|Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NH|
(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)
If you want to see an example of an indie that's been getting it done for a VERY long time, you might want to check out Gibson's in Concord, NH. The story here might not be as much about the bookstore but more about its longevity. How long you ask? Getting it right and selling books since 1898! I would guess that some of the customers in Concord must be descendants of well-read ancestors. I'm not sure if its the oldest one I've been to in my 400+ bookstore visits, but I know it ranks up there. Remarkably, it is only in its 5th ownership. I had a great time meeting current owner, Michael H., who has been here for 26 years. The store has been in several locations and in their present location since 2013. I don't know about their previous locations, but the current one is a perfect. The store's interior is shaped like a lower case 'n' that can be entered through the bottom of the 'n' on either side. Entering on the bottom of the left side of the 'n' is the children's store (not a children's section, a STORE). This was made possible when Gibson's bought out a local toy store and integrated that inventory into the store. At the top of the 'n' the children's items give way to the adult part of the store. This continues around to the bottom right side of the 'n'. Either space can be entered externally or internally. At the top of the 'n' is an event space and at the bottom between the legs of the 'n' is the cafe. Confused? You'll have to visit and see for yourself!
What's in the 'n'? EVERYTHING. An incredible book inventory of mostly new books with a few used. Lots of sidelines that are an important part of the business. My favorite was probably the hand-made leather journals and bags from India. The cafe occupies a large space within the store but is presently closed. They hope to reopen in September. Like all the other bookstores, their live events have been on hold. They're planning to try one again in July.
In addition to Mike, Jo, one of the booksellers was terrific to talk to and told me a lot about the store. Be careful if you use the Gibson's bathroom though. You might find a kitten, like Jo. And I know she's serious about her job because she named it Gibson. Way to go, Jo.
This is a local and state award-winning bookstore and it's deserving of national recognition as well. Plan a half day and pay them a visit. You'll come away just as impressed as I was. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: Fleishman Is In Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Quilter's Kitchen, Jennifer Chiaverini. The Inner Life Of Animals, Peter Wohlleben.
|This is the entirety of the building that is home to Gibson's Bookstore. Looks like one long city block of bookstore to me!|
|The left side of that building pictured above is not the kids' section but the kids' STORE! Enter here or crossover from either side of the store on the inside. |
|Both sides of Gibson's has ample display window space. This is part of that window space on the kids' side. |
|View looking into the kids' store from the exterior entrance. Continue to the back of this space and go to the right will take you to the adult side of the bookstore. |
|The kids' store is a dreamland. They will love it. |
|Do you want to keep your local independent bookstore? Buy local, shop local. |
|Just outside the exterior entrance on the adult side. A recognized award-winning store. |
|Looking into the store from the entrance on the adult side. Honestly, breath-taking. |
|Looking to the right from the adult store entrance. |
|They have reading glasses. Perfect for people like me who sit on them once a week. |
|Just a few of the bookstore socks available. |
|There are many beautiful table displays throughout the store. This one is shortly after entering the adult side. |
|Just to the left after entering you'll find a selection of magazines. |
|Picture this cafe with a bustle of business, tables full, people reading and chatting. Closed during my visit but hopefully opening in September. This is conveniently located in the middle of both the kids' store and the adult store. |
|I always enjoy checking out the staff picks. |
|Indie next picks in paperback. |
|Newly released paperbacks.|
|Lots of mug choices!|
|My second favorite display to see after the staff picks. |
|Just a portion of the greeting cards available. |
|A variety of popular journals available. |
|If you enter on the adult side and walk to the back of that room, look left. This is the connection over to the children's store. |
|I'm a sucker for pictures like this. |
|I love this old school display filled with maps. |
|A few of the used books offered. |
|Visual confirmation. Not available at amazon. |
|If you're on a budget, look for the bargain books table display. |
|No time to read but plenty of time to listen? Here you go. |
|So many senior citizens appreciate bookstores that have large print books. |
|Unique and attractive sideline. Impressive. |
|Gibson's has its own book podcast. Check it out. |
|With Michael on the left, the fine owner at Gibson's Bookstore. Thanks for a great visit. |