Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around taking special trips to a local bookstore to discover what’s on the shelves and deciding what to read next. I owe this love for books to my mother, who is an avid reader and always ready to discuss her latest recommendations and continues to read with all of my children through a virtual book club.
Independent bookstores provide an escape from the real world and are a great way to spend some downtime perusing and opening your mind and creative spirit. Spend quality time with family, friends or on your own, exploring new releases and old treasures. Independent bookstores have a special charm, quaintness, and even mystery that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
Below are some of my favorite independent bookstores in Fairfield County and surrounding areas.
Diane’s Books, nestled on Grigg Street just off Greenwich Avenue, has been open since 1990 and is a bookstore packed with books to explore. The store has three sections: The Middle of the Store with new releases, Diane’s newsletter picks, and event books, to name a few), The Children’s Side, and The West Wing (travel and nonfiction books). There is also a back section with young adult novels.
Located in Old Greenwich, Athena Books is a welcome addition to the Greenwich community, providing a wide variety of adult and children’s books and gifts. Check out their website for upcoming events and information about hosting your own book club at the store.
Arcade has been open and serving the Rye community for over 30 years. Check out their staff picks when deciding on your next book to read, and you can order books online for in-store pick-up.
Located in the center of Bridgeport’s Black Rock neighborhood, the store is a haven for readers of all ages. Black Rock has new and used books, and on their website, you can find information about upcoming events, such as Story Time at the Black Rock Farmer’s Market and Poetry Night.
This is an independent bookstore in Ridgefield located on Main Street. It boasts a wide selection of children’s and young adult books and carries the latest bestsellers. BOTC hosts storytime for children on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. In addition, BOTC has implemented a loyalty program for children’s books, the Children’s Frequent Buyer’s Club, for which you receive a credit for the average cost of 10 books purchased.
It is located in the center of Elm Street in the heart of downtown New Canaan. Despite its fairly small size, it houses a wide array of children’s books nestled in a cozy corner. Elm Street Books has a nice selection of fiction and nonfiction bestsellers and features some great food and travel book options.
They are located in Bethel, CT. It is owned and operated by a mother-and-son team. They host several book club discussions monthly, as well as special events. It is a small independent bookstore with many offerings and a gift selection.