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.

Bookstore Review: Innisfree Bookshop

Bookstore Review: Innisfree Bookshop

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Happy Friday!! And happy October!!

This week I got to visit Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith, NH. As my deadline to write this review crept closer, I realized I was running out of time and running out of energy to drive too far…and luckily, I ended up at a home inspection just minutes down the road from this lovely shop on a Friday night!

I had been to Innisfree once, many years ago, and had memories of not finding exactly what I needed that particular time. When I had first visited, I felt like the books they had on hand weren’t exactly what I liked to read, but luckily didn’t face that this time! I left with far more than I was looking to bring home… *facepalm*.

I’ve been really into houseplants lately, now that my boyfriend and I are finally in our own apartment. They’re decorative and lovely, but also make the place feel fresher. We’re in a stuffy converted garage of sorts, and I’ve had to be creative to make sure they get the light they need…but I digress. The point here was that I was looking for a copy of How to Houseplant, which I’ve been looking everywhere for. The library used to have a copy, but it got lost. Libby for ebooks didn’t have it, either. So I was thrilled to see Innisfree’s website said they had a copy!

But alas, I think I’m simply not meant to have How to Houseplant. Innisfree has the most wonderful, curated selection of gardening books, including a healthy amount on houseplants. I ended up unable to find How to Houseplant, but I did pick up Houseplants for All. But again, I’m digressing, because the point of my side note story here was that, when I got up to the counter, I asked about How to Houseplant, and the staff spent no less than ten minutes trying to track it down for me. The point was not that they didn’t have it. The point was that their staff was amazing and helpful and tried really, really hard to find me that book. And because their selection was so awesome, I left with the information I needed regardless.

Innisfree is in the cutest little building at Mill Falls Marketplace, with brick walkways and water views. They’ve made a lovely use of their space, with all the books a vacationer might need with plenty for us full-timers, too. The store had been rearranged since the last time I was there, and I felt like they had even more selection. Their displays were thoughtful, with staff picks, Hispanic Heritage Month reads, and more. This was the rejuvenating experience of going to a bookstore that I needed.

I ended up leaving with four books: Houseplants for All by Danae Horst, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (seeing as I loved Mexican Gothic!), and The Very Nice Box by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman. I had seen The Very Nice Box at the Bookery, but wasn’t intrigued enough just yet…but I’ve seen it at every bookstore I’ve gone too since, so consider my interest piqued. We shall see.

All in all, I’m highly recommending Innisfree Bookshop! I’m glad I gave it another shot, because now I’m totally going every time I head through Meredith. Stop in and check it out!