|Bank Square Books - Mystic, CT|
When I visit with the people I meet in independent bookstores one of the things I'm always curious to know is who are the customers that keep the store in business. As I drove into the Main St. business district of Mystic I knew without a doubt who the customers were going to be at Bank Square Books. The sidewalks were full of people and the narrow streets were a gridlock of cars. This time of year is the heighth of the tourist season and they were everywhere. The congestion of tourists outside the bookstore was also apparent on the inside as there were customers everywhere. There's nothing better than being in a vibrant, energetic bookstore and that's exactly what I got. That vibrancy and energy is a perfect reflection of the store's owner, Annie P.
It appears to me that Bank Square Books has one great location in a very busy area. Even though they enjoy a large number of tourists, they also have a great local customer base. The store has two different entrances and has the appearance from the outside of two separate buildings. It has expanded into its current arrangement just recently in the last two years. Given the amount of tourists I saw, two entrances are a good thing! Either entrance will greet you with a roomful of books and the entire store is connected on the inside. There are a good assortment of sidelines and you'll find most of those on the right side entrance. I thought the assortment of greeting cards was especially good. The business is all housed on the ground level however they have a space upstairs to host author events. They also hold events off-site and have options for these at churches, theaters, and even a brewery. The brewery event offered a book and a 6-pack of beer. Heck, even non-readers might go for that!
Annie P. has been the owner here for about 10 years and I guess she's getting the hang of things since she owns another bookstore in nearby Westerly, RI (stay tuned!). The business has been here though for 30 years, another great sign of success for any indie.
I had a great time talking to Annie, John, Dan, and other staffers who were terrific to talk to, one more reason anyone would enjoy a visit here. Parking can be a challenge but be persistent because this store is worth it.
So unbeknownst to me, this is obviously a very attractive tourist area. You might as well join the rest of the lemmings and go to Mystic! And while you're there take advantage of escaping those throngs and slip into one of the country's best independent bookstores. That will be your true getaway. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: How About Never - Is Never Good For You?, Bob Mankoff.
|View looking into the store from the left building entrance.|
|Looking to the left from the same entrance.|
|This is the view looking into the store from the right building entrance. You'll see many more sidelines in this part of the store.|
|Some of the stationery available here.|
|A great Harry Potter display for the recent release.|
|A portion of the greeting cards available.|
|A nice display of a few of the staff picks.|
|Recent non-fiction releases.|
|When you visit an independent bookstore, if you see socks you like, get them. Why? You can rarely find them elsewhere!|
|I'm always looking to replace broken reading glasses.|
|A great place to sit and take a book for a spin.|
|A portion of the children's section and a great place to lounge with a book.|
|This is the view from the back of the store toward the front entrance of the left building.|
|You'll find a great variety of sidelines here.|
|Another great place to try out a book.|
|Kids will love the variety of games offered here.|
|Another overview of the left building of the store.|
|With Annie, the fine owner at Bank Square Books. Thanks for a great visit.|