Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Village Books - Bellingham, WA

Village Books - Bellingham, WA

As I progress on this journey of independent bookstores, I've often mentioned the wonderful people I've had the good fortune to meet.  Then I visit a place like Village Books in Bellingham and meet Chuck and Dee Robinson and a few of their staff who are not only wonderful people to visit with but truly seem like kindred spirits of sorts.  Conversation as comfortable as your favorite worn-out slippers. Maybe it was the fact that they all have midwestern roots in their backgrounds?  Heck, Dee was born in the same county in Iowa as my dad.  Small world.  It always seems so easy for midwesterners to strike up a conversation as if they're resuming something they started at anytime in the past.  Chuck and Dee the owners, Paul the manager, and Joan a staffer.  They were all very gracious, patient, and extremely accommodating of their busy schedules to visit with me about their bookstore and indies in general.   What about the Village Books Bookstore?  5 stars all the way just like the people who work there!

Village Books offers new and used books, lots of children's stuff that looked terrific, some magazines, all on three levels.  A book buy back program seems to be the norm in most indies.  If some out there don't have this program, I would strongly encourage it if it is logistically possible to do so.  Upstairs there was a cafe with plenty of seating and a great view.  There are also lots of great places to sit on any level to relax and sample a book.  There is a great area downstairs for book readings by authors, something Village Books is very active with.  It appears that Village Books is enjoying a successful business and this is due in large part to great community support along with great ownership and management.  When Village Books moved from a previous location to their present location, 300 local volunteers stepped up to transfer the contents to the new store and Village Books was able to continue operation without missing a beat.  Clearly, this indie marches arm in arm with its community.

When you visit Village Books you should make one more stop.  Check out Rocket Donuts at the other end of the block.  Unless you're on a diet.  And jog there so you won't feel so guilty about what you eat. As for the bookstore, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Go and talk to the people, don't rush, and savor this wonderful atmosphere that included great classical music in the background while I was there.  They gave me some great recommendations and you know what that means?  Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED: The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion.  Loved it.  A Sheldon Cooper character in a Disney romantic comedy.  5 stars.

CURRENTLY READING:  All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.  Everyone I visit with is raving about this.  Haven't met anyone who doesn't like it.  So far so good.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.  See above and you'll know why it butted in line in front of all the other books waiting their turn.

Outside of store, no explanation needed.  

This is what you'll see when you walk in the front door.  

Cool area with a hanging sculpture, looking out onto the front corner of store.  

A great seat to try out a book.  

I always enjoy seeing the staff favorites displays.  

A comfier chair.  Wake me when it's time to go!

A nice interactive kiosk to help customers find what they're looking for.  

Staging area downstairs for author readings and visits.  

A great cafe on the upper level.  

Looking down from the upper level to the front of the store.  The front door is directly to the right.  

Dogs allowed in the store and here is the photographic proof.  

Chuck & Dee Robinson, the wonderful owners here at Village Books.  
Yours truly with Chuck & Dee.  

Paul, the manager on the left with Dee & Chuck.


  1. I believe I was in this store some time ago, probably when it was the old store. I bought a rare book there. It is "The Fourth Corner - Highlights from the Early Northwest." It is a rare book. My son lived in Bellingham for 20 years. I would dearly love to move to Bellingham. I have visited there many times and think it is a wonderful place. Great blog............

  2. A great bookstore in a great town. Wish I could've spent more time there. Thanks for your comments, Sharie, and thanks for following.


  3. Bob,
    Great article. I'm working on a guest blog post about Village Books for a website called Hometown Reads.

    It was great to see my first novel, ALL IS SILENCE, hiding behind Neal Stephenson's there in the dog photo!

    You're doing great work!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Rob. The Pacific Northwest has many great independent bookstores and this is one of them! Good luck with Hometown Reads.