In the 1960s, there was a television series that featured a female lead character who owned a book store on the main street of a small town. The store owner had a quiet dignity about her that imprinted itself on the tone and feel of her store. That image of a small town bookstore has stayed with me for a long time and has had a direct impact on the lifestyle of my wife and myself. We both love books and we have lived in many different places over the years. Whenever we moved, among the very first things we looked for were the local library and the independent bookstore in our new town.
After years of moving around, we finally settled down in the lower Ottawa valley and Almonte, Ontario became our home. Within the first week we had library cards and, much to our great delight, we found a gem … a bookstore that felt just like the one described above. Near the bottom of the hill, on a main street that has been featured in several films because of its small town ambience, Mill Street Books presents itself with a classic front window display of what is on offer inside … books, music CDs that feature local talent, and jigsaw puzzles (a magnet for my wife). The store owners – Mary and Terry – are warm and knowledgeable vendors who love to chat and who know their books. One time I went in looking for some books for a gift for my wife and I wanted to get her some ‘new reading’. Mary spent the next half hour taking me throughout the store (between customers) and I ended up with four new authors for my wife to read. (She liked them all … my thanks to Mary).
And yes, my first book to be published (The Brickbox) is available in the store and I hope to do the same with future novels.
If you like books and you live in or travel to the Ottawa area, I highly encourage you to visit Almonte. It’s not far from Ottawa, it’s what a small town was meant to be, and … it has Mill Street Books.
(The store also has a website … just type Mill Street Books into your Browser).