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Northshire Bookstore is a family-owned, independent bookstore located in Manchester Center, Vermont. We believe strongly in the triple bottom line - people, planet & profits - because we recognize that business occurs in the context of community. We work hard to enrich our community as we strive to thrive in the dynamic world of bookselling.
The core of our store is the great staff. We have two people, Louise Jones and Alison Wyman, who have been with us over 25 years. There are another 3 people who have been with us over 20 years and ten people with over 10 years of tenure. In addition to longevity, these wonderful people are highly skilled and care deeply about books, bookselling and bringing the best ideas and entertainment to you.
Besides our superb staff, our full service bookstore is extraordinary because of offerings like this:
- Children's Department - Almost a third of our store is devoted to kids! Getting youngsters to read sets them up for a lifetime of success. We have a dedicated Children's staff and an expert buyer.
- Print On Demand - We were the first general interest bookstore in the USA to get an Espresso Book Machine. The EBM, as it is known, makes books! We have now printed books for well over 200 independent authors. The EBM also prints books that are out of copyright and which Google has scanned - over 3 million titles. Furthermore, it prints copyrighted books for which the publisher has given permission - a growing list of thousands of titles. Click here for more information.
- Author Event Series - Northshire Bookstore hosts many author events every month. We are dedicated to bringing fantastic authors to VT. for our event listing, please click here.
- Public Issues Forum - We have regular discussions without authors on topics ranging from sustainability (thanks to Alan Benoit for our regular Sustainability Series) to local food development to Darwin.
- Reading Groups - Northshire Bookstore hosts or participates in many reading groups. View our selections here.
Northshire Bookstore was founded by Ed & Barbara Morrow on Main Street in Manchester Center, VT next to the Factory Point Bank (now Berkshire Bank) in September, 1976. They were novices, but they knew they had made the right decision when passersby stopped by the store - not yet finished - asking for specific titles as they were opening up cartons of books to put on the shelves. One person asked if "this was going to be an adult bookstore," and we assured him that it was for all ages. Another asked if we were going to carry music - then it was LP's - and we were quick to sense a demand for records. Children's books were always going to be a focus, but soon after we opened - in 1,000 square feet on one floor - we realized that we hadn't devoted enough space for them, and so two years later we opened the Children's Level downstairs.
In 1985, the Northshire Bookstore made a risky decision to purchase the Colburn House, formerly an established inn and restaurant, and after 1½ years of redesign and extensive renovation, we moved across the street. Over the years, we were rewarded by a growing clientele, a wonderful and enthusiastic staff, and an author program that contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the community. In response to our local customers, as well as visitors, we built our house of books so that by the end of the 90’s, we started dreaming about what would have been inconceivable when we moved in to the Colburn. We needed a bigger store! And the planning began.
Around that time, Ed & Barbara's sons Chris and Andy came back to Vermont, after years of work and travel elsewhere, and became involved. After a few years of planning and fund raising, the newly expanded, 10,000 square foot Northshire opened in 2003 a week before Christmas. We now have what we hope is a more browser-friendly bookstore – and of course the wonderful Spiral Press Café.
We will keep growing in the sense that we are always open to new ideas and interesting ventures. We live in a fast changing world where the main constant is change itself. With your help, we are confident that we will be able to respond to the myriad challenges of the 21st century. We believe that there will be bookstores long into the future and we will be one of them.