The bookstore I visit the most, the only one in Marblehead now (sadly, I’ve seen two bookstores close in town) is Spirit of ‘76 in my hometown of Marblehead, Mass. Okay, I’m a little biased about this store because I have two cousins who work here. But this little bookstore has so many awesome things going on.
The staff keep things current. Coloring books are popular lately, so they have a little section of them for people to peruse. They do special advertising for new books of popular series or authors, like the Magnus Chase book by Rick Riordan and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And they have a little bit of everything: select cookbooks, humor books, teen books, chapter books, nature books. They have a special section in the front of the store for books by local authors. My favorite is the sci fi/ fantasy section, on the other side of classics! The window display changes constantly as well, and I always look forward to what I’ll see next when I pass by.
Every time I visit the store, I’m sure to pick up one of the free poems and book quotes they offer on brightly colored paper. Spirit also offers Blind Dates with Books, having ARCs wrapped in brown paper with the genre and a description of the book. It’s almost like getting myself a gift, plus some of the proceeds go to charity. Win, win.
I think the coolest thing about this bookstore, besides the awesome books and staff, would be the events they have, although, to be honest, I don’t attend as many events as I should. They give book talks (as one would expect), the occasional writing workshop, and other cool events, including a Where’s Waldo party to celebrate a town-wide Waldo scavenger hunt, and of course the latest event I attended, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch party. Naturally I have a frequent flyer card, which I’ve benefited from a few times. I remember going to the store to cheer myself up after a bad day and ended up getting my $10 coupon that day.
Many of the items this store has could be bought elsewhere, sure, but they have unique Marblehead items as well, mostly nautical cards and gifts, some with the town name emblazoned on it. Each bookstore is unique, and it’s up to us bookworms to make sure we support them so the ones that are left don’t see the dark days of closing.