36 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT
One of the things that makes downtown Brattleboro such a fun place for a weekend road trip is they have 3-4 bookshops all within about two blocks of each other, and the best one for quality used books is Brattleboro Books. It looks quaint and old-fashioned on the outside, with a dark wood exterior, a lamppost, and antique-looking signage—perhaps something out of a Harry Potter village or a colonial-era downtown—but inside the shop is chock full of all the new, old, and quality goods you’d hope for in a used book shop.
Right when you step inside you’re hit with discount shelves, towering stacks, and twisting aisles. It only took me thirty seconds to find the first book I wanted there, The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo, about Mary Shelley’s creation and what inspired her to write it. It was in near perfect shape for a used book, and at a great price. The shop was filled with that kind of steal. Sure, there are books that have a little more mileage and some mass markets that are a hint more dog-eared, but for the most part the books were solid, and ranged from newer releases to older editions of classics, some throwback hardcovers from across the 20th century, and dated tomes I’d never heard of.
Trying to list all the topics and genres is a fools errand, because this shop has you covered. There are areas for the classics, general lit/fiction, poetry and plays shoved in there too, and a big children’s/YA section. In the rear there are mass markets, crime, mystery, presidential bios, history, gardening, Vermont/regional, and sci-fi books. There was a side cove for religion, philosophy, zen, travel, filmmaking, drawing, art, etc. Another small room downstairs had more of the same, an array of styles and subjects, history, discount, and so on, plus the bathroom if ya need it.
There were a bunch of signs from old bookshops throughout too, which was really cool. There were a few chairs and a couch, a nice mix of people browsing, never too empty or packed. It’s the kind of shop perfect for hunting down for those novels you’ve been meaning to buy but don’t want to pay full price for elsewhere. Check here first. They had so much fiction that they’re bound to have something just right for you.
Atmosphere — Packed shop with all manner of books, especially fiction and literary titles, all discounted and in pretty good shape. Not too stuffy, not too orderly, just right for the bookworm looking to get lost for an afternoon.
Quality — The books were in mostly good shape, and though a few were your typical older titles, there were a lot of newer ones. Well balanced.
Quantity — Lots and lots of books, with a couple extra alcoves and rooms in the rear.
Diversity — They cover a broad spectrum of genres and topics.
Affordability — Since it’s a used shop, the deals were plentiful.
Amenities — A few places to sit, but otherwise it’s just the books.
Location — Located in downtown Brattleboro, VT, directly across from another great shop and right in the middle of a ton of restaurants, stores, coffee shops, etc. A bustling area.
Customer Service — The clerk was very friendly and was helping a number of people during my visit.
Overall — This is the shop I would recommend for used books in southeast Vermont, with a huge selection of fiction titles, many great nonfiction and children’s books, and plenty of discounts. You’ll be happy with your visit.