Independent bookstores are a community treasure. They bring you authors, books and ideas that buck the mainstream mass book sellers. They are an antidote to the sameness of corporate merchandizing. If you look at what is for sale at WalMart, Target, Barnes&Noble, and Borders you will find the same fifty authors with the same books. It’s depressing if you want something out of the ordinary.

That’s why our communities are so fortunate to have three great indie bookstores—The Magic Tree, Centuries and Sleuths and the Book Table. Each one has a distinct personality. They offer wonderful titles and knowledgeable staff. Now, I am not saying that Border’s lacks staff who read, but the indie stores have people who are passionate about books. They know trivia about the authors, the back stories and provide thumbnail reviews to help you choose just the right title all at competitive prices.

Even better, these stores are award winners. Centuries and Sleuths was just named the winner of the 2011 Raven Award.  The honor is bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for their contributions to the mystery community. The awards will be given in April at the Edgar Award Banquet in NYC. Get on the mailing list for a wide range of events hosted by the store.

Check out their hours and their inventory online:

The Magic Tree Book Store:

The Book Table:

Centuries and Sleuths Book Store:

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Helen Kossler

Helen Kossler loves reading aloud to her grandchildren and is not ashamed to admit that she almost always likes the book better than the movie. She has been buying, borrowing, begging and stealing (well—not...