Bookstore Review: The Country Bookseller

Bookstore Review: The Country Bookseller

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hello again! This is one of the latest reviews I’ve written in a while. I am just so behind and down to the wire! I visited The Country Bookseller yesterday, though I’ve been there many times before. It’s one of the closest bookstores to me geographically, though truthfully, it’s never been my go-to. Every time I visited, they didn’t seem to have things I enjoyed reading (which has evolved quite a bit over the years, but the first time I visited, I was definitely in that post-Hunger Games young adult phase). It felt more like a bookstore for those who vacation in Wolfeboro, NH (the oldest resort town in America!) than those that live around it (because trust me, it’s a very different vibe! We know when you’re not from ’round here). (Sorry for all the parentheses, y’all…).

For this visit to The Country Bookseller, I was looking for a few books to fill out my 52 Book Club challenge (be sure to read my December update next week for more info!). However, it was a very crappy day out – rainy, it had just snowed the night before, mushy and cold – the perfect day for reading. That’s what I’m going to blame my insanely high total at the register on, if anyone asks. The weather just drove me to buy more books, lol.

For being a small space, The Country Bookseller makes excellent use of their shelves, creating nooks and crannies as well as great spots to curl up and read a rainy day away. When I first arrived, I was the first one in the store, but in all the hidey-holes the bookseller surely could’ve misplaced me. But being small has its downsides, too, because their selection has to be perfectly curated, and they definitely don’t just hold multiple copies of this week’s fad book. I’ve always thought it’d be interesting to know the process behind selecting inventory at shops like these. How do you decide what will fly off the shelves, and what might still be sitting there, years later?

The shelf space being at a premium also meant that they don’t have tons of real estate for front-facing books, either. The fiction section is a large collection of spines – which can get hard to look at, truthfully. Even display tables were packed with spines out, not so many laid out to view covers. I find that to be a difficult way to shop, but I don’t think everyone does. It was well organized all the same, so if you knew the title you wanted, it was right where you’d expect it to be.

As the store started to fill up with people (surprisingly busy for a Thursday morning!!), it started to feel a little cramped, but I noticed the majority of the store’s customers were picking up special orders. Interesting! I knew most stores did this, but I think at least two of the customers in front of me were picking up. The bookseller was super nice, and signed me up for their awesome rewards program that essentially amounts to 10% off all my purchases. THAT was a score, especially if I can special order books.

I wish the cafe had been open – of all the times I’ve been to The Country Bookseller, I think it’s been open once. I’m unsure their hours, but I might have been inclined to stay a while longer with a hot cocoa in hand.

And lastly for my thoughts, the romance selection was minimal. I get that a lot of people don’t read it, but I think that feminist, contemporary romance is becoming a little more popular, and I had for sure read every one of the few that I found on the shelves there, except the one I picked up. I’d be happy to make a few suggestions on authors to keep on the shelves. 😉

So, on this visit to The Country Bookseller, I brought home: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling (finally! and looks like a quick weekend read!), The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero (Meddling Kids has been on my tbr for several years now, but, and you’re going to laugh at me…my copy smells funny), A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw (The Wicked Deep is one of my favorite spooky witch books of all time), and The Therapist by B. A. Paris (I have yet to read a Paris for myself, but everyone I know says I would love the books and the twists, so I grabbed her newest). I’m actually really excited about this haul. I think I hit a lot of birds with one stone on this one.

And though you might not know what I’m talking about just yet (like I said, look out for next week’s monthly reading update!!), here are the prompts I’m thinking of using these for:

3. Title Starting with the Letter “E” – The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

22. An Unlikely Detective – The Therapist by B.A. Paris

42. An Indie Read – A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

And I’m not quite sure where to plot The Supernatural Enhancements. It doesn’t seem to fit any of the prompts I have left. Maybe I’ll just have to read it this calendar year… 🙂

This recent trip, and my awesome haul, certainly changed my perspective on The Country Bookseller a bit. I’m excited to go back and fill up that rewards card.

Reading Update: October

Reading Update: October

Hello again friends! Time for another update on my world with books.

I really feel like my reading picked up this past month, after my slow start and (oops) lack of update one particular Tuesday. I pulled a lot out the second half and crushed some books on my TBR, like Mind Your Business. The end of September also found me pulling an all-nighter, which I RARELY do, in order to finish The Love Hypothesis. I haven’t been that sucked into a good book in a long while. Then, of course, I paid the price by literally feeling like someone had beat me up every morning that week when I got out of bed, even after sleeping for eleven hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Eleven. Hours. A night.

As much as I love to stay up and read, staying up and reading does not love me back. I will *not* be attempting any more all nighters this month.

I’m guessing some of you have seen my Goodreads updates…I set a widget on the side of the site to show you what I’m currently reading, which for weeks on end has been Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam. Literally cannot get through this book. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. Hopefully you’ll be reading that review very soon, so I can put that sucker behind me!

This month saw me visiting so many bookstores and buying soooo many books. Which is not bright, because I’m literally out of shelf space. I keep my books in wooden crates, stacked up to look like shelves, so that I can just buy additional crates when I need to add on. I bought two more crates this month and I’ve still got books piled up everywhere. It’s a mess, send help. I’m a book addict on the road to recovery. Just kidding, I’m on the road to the bookstore.

Anyways!

Tons of new books. As you saw last week, I visited Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith and got Velvet Was the Night, The Love Hypothesis, Houseplants for All, and The Very Nice Box. I also went to Barnes & Noble in Manchester earlier in the month (I have a soft spot for their Manchester location…it’s kind of interesting to see the differences in inventory between there and my usual haunts!). I grabbed The Return by Rachel Harrison and A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin. THEN, because apparently I didn’t get enough books in September, I went to Gibson’s with my sister and picked up Devolution by Max Brooks, My Houseplant Changed My Life by David Domoney, The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich, and lastly, The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. WHICH, let me tell you, was a very strange coincidence, and I’m now going to tell you about it against your will. (By the way, that brings the new book count for a SINGLE MONTH to ten, and oh my god my wallet is crying from the other room right now).

So, The Book of Accidents. I’ve seen that bad boy all over the interwebs lately. Had no idea what it was about other than it kind of gave me The Little Stranger vibes? Anyways, my sister Kendall and I are strolling around Gibson’s, and I pick up Wendig’s book because it looks creepy and they have it on their display. Reading through the jacket. Main character’s name is Nathan. Shortens to Nate…okay. Keep reading. Other main character’s name is Maddie?? Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it, but my boyfriend’s name is Nate. My own name is Maddison, often shortened to Maddie. These main characters are a couple. Not totally unusual similarity, as we have very common names, but super strange that of all the books there, I picked up that one! And naturally my sister is like, well you can’t not take that home now. So here we are.

Yeah, that was so long winded and if you’re still reading this at this point, I’m honestly amazed.

Last month I tried to provide a little road map of the books I might read in the coming month, and I read absolutely none of those! Go me! I’m not sure why I bother to pick titles I might get to when we know full well my TBR is 60 books long and inevitably I’m still going to read something completely different at will.

Still, my radar this month looks something like this:

Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam

The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich

The Return by Rachel Harrison

and maybe: •Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper…because it came highly recommended and I really, really want to read my advance reader’s copy, but I am a distracted reader. I’m that meme of the guy with the pretty girl on his arm checking out the other girl, but with books.

ALSO! I have a vacation coming up! The whole last week of October is mine for the reading. I hope I can absolutely crush my TBR that week, since I also plan to visit bookstores…and we see how that went last month.

I hope you have a fantastic October, friends! I also used to ponder how to sign off, but friends starts to feel more and more appropriate with every post I write. Enjoy the fall and all it has to offer. Savor the spooky season, and pumpkin spice lattes. And of course, read a good book. ❤

Reading Update: September

Reading Update: September

Hello friends! May I present to you: my very first reading update.

It occurred to me, late last month as I stared at the ceiling at 12am, that I needed a way to communicate to everyone who reads this blog consistently when my life was so insane that keeping up with it was getting difficult. Obviously I don’t make money off this venture, I keep it up for the fun of the community… as well as the free books I feel very privileged to be reading ahead of the rest of the world. Seriously, it’s like the best perk. I’ll write a thousand reviews for free books, people.

Anyways, this past month saw me moving into my boyfriend and I’s first apartment (woohoo!), which was great except I didn’t have much time to read! Usually I’m a couple weeks ahead on my reviews, but suddenly I was finding myself down to the wire for time to get reviews together for the following Tuesday. I contemplated if I would be screwing up my streak of consistency too much if I just put up a note:

“Really tired. Didn’t read. Check back next week.”

Having to schedule time to read really sucks the fun out of it, don’t you think?

For free books, friends. For free books.

I’d also like to use these reading updates to give you little previews of my reading plans moving forward. On my radar in the coming weeks is Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake, an LGBTQ+ romance I found on NetGalley that sounds way too cute to pass up; Hook Line and Sinker by Tessa Bailey, the second in the series she just started this summer (also a NetGalley win!) (see my first review here) (shamelessly using parentheses like three times in a row here); and In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead, the book I demanded the library order that has now sat on my shelf until nearly its due date. We’ll see where else my reading takes me this month – lord knows there’s plenty on my TBR.

And of course, Halloween is coming. I know for many, it’s like, lightyears down the road, but I live for Halloween and I’ve basically been celebrating since July. I was that one girl pulling up to the drive thru asking when pumpkin spice was coming when it was like, 90 degrees out. And because I love Halloween so much, it tends to affect my reading habits as well. As we get even closer to spooky season, you’ll for sure see me pulling out some witchy books to review. On my radar as picks for this year is Spellcrafting by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, Yoga for Witches by Sarah Robinson, and Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper. Stay tuned!

I want to know what you’re reading this month!! Tell me the books you’re finally getting around to, or the ones you’ve been waiting for for months. Can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

Have a great week (and month) friends!