October 2011

Next Chapter Bookstore, La Conner

La Conner is an adorable little tourist town in Skagit Valley, filled with more charm than you can shake a stick at. Every summer, our streets are flooded with tourists who come to see the tulips or Deception Pass, and stick around for a while in town to go window-shopping and browse the antiques stores and boutiques. Sadly for the tourists, those who only visit La Conner during the summer tourist season miss out on many of our town's charms.
At the far end of the street, directly across from Calico Cupboard to the west and Maple Hall to the south, lies Next Chapter, the town book store. Not many towns in Washington are lucky enough to have a book store, much less an independent book store, much less a town as small as ours (population 891). 
The main (street level) floor houses the coffee nook, bestsellers, and local books. Next Chapter's local section is impressive, featuring a wide range of both sorts of local books: those written by local authors, and those written about the local area. If you are a tourist in need of a guide book (which make great souvenirs, by the way!) or a local interested in learning more about the area, you can find it here. They also have a lot of independently published books by local artists, including not just authors but poets and artists as well.
Upstairs they have children's books and… I don't know what else, to tell you the truth. I only went up there once, when I desperately needed to buy a copy of The Hunger Games RIGHT NOW. (Miraculously, they had one left!)
Next Chapter was there for me when I had to have a copy of The Hunger Games. And they are there when you want to get out of the house on a rainy winter afternoon and have a pastry and a latte. Their coffee nook features big comfortable chairs and a fireplace, which creates an incredibly cozy atmosphere on a cold and blustery afternoon.
I'm proud to live in a town so small and yet still able to support an independent bookstore. I take out-of-town visitors there whenever possible, both to show off our town's book store and  because I know they will find an interesting book they want to read that they probably would not have encountered at a big chain store. And a cozy warm fireplace to sit and chat after shopping, to boot!