Not So Hidden Gems: Violet's Book Exchange
Blogging at DailyUV? Why not. I just moved back to the area and am rediscovering all this corner of New Hampshire has to offer. I plan to use this space to showcase all the things I enjoyed which I feel others may benefit from in addition to hopefully unearthing some local history along the way. Hope you choose to come on this journey with me!
Every town needs an independent bookstore, or perhaps that just my age showing. I remember the days of the Corner book in Claremont and Parker Street Books in Lebanon; these stores provided a sense of community to the towns they served. The first attack on these institutions came in the form of “name brand” bookstores whose economies of scale started putting independent sellers out of business, the nail in the coffin may have been the Kindle and the rise of the e-book. There will always be something special about shelves of books lining the walls of a small store and the smell of paper and ink which will draw us into a story in the way the dull glow e-ink paper cannot.
Violet’s book exchange in Claremont is one of the few independent bookstores left. Specializing in book exchanges, you can find many items which are out of print or rare if you search diligently through those two floors of creaking hardwood in the historic Moody Building in downtown Claremont. The various nooks and crannies in the store offer many a place to sit down and preview a book before making your final purchase, while feeling like you are in a library all your own.
The store also gives local writers the ability to show off their wares by doing readings or setting up booths outside on warm summer afternoons such as the day we visited. Andrew Hopkins was outside introducing passerby’s to his book, In The Tall Pines, an adventure tale about clashes between early American Pioneers and Abenaki Tribes in the Connecticut River Valley during America’s colonial past. It would be amazing to see Violet’s host monthly writer’s nights for local writers to share what they are working on and get critiques on their work. The Connecticut River Valley has historically hosted some incredible American writers over the year such as Winston Churchill (not that one), JD Salinger, Ernest Hebert, and so many others. It’s an area that lends itself to creative pursuits both through the simplicity of living here and the stories you will hear whenever you sit down with a local or visit a historical society.
If you are ever in town and in the market for a new/old book give Violet’s a try, I promise you will not be disappointed.