Depending on who you ask, we’re either at the tail-end of summer or starting “Back to School” season. Whether you need a new read or want to send the children in your life back to school with a fresh second-hand find, check out these used-book stores in the area.
Friends of the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller St, Meriden
This hidden gem tucked behind the Meriden Public Library plays a much larger role in the community than many know. Proceeds from the used book store go directly back to the people of Meriden by helping fund events and programming held at the Meriden Public Library. The contributions also fund renovations and other projects.
Besides continuously contributing to the overall enhancement of the Meriden Public Library, it should be noted that the bookstore also has incredibly reasonable prices and excellent hours.
The Book Barn, 41 W. Main Street, Niantic
Gardens, and goats, and games, oh my! This book-lover’s paradise received a shout-out in my, “What to do on a day trip to Niantic” article but I'm bringing it back for more praise. While The Book Barn is a bit of a drive for central Connecticut folks, I can’t think of any bookstore more worth the trip.
With a mystical, fantastical vibe, this indoor-outdoor oasis has something for everyone. While the book selection is impressively extensive, the other activities might be what makes The Book Barn irresistible to so many. Between the gorgeous grounds, furry-friends, an outdoor children’s play area, and a plethora of games, it’s no wonder travelers come from far and wide to visit.
There are two other locations, both within a mile of the main Book Barn. The downtown store is located at 269 Main Street and Chapter Three, at 55 W. Main St., is just down the road. If you make the trip, you might as well visit all three locations!
The Key Bookstore, 1429 Park St Suite 214, Hartford
A visit to The Key Bookstore is always a modern cosmopolitan bookstore experience! While the shop has a trendy store front tucked in Parkville, one of Hartford’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods, The Key Bookstore engages readers well after they’ve left. Through exciting events, community engagement, and a strong social media presence, visitors are encouraged to continue their growth and education in the store and beyond.
With a focus on Afrocentricity, Spirituality, Environmentalism, and Entrepreneurship, this Black-owned business is the perfect one-stop-shop for “Divine liberation one page at a time”.
ReRead Books & More,104 Elm St, Cheshire
This used book and gift shop is not only a relatively new, cozy nook with a wonderful aesthetic, but is also an amazing all-abilities employer! ReRead Books & More was designed with a specific goal — this shop employs those of varying abilities to create a diverse and accepting work space for all.
Aside from raising awareness, acceptance, and celebration of those with differing abilities, the life and work skills employees gain through their time at ReRead Books & More are irreplaceable. Make sure to pop in for great service or one of the educational workshops or events that are open to the public.
Half of the fun of buying used books is the experience behind the find. Each of the stops above are extremely accommodating, have friendly staff members, and could be the perfect location for a day of getting lost in your new literary treasure. Enjoy book-hunting!
Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves. When she's not helping out in the English department at Maloney High School, she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at firstname.lastname@example.org with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!