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Farewell, Summer Visitors September 3, 2010

Posted by Galaxy in Musings.
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Now that school is back in session in Vermont and kids in many other states will be going back next week, it’s really the end of the summer season here at the bookstore. This is not to say that we’re throwing in the towel on summer–there’s still a lot of nice weather ahead, plus the calendar says we’ve got until September 23 to revel in the last few weeks of the season!

Still, it’s the end of one of the busiest times of the year for us. Each year, it’s a treat to welcome back the summer “regulars.” Some of them are here all summer, and we see them several times before they head south again. Others are here for a shorter time but make sure to stop at the bookstore at least once while they’re in town. It’s fun to catch up with all of them, exchange book recommendations, and send them off with a good vacation read.

This photo was taken and sent by a lovely gentleman from Canada who stops at the bookstore each summer when he and his family go to New Brunswick for vacation. Just one of our many wonderful summer visitors!

Of course, we also love welcoming new visitors, and this year we’ve had quite a few–some were checking us out for the first time after seeing the profile of the bookstore on WCAX, others were visiting Hardwick to find out more about this little town they’d been reading about in magazine articles and in Ben Hewitt’s book on our local agricultural economy. Still others were simply traveling through and happy to find a bookstore to browse. It was a lot of fun to talk to these travelers about our community and the positive steps that people are taking to give Hardwick a brighter future.

Now, when I reach the end of a season, I’m always curious to find out what our bestsellers have been. You get a general idea, selling books day after day, but there can still be some surprises. For example, this summer, my personal pick Little Bee actually came out ahead of Steig Larsen’s “Girl Who…” books! Here’s The Galaxy Bookshop’s Top Ten Summer Bestseller List:

1. The Town That Food Saved: No surprise here–the book about Hardwick is the number one bestseller here in Hardwick!

2. Eaarth: Bill McKibben’s visit to the bookstore, along with his many supporters in the area, helped push his latest book to the top of the list.

3. Mockingjay (Book 3 of The Hunger Games): The eagerly anticipated conclusion to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy needed only a week to become one of the summer’s hottest books.

4. Little Bee: As mentioned above, this was my favorite book of the summer, and I’m excited to see it here on the list!

5. If the Church Were Christian: This provocative title was read and discussed by a book group at the Greensboro United Church.

6. The Girl Who Played with Fire: Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were excited to dive into the sequel, out in paperback.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: There are still a lot of readers discovering Steig Larsen’s books for the first time; I expect this will be on bestseller lists for a while, yet.

8. From Dawn Till Dusk: One of our all-time favorite Vermont picture books, from Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. The story of a year on a Vermont farm, accompanied by Mary Azarian’s beautiful illustrations, is a perfect gift to take home to grandkids, nieces, and nephews as a souvenir of a trip to the Northeast Kingdom.

9. Imperfect Endings: Another book supported by an author visit, Zoe Fitzgerald Carter’s memoir of her mother’s decision to die and of her own struggle for acceptance is an intimate and honest look at the end of life choices we all, eventually, must face.

10. Cutting for Stone: A bestseller in hardcover, Abraham Verghese’s epic novel of two brothers, spanning decades and continents, received an extra boost in paperback.


1. Pamela - September 3, 2010

Yea, Galaxy! You are an important part of our summer vacation. Sorry we missed Linda this year, but everyone else was great, including calling us when a friend left something at the store. Also, thanks for posting the Galaxy bestsellers.

2. Chris - September 9, 2010

Hey, glad the photo came in handy. Bet everyone guessed I was Canadian because of the plaid shirt. I’ve been telling friends about how much your shop has become a great part of our summer ritual. Have a great Autumn.

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