Thursday, August 16, 2012
A Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore Score
Yesterday I found a wonderful bookstore that reminded me of the unique advantages and pleasures of the real over the virtual: Mansfield’s Books and More in Tilton, New Hampshire. Tilton is a town I had driven through numerous times without a cause to stop, outside of filling a gas tank and the like. But yesterday while playing chauffer on a back-to-school shopping trip with my wife and kids I caught a glimpse of a storefront window in Tilton center that I had previously overlooked. In a brief glance I took in a display of hardcover books in the front window and a few cartons of paperbacks placed outside with a sign indicating a sidewalk sale. My attention piqued, I managed to free myself from the clutches of clothes and shoe shopping with little difficulty and quickly backtracked to Mansfield’s.
Mansfield’s occupies what appears to be a former office building. The main room has a fireplace in one wall with a few overstuffed chairs. A narrow hallway at the back opens up on left and right to six rooms that were presumably individual offices at one time. Most of these smaller rooms were still hung with old, ornate doors with frosted glass panes and other such details, though one clearly served as a small kitchen at one point, complete with a sink. Each room—the main room in the front and the half-dozen at the back—was overflowing, floor to ceiling, with used books, as well as a scattering of other items (the “More” refers to some old movie posters, knickknacks, and used DVDs and CDs).
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