247 Main Street
My travels take me to Pioneer Valley in Western Mass. This is my first time here and it’s great. The area is home to five colleges, making it culturally rich beyond its small town appearance. Northampton, MA, in particular, with a population of 30k and Smith College nearby, seems to be a magnet for the other hill towns in the area.
Broadside Bookshop has been on Main Street in Northampton for 35 years. They are locally minded, working closely with their community. They’ll have an anniversary sale in August and they host many events as well as work closely with The Smith Poetry Center. The store has a comfortable atmosphere where people (pedestrian traffic) clearly feel welcome to browse.
Bill Clements, one of the owners, shows me around his store. They have great sections on sustainability and religion/spirituality. They carry magazines and puzzles.
Bill is proud of his store and his employees. “We have a staff of serious readers who can talk about books,” he says. “People are welcome to browse and there is no pressure.”
This whole region is just super!