection of new and used books, cards and fine chocolate.
Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
Founded in 1898(!), Gibson’s is the oldest continuously operating retailer in the Concord area, and the largest independent bookstore in northern New England. On a mission to “reflect and enhance its community with the best in intelligent entertainment,” Gibson’s stocks a generous inventory of books across all genres, as well as a thoughtfully curated collection of used books. For shoppers looking for items in the non-book category, the store sells an assortment of toys, socks, art supplies and tote bags. Hungry browsers can visit the in-store cafe to satisfy their cravings.
Green Mountain Books & Prints, Lyndonville, VT
In business since 1977, Green Mountain Books stocks an abundant inventory of new and used books, local interest titles, books by Vermont authors, and much more. A cozy children’s room offers stacks of options for young readers. The store often hosts book signings and readings by local writers; CLiF presenters Katherine Paterson, David Martin and Natalie Kinsey-Warnock are just a few of the many authors who have passed through over the years.
Little Village Toy & Book Shop, Littleton, NH
With a motto of “Play, Laugh, Learn,” it’s no surprise that Little Village Toy & Book Shop is a popular destination for kids of all ages! The store’s inventory of books and toys is selected mindfully, and with an emphasis on brain development. For the adults in tow, there’s a wide selection of fiction, non-fiction and local interest books available.
Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH
The spacious Morgan Hill Bookstore boasts almost 2,000 square feet of book-selling space for readers to explore, plus a fine selection of chocolate, gourmet nuts, stationary and other sundries. A cozy “Children’s Barn” within the store offers books for all ages, as well as puzzles and activities. Up until his death in 2020, the prolific children’s author Tomie dePaola (Strega Nona) was a good friend and frequent visitor to the bookstore, and still has his own page on the Morgan Hill website.
Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
Serving readers in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire since 1994, the Norwich Bookstore strives to “embody the spirit of cooperation and diversity found in the Vermont State Motto: Freedom and Unity!” Fans of all genres can expect personalized recommendations from an invested staff. The children’s section is bright and well-stocked; perfectly designed to capture the interest of young readers. Norwich Bookstore maintains an active calendar of events, including community programming and author talks.
Phoenix Books, Burlington, Essex and Rutland, VT
Community-minded and passionate about the power of shopping local, the Phoenix stores offer books for all interests and budgets, and take pride in serving as gathering spaces for their customers. Phoenix also operates its own publishing imprint, Onion River Press, with the intent of giving local authors a self-publishing alternative to Amazon.
Still North Books and Bar, Hanover, NH
Still North opened its doors in downtown Hanover at the end of 2019 as a combo bookstore-bar-cafe. In addition to a curated book collection, craft beers, wine, light bites and brag-worthy coffee are on offer. The store–which takes its name from a line in the Dartmouth College school song, “Alma Mater”–carries a generous selection of everything from kids’ books and new releases to books by Dartmouth faculty and local authors.
Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH
The Keene store opened in 1983 and is one of three Toadstool locations in New Hampshire. The original location, in Peterborough, opened in 1972, and a third location, now located in Nashua, originally opened in Milford in 1989. Now, fifty years after opening his first store,Toadstool founder Willard Williams is seeking a new owner to take over the business. Harboring dreams of becoming a bookseller? This could be your chance!
The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT
Vermont’s oldest continuously operating bookstore has been serving the literary needs of Woodstock and the surrounding towns since 1935. Visitors who pass beneath the bright yellow awning and into the store will find a wide selection of general interest books, as well a unique assortment of vinyl, stationery, bookish gifts, puzzles and more!