Monday, May 31, 2021

Crow Bookshop - Burlington, VT

Crow Bookshop, Burlington, VT

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Good grief what are the odds?  After traveling half way across the country to beautiful Burlington, VT and the Crow Bookshop, I meet the only staffer on duty this day, Jackie.  She asked me where I'm from, I said Iowa.  She smiled through her mask (in disbelief because how many people come to Crow Bookshop from Iowa) and said, "Really?  I went to the University of Iowa."  Now it was MY turn to look incredulous and say, me too!  I continue to marvel at unexpected coincidences on an unbelievable journey.

Crow is a one-level store with two long rooms that offers new and used books.  The store also has many  vintage and collectible editions as well.  They've been around for approximately 25 years and when I asked Jackie what their secret was she said, for one, they have a fantastic location.  I couldn't agree more.  This indie is situated in downtown Burlington in a multi-block area blocked off from traffic making it part of a ped mall with multiple small businesses, shops, bars, and restaurants.  Know that when you visit here you will need to find nearby public parking to make the short walk to the bookstore.  This area is very reminiscent of downtown Boulder, CO which is organized much the same (and also has a great independent bookstore).

 The Crow Bookshop has survived the pandemic thanks to their online book orders and curbside service.  Their proximity to the University of Vermont is also a plus with customers from that community.  The store definitely has a college town bookstore vibe.  Other than some bookstore t-shirts and tote bags, there are no sidelines here.  Impressive for bookstores that can do this.

Jackie was wonderful to meet and visit with about the store.  She was the perfect Crow Bookshop ambassador (undoubtedly a result of her excellent education at the University of Iowa).  And the good news for you, readers, is that you can safely begin making those summer vacation plans.  When you do, don't overlook this historic New England town, home to a long running and iconic independent bookstore.  Look for the black crow silhouette.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens.  I'm late to this one but I can tell you all of its praise is merited for me because I absolutely loved it.  I thought the author's pacing and chronology were excellent.  A family lives in a shack of the marshes and lagoons on the coast of North Carolina but an abusive father eventually causes all of them to run away except the youngest child in the family, Kya.  How will she grow up, become educated, find a social life and so many other things.  But the story takes an even darker twist toward the end.  If you haven't read this one yet, go to a bookstore and get it in paperback.  Highly recommended.   

CURRENTLY READING:  Squeeze Me, Carl Hiaasen.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Throwback Special, Chris Bachelder.  My very own Crow Bookshop t-shirt. 


I was able to get a great outside picture without dodging traffic.  The Church St. address for Crow is closed to traffic and only open to pedestrians.  Great foot traffic for this store and all of the other businesses surrounding it. 
Almost there!
A very attractive window display. 

The entire store front is window space. 


This is the view you'll have when you open the door and look into the store.  To the right is the checkout counter, to the left is a cutout into the 2nd room. 
Looking to the right from the front entrance is the checkout counter.  Jackie is busy on the phone taking orders.                                               
Relevant display table front and center.  

A classic bookstore look.  Book aisle with old wooden floors and wooden shelves.     

To the left after entering you'll find the new fiction display.

A portion of the Native American and African American studies. 
A few of the books of local interest or by local authors. 
Staffers have their own slots for their staff picks. 
After entering the store, this is the way into the 2nd room on the left.  You'll find mostly children's books in this room.  The brickwork goes great with the old wooden floors. 
Overview of the 2nd room from the front of the store.

Staff picks in the children's section. 

You won't find many sidelines here but you WILL find Crow swag like these totes and t-shirts. 
A perfect spot to promote your book at a store event.  This is in the right rear of the main room.

Two great seats at the front of the store.  Available soon. 


Overview of this beautiful store looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

With Jackie, one of the fine booksellers you'll meet at the Crow Bookshop.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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