Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Galaxy Bookshop - Hardwick, VT

The Galaxy Bookshop - Hardwick, VT
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The Galaxy Bookshop is one of the indies that is part of my goal to visit every bookstore featured in My Bookstore, by Ron Rice.  How the heck does a bookstore in a town of approximately 3000 survive, sustain, endure, AND become a nationally recognized indie?  It's all about community.  This place has been around 29 years and has seen various locations.  Every time, this small community stepped up, volunteered their help, and made it happen.  One of the moves happened on a January day when temperatures were -20.  The community was there.  This is one of the reasons it's a featured indie in My Bookstore.  I wish every community in the country understood this critical characteristic of successful independent bookstores.

The Galaxy Bookshop is a one-level store with a great location on Main St.  You'll find all new books here including recent releases and a good variety of sidelines.  Looking for a Shakespeare temporary tattoo?  This is your place!  Sandy S., one of the co-owners along with Andrea, told me they have to be careful picking out their sidelines due to the store being on the small side.  In addition to strong local support the town enjoys good business with tourists and people who have summer homes in the area.  I thought the books of local interest were especially strong for these customers.  I also thought the children's section was a strength here.  It's so strong that Sandy's 5-year old daughter has her own shelf of book recommendations!

The store is tight with the community in other ways as well.  Ties with the schools, library, and book clubs are all important for any successful independent bookstore.  They offer educator discounts and also offer a wonderful customer rewards incentive.  Galaxy is active with author events and celebrated the recent Harry Potter release with a big party.  And you won't have a bit of trouble with parking, easily finding free spots on the street or a nearby parking lot.

I didn't meet Andrea on this visit but I had a great time talking to Sandy who couldn't have been nicer.  This store has a lot of history and it was fun to hear about it.  I can't imagine someone coming here and not having a great experience.  Lots of books and sidelines, chairs to relax and read in, and people like Sandy who will make your visit to a bookstore a wonderful experience.  Check this place out and the community it belongs to, a community with a passion and understanding for its bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Bartender's Tale, Ivan Doig.  Recognized as one of America's finest authors and this is the first book I've read by him.  Story of a small town Montana bar owner, raising his son by himself, and the experiences, characters, tales, and family conflicts that ensue.  If you haven't read the author yet, check him out.  Recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  "I Heard You Paint Houses", Charles Brandt.

Start your shopping before you even walk through the door.  

View looking into the store and slightly to the left from the front entrance.  The mural on the wall is fantastic and this picture doesn't do it justice.  One of the best interior murals I've seen in a bookstore.  Kudos to the artist who did this!

Just inside the entrance you'll find a few of the greeting cards available.  

The store offers a nice variety of sidelines.  

A great table display just inside the store.  

This is a great series of children's books.  Time to vote for a Crayon-In-Chief.  Introduce these books to your kids if you haven't done so already.  

Display of staff picks.  

Another view of the mural.  I couldn't quite get the whole mural in the picture so you'll have to visit the store and see it for yourself!

Relevant books for the area.  

This is where you'll check out with the books you'll be buying.  

Go green with green toys.  

If you're on a budget, find this display.  

A great place to sit and try a book.  

A portion of the children's section.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front.  Apologies for the lighting.  

With Sandy S., one of the fine co-owners at The Galaxy Bookshop.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. This store is kind of like Mary Poppins carpet bag - bottomless source of whatever you're looking for...!!!

    1. Great comment for a "magical" bookstore!

  2. Thank you for the marvelous profile of this gem in our community! We are so thankful to have a fantastic Indie bookstore with very special, caring, informative booksellers.

    1. Thanks for your nice comment, Margie, and you're indeed right about a fantastic indie with wonderful booksellers. Keep buying books!


  3. We love the Galaxy. The stunning mural is the work of Tara Goreau and even depicts the most recent move. Thanks for this thoughtful post. Hope you enjoy our fantastic town and come back and see us again.

    1. I had a wonderful time in Hardwick and my time there was all too short. I'm already anxious to return to Vermont! So many bookstores, so little time. Thanks for the insight on the mural and artist. Kudos to Tara on her fine work and obvious talent. Thanks for the comment, Alana.