Still North Books and Bar To Replace Dartmouth Bookstore

By Susan B. Apel

Allie Levy is bringing a new bookstore to the Upper Valley, and you can help. Still North Books and Bar will occupy part of the space formerly known as the Dartmouth Bookstore. The familiar yellow doorway on Main Street (photo, below) will give way to an entrance around the corner on Allen Street. The recent closure of the Dartmouth Bookstore left the town of Hanover, home to Dartmouth College, without a first-run bookstore for the first time in 140 years. 

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Levy, a Dartmouth College graduate, will bring a different—and maybe more youthful—model with Still North. The new business will sell books amid a bar and cafe setting, similar to Denver’s BookBar, where Levy once worked. The traditional bookstore is reinvented as a place to gather with friends, or occupy a table solo, while enjoying a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, and some tapas-style nosh. With books in view, maybe the conversation turns to something literary? An exchange of book recommendations? 

Levy also plans other experiences for would-be book buyers: author readings, children’s activities. Perhaps book clubs?

Contrary to what many may believe, Levy says that independent bookstores are on the rise. “What BookBar and so many other successful indies are doing is providing a third place—a social space outside of the home and the office that is crucial to the health of the community. By serving as community hubs, indie bookstores are bettering their communities, and in turn, their communities are recognizing the value of indie bookstores and showing up to support them. That said, great wine, beer, coffee, and food helps too!”

 Asked what she considers to be a challenge for Still North, Levy responded “Hanover and the Upper Valley in general have a diverse demographic—students, Dartmouth faculty and staff, families, single working people, retirees—and it's important to me that Still North be a welcoming space for everyone.”

Levy plans to put together a “group of literarily-inclined people from all segments of the community” to serve as “additional eyes and ears in the community and provide ideas of how to better execute our mission.”

As one of many in the Upper Valley who experienced severe bookstore-withdrawal and dread of a future without a bookstore on Main Street, I am cheering on this venture. As an Upper Valley resident who has seen too many shuttered storefronts in downtown Hanover recently, I am thanking whatever gods have lit the soul of a young entrepreneur. 

Expect a fall opening.

Want to help? Allie Levy has started a fundraising campaign to help her fill the shelves with books. Click here to learn more about it. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hanover-needs-a-bookstore-don-t-you-think-i-do#/

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