Eat. Sleep. Read. Shop Local. Where Are the Independent Book Stores?


book storeOne of my fondest memories from childhood is that whenever I would travel anywhere with my family, I would always ask them to take me to the town’s local book store. I used to travel on road trips with heavy bags filled with adolescent books. There was no way that I would be able to finish all of those books in one weekend road trip to Philadelphia or Boston, but the task of eliminating my collection down to just one or two was just too difficult to fathom. How can you ask a grade school girl of the 80’s to choose between the Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High? I mean, come on.

As I grew older, my love for books continued and stayed with me throughout college and adulthood. Unfortunately, I’ve now turned into the mom that starts twenty books but rarely finishes them. I was lucky enough to find a husband that appreciated reading as much as I did, if not more, and we have now joined forces to make sure that our son loves and enjoys reading as much as we do. The independent book store holds a special place in my heart as it does in many.

Below are some of my favorite independent book stores in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and beyond.

Books on the Common

This is an independent bookstore in Ridgefield located on Main Street. It boasts a wide selection of children’s and young adult books and carries the latest bestsellers. BOTC hosts storytime for children on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. In addition, BOTC has implemented a loyalty program for children’s books, the Children’s Frequent Buyer’s Club, for which you receive a credit for the average cost of 10 books purchased.

Elm Street Books 

It is located in the center of Elm Street in the heart of downtown New Canaan. Despite its fairly small size, it houses a wide array of children’s books nestled in a cozy corner. Elm Street Books has a nice selection of bestsellers – fiction and nonfiction – and features some great food and travel book options. They pride themselves in their recommendations, so please ask for one when you are there.20140608-IMG_0824

Byrd’s Books

They are located in Bethel, CT. It is owned and operated by a mother-son team. They host several book club discussions a month as well as special events. It is a small independent bookstore with many offerings and a cute gift selection.

Turning the Page Books

Located in Monroe, CT; and is recently owned and run by a former Newtown, CT librarian. It caters to children and teens, boasts an extensive children’s book selection, and focuses on children’s literature. It also offers a great selection of fiction and nonfiction books to adult readers. The new owner hopes for it to be a community gathering place and is credited locally with the breadth of selection.

Please be sure to check out these other Connecticut independent bookstores if venturing beyond Fairfield County. They are worth the visit and all boast their noteworthy book collections and independent book store charm:

RJ Julia in Madison

Book Barn in Niantic

Atticus in New Haven 

Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot.

Bank Square Books in Mystic

For an independent book store in the Northeast, please consider:

A Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven, MA

Harvard Bookstore in Boston, MA 

An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA

Happy Book Shopping! Where is your favorite independent book store in the Nutmeg State?


  1. There is a spectacular bookstore here in Bethel called Byrd’s Books:
    It’s located right on Greenwood Ave. with lots of parking. Story hours every Wednesdays at 10 am, many author meet and greets, and various other activities.


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