|Shakespeare & Co, Missoula, MT|
As of this entry, I've visited over 270 independent bookstores. You would think with that many I would've discovered Montana earlier in my journey but I'm late to the Montana bookstore party and am just finding my way to that part of the country this summer. And here's what I've discovered: Montana is loaded with butt-kicking bookstores. Heck, Missoula alone has several to check out. People in NYC bemoan the fact that they've lost bookstores (they have), but there are also more opening. It seems you can still find one every other block. In Montana, you'll find a lot of great indies but you won't be walking. A 2-hour drive MINIMUM is what it will take you to see most. It's all about perspective. And I can tell you it will be worth the drive when you see fine bookstores like Shakespeare & Co in Missoula.
This is the perfect example of finding a great bookstore in a vibrant college town. Missoula is home to the University of Montana and it has the energetic vibe of any other college town I've visited. I think towns like these have an openness of thought that allow places like Shakespeare & Co to flourish. And that's exactly what they've been doing for nearly 20 years. The store is a one-level space with two long adjacent rooms. The second room offers a great area for author events. Or tango dancing. Or movies. All great ways to bring people into the store. They offer all new books and a variety of sidelines. As with many other indies, the greeting cards do very well. They also offer journals, notebooks, and many of those other "creative" items only found in an independent bookstore.
Garth W. has been the owner here since the beginning, all in this visible location on 3rd St. right next to the river. I asked Garth if he can feel a resurgence in business at his bookstore similar to what many other indie owners are feeling. He said that he does think things are trending back toward the independent bookstores. Something I agree with as I travel the country and visit with others.
The only thing sadder to me than a town without a bookstore, is a college town without a bookstore. No worries in Missoula. Shakespeare & Co is the perfect fit in the perfect town and when you visit here (you will!), you will enjoy a great experience. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: After The Fall, Noah Hawley.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Ginger Man, J. P. Donleavy.
|This sidewalk sign doesn't even begin to cover it all!|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance.|
|Looking to the left from the front entrance and a great book display.|
|Just a few of the greeting cards available here.|
|You'll need lots of time to check everything out in this row of shelves.|
|A 2016 award winner.|
|Greeting cards can be found throughout the store.|
|A beautiful display of journals and notebooks.|
|Have a seat and try out a book.|
|Be sure you look around the store at the artwork on the walls.|
|Go toward the back of the first room and take a right. Then enter the second adjacent room and look toward the right and this is your view. Lots of events held in this space.|
|View looking to the left in the second room.|
|If you're visiting, you'll need a souvenir Montana postcard.|
|Always fun to see what the staff picks are.|
|More great artwork on the walls of the second room. This picture doesn't do it justice.|
|A nice overview of the beautiful second room.|
|With Garth on the right, the fine owner at Shakespeare & Co. Thanks for a great visit.|