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Localvore Week in Hardwick! February 18, 2013

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Our neighbors at The Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op are promoting localvore week this week by selling only locally grown (defined as “within a 100 mile radius”) produce.

So, I wonder, could you limit your reading to a localvore diet as well? When it comes to the diet of the mind, I would venture to say that we would all be poorer for never stepping outside of that 100 mile radius to find books that expand our understanding of the world. Still, it would be easier than you might think to fill up days of reading time solely with books written locally! An unofficial count of our inventory came up with more than 70 authors from Vermont–of those, over 50 fell within the 100 mile radius mark. Poetry, cookbooks, memoirs, novels, picture books–a full range of literature, all created just down the road, so to speak.

If you’re in town, stop to browse our new window display – you may be surprised by the numbers and variety of books that have been written locally! You can also take a look at a handful of our local writers at our website, though this list is by no means complete.

For all we know, there may be someone sitting in the Co-op’s cafe right now, munching on a sandwich of bread from East Hardwick, sprouts from Craftsbury, and cheese from Greensboro, while working diligently on a soon-to-be-published manuscript!



Celebrating Vermont Children’s Authors! December 6, 2012

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We are very excited about our upcoming Vermont Children’s Author Celebration, which will take place on Saturday, December 15th, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We are hosting this event as a fundraiser for the Jeudevine Library, which provides our community with access to books, technology, and programming for all ages free of charge.

We are honored to welcome 6 men and women to represent the large and illustrious group of children’s authors who hail from our state, writing books for readers of all ages.

Katherine and John Paterson have recently collaborated on a spirited retelling of the 1910 fantasy, The Flint Heart. Katherine Paterson is the two time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award and author of numerous novels, including the classic Bridge to Terabithia. She and John live in Barre, Vermont.

Linda Urban’s most recent novel, Hound Dog True, was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2011. She is also the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect and the picture book Mouse Was Mad. She lives with her family in Montpelier, Vermont.

David Martin began writing after having children of his own and making up stories for them. He is the author of fourteen picture books, including Let’s Have a Tree Party and All for Pie, Pie for All. He lives in Lyndonville, Vermont.


Jenny Land teaches English and creative writing at St. Johnsbury Academy and works on farms during the summer. Her debut novel, The Spare Room, is set in Vermont during the Abolitionist movement, prior to the Civil War. She lives in Peacham, Vermont with her husband and twin daughters.

Jo Knowles,
winner of the 2005 PEN Literary Award, has written three novels for teens. Background for her most recent novel, See You at Harry’s, came from the time her parents ran a restaurant and ice cream factory called Kellers’ Restaurant. She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.


This event will take place during Hardwick’s Holiday Happenings, so be sure to take a stroll around town, before or after visiting with our authors, to enjoy sales and events hosted by other local merchants!

Busy weekend ahead! May 21, 2012

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This coming weekend, May 26th and 27th, is a busy one for the Hardwick area. Saturday is the 62nd Annual Hardwick Spring Festival, beginning with a 5K run at 9 a.m.; parade at 11:00; and an outdoor exhibitor and vendors fair, rides, food, and games at Atkins Field until 4 p.m.

Before or after (or during–we have a great view from our window!) the Main Street parade, visit The Galaxy Bookshop, take a look at some of the wonderful new books filling our shelves and browse through our sale bin for some great finds.

While you’re in town, or perhaps the following day, you can also take advantage of Open Studio Weekend, visiting a number of local artisans and galleries that will feature beautiful handmade items for sale, and in some cases demonstrations and sales.

In addition to the Vermont Crafts Council website linked above, more information about both events can be found on the Hardwick Area Chamber of Commerce online calendar.

Time for another party! April 30, 2012

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We strongly believe in having parties–period. We had a party to celebrate the announcement of our move, a party to move the store, and a party to celebrate our re-opening. This month, we have another reason to celebrate: the gorgeous mural that Tara Goreau designed and painted for us has been installed! Over the past few months, we’ve heard numerous creative suggestions for decorating our walls, and each time we were mentally rubbing our hands together with glee, thinking, “Oh, just you wait and see!” Well, the waiting is over, and the artwork is even more amazing than we could have imagined. A whimsical view of Hardwick overhung with a sky of sparkling constellations, full of so many imaginative details that it can take multiple viewings to notice them all; this painting is, itself, a celebration of books and reading and community.

Join us this Saturday, May 5th, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. to to toast Tara and her work!

The League of Vermont Writers 2012 Literary Competition April 9, 2012

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Calling all writers: The League of Vermont Writers (LVW) has announced its 2012 Literary Competition!

This year’s theme is “My New England.”

Categories are Fiction, Personal Essay, and Poetry.

Entry fee is $15 per submission.

Deadline for submission is May 15, 2012.

The Final Judges are David Budbill, Ron Powers, and Howard Frank Mosher.

Grand Prize is $1,000 (one prize awarded for each category) and an opportunity to read the winning selection at the LVW’s Summer Conference, as well as publication in the Leagues 2012 Journal!

For more information about the contest and guidelines, visit the LVW website.

Go Out for a Good Cause February 24, 2011

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Looking for an excuse to get out of the house this Saturday night? Well, here are a couple of possibilities for you, both offering a great evening of entertainment and both supporting good causes.

Highfields Center for Composting is hosting their Second Annual Compost Cabaret & Silent Auction. This “evening of steaming hot entertainment for the whole family” will take place at the Cabot Town Hall this Saturday, February 26, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 will go to support Highfields’ work Closing the Loop–an outreach that helps communities establish sustainable composting programs.

In Maple Corners, you can get down to the sounds of the Fresh Greenes, a trio of musicians hailing from Woodbury who play an original blend of jazz, folk, and rock infused music. This Saturday, from 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., you’ll find them at the Maple Corners Community Center playing a benefit concert for the 4 month old daughter of Liz Knapp and John Dubois who has been diagnosed with acute infant lukemia. The suggested donation is $10, but every little bit helps.

The Hardwick area seems like a pretty quiet place, but there are often a lot of things going on! Typically, you can peruse the flyers on bulletin boards around town to find out about events and classes, but you can also keep tabs on what’s happening in our area through some online resources. Just recently, a Front Porch Forum was created for the Hardwick/Walden community — click on the link to sign up for email updates from the forum and to be able to add your own news and events for the area. The forum is new and just beginning to grow, but the more people who sign up, the more active and useful it can become.

You can also find and post events on the Hardwick Area Chamber of Commerce calendar, or sign up to receive calendar updates by email.

22nd Anniversary Celebration and Sirius Reader Sale December 2, 2010

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We’re celebrating our 22nd anniversary this year, and will be hosting our annual Sirius Reader Party & Sale to celebrate and thank our wonderful customers for supporting this locally owned and independent bookstore. 

Saturday, December 4
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • 20 – 50% off select books
  • 10% off pre-paid special orders
  • Planet Shari Sample Sale
  • Refreshments and door prizes!
  • Cookbook signing and recipe tasting (read more below)

Vermont cookbook authors Andrea Chesman (Recipes from the Root Cellar) and Tracey Madeiros (Dishing Up Vermont) will be at The Galaxy Bookshop during our Sirius Reader Party on Saturday, December 4, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to sign copies of their cookbooks. There will also be samples of recipes from each book, cooked up by your very own Galaxy Bookshop staff, to taste.
Recipes from the Root Cellar will be a boon to anyone using up their stores of winter vegetables through the long season–Chesman offers 250 menu-saving recipes that feature everything from kale to rutabagas.
Dishing Up Vermont brings a wealth of recipes–many from the kitchens of chefs and farmers around Vermont–that put a spotlight on our state’s produce, meats, and artisanal foods.
Autographed copies of these books will make wonderful gifts for any home cook on your holiday list!

Look! We’re on TV! July 1, 2010

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It’s Thursday morning, and as I type, Kristin Carlson of WCAX News is interviewing Linda for a three-part series about independently owned businesses in Vermont. Linda’s talking about how she opened the store, the store’s role in our community, and the impact of the economic recession on our business.

They’ve asked me to stand at the counter, in the background, so that there’s “something going on,” which means that even though I’m not in the camera’s focus, I’m feeling a lot of pressure here to provide adequate and appropriate background action. Typing a blog seemed like it would keep me busy without looking like I’m trying to hard. Oh, the pressure!

Whew – interview’s over, so now it’s just a matter of Joe, the camera man, walking around the store to get some B-roll footage. It sounds, so far, like it’s going to be a great segment!

The piece they just filmed, along with two others on locally owned businesses–Capitol Stationers and Franklin Telephone Company–will air next week, one per night, beginning Tuesday on the six o’clock news.

Read-a-Thon Wrap-up October 23, 2009

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Girls reading - pmFor our first Read-a-Thon, in 2008, we had prepared by talking with other booksellers who had hosted Read-a-Thons in the past. We had no particular expectations going in. We were bowled over to have 38 participants, mainly ages 12-17, raising around $830 for Hardwick Head Start.

This year, we’d been through the whole process and had a good idea of what we were getting into. We recruited extra volunteers to chaperone and set some new ground rules to make sure everyone was on the same page as far as what was expected and what was off limits during the 24 hours we’d be spending together in the bookstore.

Smiling facesYet again, our expectations were blown away–we had 53 participants (including chaperones, many of whom found time to do some reading of their own) and, as of five days later, have raised $1040.98 for Hardwick Head Start and Early Head Start! According to several phone calls, emails, and drop-in visits, we are expecting to reach over $1,100 when all is said and done.

reading in the aislesAnd what did the Read-a-Thonners do to honor the pledges they raised? Reading, of course, played a big part. Just from the participants who chose to keep logs of the books they read, we had a count of 14,063 pages read. In visual terms, that’s the equivalent of a stack of 18 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–in hardcover! Our winner for most pages read logged over 4,000 pages in her 24 hours here!

Of course, these voracious readers also had an appetite for food, and this is another way in which our community showed generous support for the Head Start programs. Hall’s Market donated several bags of fruit; Patchwork Farm & Bakery gave us a discount on delicious pizzas for Friday night’s dinner; Connie’s Kitchen delivered some fresh baked muffins and cinnamon bread for breakfast on Saturday; and Grand Union gave us a gift certificate that we used towards lunches and snacks.Story time

We also wanted to give people a chance to take breaks from their books from time to time, and activities such as storytelling and Literary Jeopardy were popular diversions. Susan O’Connell–the children’s librarian at Library AnnexJeudevine Library–created a special “library annex” here at the store for anyone who ran out of reading material, and at midnight led a Raid on the Library that let people stretch their legs and stock up on additional books.

A 5 a.m. scavenger hunt through the bookstore found very few takers (two, to be exact), since nearly everyone else was fast asleep.

more sleepers

sleeping soundly

In the morning, however, they were awake and ready to hit the books again.

Reading in the kids' room

mystery reader

Wallace Stegner Weekend September 11, 2009

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Robert Gray–a bookseller at Northshire Books and columnist for Shelf Awareness–wrote a great article last week about the upcoming Wallace Stegner Centennial weekend at Highland Lodge. With his permission, we’re reprinting the article here.

Vermont Foliage Season with Wallace Stegner

A sound like a big crowd a good way off, excited and shouting, getting closer. We stand up and scan the empty sky. Suddenly there they are, a wavering V headed directly over our hilltop, quite low, beating southward down the central flyway and talking as they pass. We stay quiet, suspending our human conversation until their garrulity fades and their wavering lines are invisible in the sky.

They have passed over us like an eraser over a blackboard, wiping away whatever was there before they came.

“Oh, don’t you love them!” Charity says. “Sometimes when we stayed late in Vermont, or went up late for the color, we’d see and hear them like that, coming over Folsom Hill. Someday you’ve got to visit us there.”

Maybe it’s just the time of year, but I recalled that passage from Crossing to Safety (not word-for-word, of course. I had to look it up for the exact quotation) when I heard about the upcoming Wallace Stegner Centennial. This “literary weekend” will be held during foliage season, September 25-27, at the Highland Lodge, Greensboro, Vt., a town where Stegner often summered and the model for scenes in his celebrated novel. Featured speakers include Philip L. Fradkin, author of Wallace Stegner and the American West, and Stegner’s agent, Carl Brandt, of Brandt and Hochman.

Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., is one of the co-sponsors and will sell books at the event. Owner Linda Ramsdell notes: “Stegner’s works, especially Crossing to Safety, do still sell well, and better because of the local reference points. An earlier novel, Second Growth, also has many local reference points. Wallace Stegner was a great supporter of the Galaxy Bookshop, and in an earlier iteration of community collaboration, we were fortunate to sell books at the Greensboro Public Library when they presented him with an award.”

Anne T. Molleur Hanson, organizer of the celebration, explains that the genesis was “threefold.” Four years ago, the inn hosted a Reading Greensboro weekend, with a focus on Crossing to Safety and the belief that “acknowledging the many writers like Wallace Stegner who have summered or spent time in Greensboro (or even live here year round, like Anne Stuart) would be a wonderful way to celebrate Greensboro’s literary legacy.” In addition to Stegner, John Gunther and Margaret Mead are among the noted authors who called this village of fewer than 1,000 people their Green Mountain home away from home.

“Our Crossing to Safety night was well attended, especially by folks from here,” Hanson adds. “After the event, many people–several from afar–remarked on their hope that we would do another such event sometime.”

About six months ago, Hanson and Willie Smith, one of the Highland Lodge innkeepers, discussed hosting another literary weekend focusing specifically on Stegner, “who is known as a Western writer, but who had a clear fondness for the northeast, particularly Greensboro, to which his and wife Mary’s friends Peg and Phil Gray (portrayed as Charity and Sid Lang in Crossing to Safety) had introduced the Stegners in the late 1930s/early 1940s. My interest in hosting a Stegner event was in part due to my nearly 20-year long regret that although I grew up here, I never attended a Wallace Stegner reading, which he offered during many of the summers he was here.”

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when Hanson learned that Philip Fradkin, “who had stayed here while researching his biography on Stegner, was, like me, a graduate of Williams College. I e-mailed Philip and asked if he would join us for a literary weekend celebrating Wallace Stegner. Philip agreed. He suggested we find sponsors to help us with the event. At that point I contacted our friend, neighbor, and favorite independent bookseller Linda Ramsdell, to ask if the Galaxy Bookshop would like to co-sponsor. Linda was enthusiastic and immediately on-board.”

Ramsdell adds that the “Hardwick area is becoming a model for ways that businesses and organizations work together to do things that no one entity can do alone. Attention has focused on the agricultural economy, but there are many examples outside of that sector too. Especially in this economy, the importance and benefits of collaborating are extremely tangible. The other aspect of the Galaxy area, which differs from many cities with local alliance organizations, is that it is a small place where people know each other and are friends. We have a vested interest in each other’s viability and success. It is very easy to see how money stays in our area and benefits accrue when we work with each other.”–Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)