Hardwick, News

Galaxy Bookshop Recognized by National Magazine

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photo by Vanessa Fournier
The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick is one of 10 New England bookstores highlighted in this month’s AAA magazine. The store is co-owned by Andrea Jones and Sandy Scott, both of Walden. The Galaxy Bookshop was filled with customers Monday, April 8 who were in Hardwick or passing through Hardwick on their way to view the eclipse.

HARDWICK – On April 4, The Galaxy Bookshop reported on their Facebook page, “We are so happy to learn we’re featured in an article by AAA this month about New England bookstores!”

The bookstore has been listed by AAA Magazine in an article titled, “10 Independent bookstores in Northern New England.” The publication tells readers those bookstores are “where you might find your new favorite author or make a new friend.”

Bookseller Sandy Scott says it was “a nice surprise! It’s always nice to get a bit of recognition,” and that she’s pleased the magazine talked about the Hardwick community, where it noted, “the shelves represent the community as well. Many of the bestsellers are by local authors, a distinction the shop takes seriously.”

Scott and Andrea Jones, the shop’s co-owners, have owned it for 10 years, since 2014.

Based on the response after a feature article in Yankee Magazine some time back, they said, the recognition in the AAA Magazine article might bring bookstore tourism, which they say “is really a thing.” (People who have seen the bookshop’s name in a national publication stop in because they want to visit a bookstore in each Vermont town, or as many bookstores as they can throughout the U.S.)

Bookstore tourists often want to know what the local booksellers recommend, or browse the shelves to learn more about the interests of the community, unlike what’s possible from national chains and online bookstores.

A Vermont booksellers association created a passport of independent bookstores that’s some years old now, but bookstore tourists still bring theirs in to have it stamped.

courtesy photo
This scene from a mural in the Galaxy Bookshop appears on its bookmark and has been called “The Best Bookstore Bookmark.”

Vermont is second in the U.S. behind Montana in the number of independent bookstores, according to Scott and Jones who say that Hardwick is one of the smaller towns nationwide that supports an independent bookstore.

Some bookstore tourists have never been into the store, but call because they want to make a connection after seeing it mentioned in a magazine like AAA.

One customer, a retired teacher who was unable to travel, called to ask, “What’s on your staff picks?” They told him one of those picks was Peter Heller’s “Celine,” which brought an expression of delight as the caller knew Heller’s stepfather. It’s that kind of connection that seems to make the shop’s owners happiest.

Other bookstore tourists stop in to visit the Vermont shelf, or to collect what some have called the best bookstore bookmark.

The Galaxy Bookshop is at 41 S. Main St., and online at galaxybookshop.com

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

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