|Broadside Bookshop - Northampton, MA|
One of the goals of my journey (besides selfishly having a whole lot of fun) is to bring to light the struggles and challenges that independent bookstores face for survival. Broadside Bookshop is no different from all the others but it has endured and succeeded for 40 years. I had a great visit with Bill, one of the owners, and I asked him if he can feel the pendulum swinging back toward indies. What he told me was not a short answer. If I'd had a tape recorder I could better relate to you all that he said in regards to the issues caused by Amazon. I like what he told me and continue to try and educate myself about the problem. The short version of what he said was, yes, the pendulum may be swinging slightly back toward independents as people become more aware of the unethical behaviors at Amazon and yes, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for independent bookstores. As for Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, another super indie to visit on your trip to New England.
This is a small, one-level, two room store and this place is jam packed with inventory. Books and sidelines are as plentiful as they can be given the small space. Bill said the sidelines are huge for this store and if they had more space would definitely include more of them. They would love to expand their business but are unable to do so because of surrounding businesses. Logistics and space also prevent Broadside from offering used books however they can be obtained for customers by special order. It is hard to imagine after being here how they host author events at this store but host them they do by rolling shelves and tables away to open up space on the left side of the store. This place does more with little than about any other indie.
In addition to Bill, I also had the great pleasure of meeting and talking to the other co-owners, Roxie and Nancy. Like so many others I've met, they are the spirit and energy at these places and the success at these stores falls directly on their shoulders. I couldn't have asked for friendlier hosts to talk to on my visit. They shared their enthusiasm with me and then they shared their book recommendations with me.
If you're anywhere near Northampton you have to go to Broadside Bookshop. The rest of us will visit when we vacation in New England. And when you go, ask Bill, Roxie, or Nancy for a book recommendation and then brace yourself. There's no way you're leaving this great indie without buying a book. In fact, you won't be able to get just one. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: End Of Days, James L. Swanson. Historical reaccounting of the days leading up to and after the JFK assassination. Gripping and fascinating.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Being Mortal, Atul Gawande. The Riddle Of The Compass, Amir D. Aczel. Los Alamos, Joseph Kanon.
|Sidewalk view of Broadside Bookshop.|
|One of the great window displays.|
|The view when you enter the front door looking toward the rear of the store. Take a left half way back and you'll enter the other room of Broadside.|
|Many indies offer these great classic book editions for $10.|
|Good selection of greeting cards.|
|A great sentiment not only here at Broadside but for indies everywhere.|
|Great places to sit and try out a book or have a seat here and chat with Bill, one of the fine co-owners.|
|In addition to these t-shirts you can also get a Broadside Bookshop t-shirt.|
|Need a magazine? Of course you do! Get it here!|
|A few of the staff picks.|
|Bestsellers at Broadside.|
|The co-owners and three super people you must visit at Broadside. L-R, Bill, Roxie, and Nancy.|
|Pick out the one who isn't a co-owner.|