Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bookstores Galore!

A giant thank you to New Haven native, bookstore maven and supermom, Eva, for this excellent information! If any of you readers out there are knowledgable in a particular area, like Eva, please send us an email (newhavenkids@gmail.com). We'd love to post more things like this!

Thank you again, Eva!

Eva writes...

Cool places to find children's books, new and used -- places you know about but wouldn't expect to find kid's books at, or places you just might not know about:

Labyrinth Books, 290 York St., New Haven
Known for its serious fiction section, and academic stock, it also has a small but seriously good children's section which is overseen by some of the best kids' book people I've ever met (Maya Dissanayake and Kate Hay). Between them I think Kate and Maya know EVERYTHING. It's incredible. A lot of the Labyrinth stock in this category is remaindered which means you can get really good stuff for really cheap.

One of my favorites from Labyrinth -- I don't know if they still have it in stock -- was "Benny's Had Enough," which made me laugh out loud on page one. A rare feat. I bought three copies.

There's the old standby Atticus (1082 Chapel Street, New Haven), which post-renovation still has a very nice children's book section. They have a lot of YA, too, which is nice; it's hard to find a good YA section.

In Connecticut: the Book Barn in Niantic. Many buildings. More used books than you can imagine unless you're someone who used to hang out at Powell's in Portland Oregon. However, Powell's doesn't have so many friendly cats and dogs roaming about, and they don't have goats on-site. Visit the main site, which is just outside of downtown ("downtown") Niantic, but be aware that they have an annex site in the middle of town, too, which is where all the cookbooks are... But for kids stuff, go to the farm.

Out of town, places that stand out in my mind include:
On Cape Cod, where a lot of people go over the summer -- Eight Cousins, on the main drag in Falmouth. Just wonderful. Truly wonderful. Knowledgeable staff, excellent selection, and the customers are cool too. Here I snagged my copies of I am a Bunny; Cookie's Week; Red is Best; and the Hondo and Fabian books. If you don't know Hondo and Fabian, by the way, you're really missing out.

In East Sandwich, MA, also on the Cape, there's a little place called Titcomb's which is part new books and part used and rare and all of it is A+ fun. I cannot tell you how many hours I've spent here over the years. It's just great. The kid's section is clearly the heart of the place; part of what's so cool about Titcomb's is that they have new kids books and used ones, so you can get recently published stuff as well as gems you remember from your childhood that are out of print. Very neat.

In the Berkshires:
The Bookstore in Lenox. Owned by Matt Tannenbaum, a friendly guy who knows his books. Discovered this place when we were in Lenox for a wedding and we had a goooood time. Also recommended because there's a place around there that makes these homemade doughnuts which are extraordinary. Homer's. Plain donuts. They ask, "Do you want sugar on that?" You say, "Yes, thank you."

Stockbridge Booksellers. Just go.

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