Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Bookloft - Great Barrington, MA

The Bookloft - Great Barrington, MA
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Regular readers of The Indie Bob Spot are probably wondering, "Hey, didn't Indie Bob already visit The Bookloft?"  Well, yes I did.   The Book Loft in Columbus, OH.  And now I've visited the totally unrelated Bookloft in Great Barrington, MA.  They both share the distinction of being included in Ron Rice's, My Bookstore, the guide for my journey.  In other words, both are terrific, nationally recognized independent bookstores with a long record of success.

The Bookloft in Great Barrington is located in The Berkshires, a destination in its own right.  This is one of the attractions that brings customers to the store.  The area is popular for tourists and folks with summer homes who come here form NYC and other large urban areas.  Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is also nearby.  It helps the store that it is in a location that is some distance from other bookstores and any large chain Barnes & Noble.  The store has been around since 1974 and like other indies of the same age, it has adapted to the times.  They offer Kobo ereaders here and customers can also buy ebooks off of their website.

The Bookloft is situated in a plaza area among other businesses, a good location to attract customers. And as Mark O., the book buyer, told me, free and easy parking is nothing to sneeze at.  The store has two moderately-sized rooms where you'll find lots of new books, a few used books, and a good variety of sidelines.  Women will enjoy some of the jewelry offerings here and calendars and greeting cards are always good sellers.  As with other indies, the sidelines are an important part of the business.  The store has some great partnerships in the community including providing books for several school districts.  They also partner with local libraries for many of their author events.  When I asked Mark about the resurgence of independent bookstores, he said that's definitely the case at The Bookloft.

Pam T. is the new owner here at the store and I didn't get to meet her but Mark was great to meet and was very patient to visit with me and answer my questions.  People like Mark as well as Lauren and Julia at The Bookloft are the reasons I enjoy these visits so much.

Readers, this region is a beautiful part of the country.  Certainly vacation worthy!  It's nice to know that when you come here to visit, you'll enjoy time well spent at a 5-star gem of a bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  Soft In The Head, Marie-Sabine Roger.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Civilwarland In Bad Decline, George Saunders.

There's nothing like getting to browse books outside the store on a beautiful day.  

I love this promo that some bookstores do.  This is a blind date with a book.  Wrapped in plain brown paper, you don't know what you're getting until you buy it!

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  If you go right of this picture, you'll be in the other room of the bookstore.  

Looking through the bookstore's room on the right.  

A variety of magazines near the front entrance.  

Looking through the bookstore's room on the left.  

A nice display of staff picks.  

Some of the jewelry available here.  

A portion of the children's section and some of their staff picks.  

A great place to sit and try out a book.  

Lots of great travel selections.  

Find these shelves for some bargains.  

Bring a friend and hang out here.  

An extensive selection of audio books.  

If you live near Great Barrington I would strongly urge you to do this!  

With Mark on the left, the fine book-buyer at The Bookloft.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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