|The Village Booksmith, Baraboo, WI|
Fortunately, I have alert readers who know about my journey and recommend bookstores for me to visit. There is an excellent website I can recommend if you want to find bookstores on your travels, new pages.com. It is what I use during my travels, but The Village Booksmith was not listed so it was under my radar. Thanks to alert reader, Beth W.P., it's no longer an unknown and now I can share with you what everyone in Baraboo already knows. You'll find a terrific independent bookstore.
Annie R., the original owner, had a wonderful vision over 20 years ago when she opened The Village Booksmith. The store offers almost all used books in a large, one-level space. They have a great location on the downtown square, surrounded by many other local businesses. Rob N. is the new owner who took over the business in January 2017 after Annie's passing, and he tells me that things are going well. He also shared with me the thing I've heard from many others, the return of the "shop local, buy local" movement. That said, the store attracts a lot of its business from tourists. Some of these tourists are annual "regulars," visiting the store whenever they visit the area. Rob offers customers store credit or cash for the books they bring in. He also receives donated books, a great thing for any used bookstore. The store offers a variety of events including open mic nights for poetry, once a week music improv nights, and the very popular quiz night. If you're in the Baraboo area, I strongly encourage you to participate in these events as well as the others offered here.
The atmosphere here is wonderful. Lots of places to sit, an extensive inventory, light classical music playing in the background on the day of my visit, no moldy or musty smell you might find in some stores, and most importantly, a very friendly and knowledgeable bookstore owner you will enjoy meeting. And how could I forget Zoey, the bookstore dog. Just as nice and friendly as all the others I meet.
Baraboo has a history and some renown as a circus town, for many years it was the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus and now is home to the Circus World Museum. And now all of you will also know it as the home of an independent bookstore in a community of the size where they can be rare. Appreciate this indie, Baraboo, and pay them a visit. You'll have a great time. Go to an indie and buy a book.
JUST FINISHED: A Cold Day In Paradise, Steve Hamilton. An author I haven't read who writes in the mystery/thriller genre. Detective McKnight is trying to find a killer who suddenly turns on him and now is hunting him down. The twist is that he thinks this killer is the same guy who shot him many years ago and should be locked up in prison. This has all the typical murder mystery subplots and a very improbable ending. If you like this genre, check it out. This is the first in a series for this author.
CURRENTLY READING: The Pugilist At Rest, Thom Jones.
|If it's a nice day in Baraboo, you can start out here.|
|A great front window display. Notice what book is displayed front and center.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance.|
|Just inside the front door you'll find an assortment of greeting cards.|
|A great place to sit and try out a book.|
|Baraboo has a history as a circus town.|
|One of the nooks and crannies in the store that you'll love exploring.|
|When you get your book, you'll won't be able to resist also getting a cookie.|
|A partial collection of books by local authors.|
|Lots of CDs available.|
|Another great nook to sit down and enjoy a book. I love stores that have spaces like these.|
|A great seating area and display area in the middle of the store.|
|A portion of the children's section and also the area where in-store events are held.|
|A long row of bookshelves.|
|Looking for the complete writings of Bret Harte? Here you go. Collectors should definitely visit this store.|
|Lots of great nooks in this store.|
|View looking from near the back of the store toward the front.|
|Dogs like Zoey are what I consider to be one of the fringe benefits I find in some bookstores!|
|Another overview of the store looking from the middle toward the front. This middle area is also the events space.|
|More books about horses than you see at most indies!|
|Maybe you'd like to find a 21 volume set of Joseph Conrad? This is your place.|
|A set of the Bach Cantatas on CD.|
|Please keep telling yourself this after the bombardment of bad news.|
|With Rob on the left and Zoey in the middle, the two fine owners at The Village Booksmith. Thanks for a great visit.|