It’s been years since downtown Westport had a bookstore.
Next month, Barnes & Noble opens in the former Restoration Hardware.
This Thursday, a second bookstore opens right around the corner.
It’s smaller. It will sell only used books. But its story is huge.
The Westport Book Shop is a partnership between the Westport Library and Westport Book Sales, the non-profit with 2 important missions: They raise funds for the library by running its book sales, and they hire adults with disabilities.
For nearly 3 decades, the Summer Book Sale has been a beloved ritual on Jesup Green. So it’s fitting that the Westport Book Shop will be located between Green & Tonic and the new Basso restaurant (formerly Matsu Sushi).
In other words: It’s directly across Jesup Green from the library.
The new venture — believed to be Westport’s first-ever used bookstore — came together quickly. The idea began in the spring, but the right space — a former art gallery — was not available until last month. Final town approval came on Friday.
The 5,000 or so books, in over 40 categories, come from donations to the annual book sales. There’s also a large selection of vinyl records, audio books, CDs and DVDs.
(In addition to the ginormous summer one, there are other book sales throughout the year. However, they’re on hold during COVID.)
Books cover all major categories: fiction, non-fiction, biography, children’s, you name it.
“We’ll be talking to customers and ask what they especially want,” says Mimi Greenlee. The longtime volunteer will continue to work with Westport Book Sales on this project, with fellow members Jocelyn Barandiaran, Linda Hopper, Dick Lowenstein, Sharuna Mahesh and Deb Poulley. Jennifer Bangser is the Library’s liaison.
The Book Shop also features the Drew Friedman Art Place. Miggs Burroughs will curate rotating exhibits of area artists.
Hours are Thursdays and Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m.; weekends, noon to 5 p.m. COVID restrictions apply.
Founding donors include The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center, Eileen Lavigne Flug, Dan Levinson, Jeffrey Mayer and Nancy Diamond, Jocelyn and Walter Barandiaran, Linda Monteiro-Hopper and Scott Hopper, Robin and Brad Berggren, Rebecca L. Ciota, The Kail Family, The Michael M. Wiseman and Helen A. Garten Charitable Foundation, Abilis Community Foundation, The Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation, Craig Rebecca Schiavone, Westport Sunrise Rotary, Rita Allen Foundation, and Berchem Moses PC. Local law firm Verrill donated most of the bookcases.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.