Mystic’s Bank Square Books and New London’s Monte Cristo Bookshop were featured in an editorial on Monday in Connecticut’s The Day. The paper noted that their successes — Bank Square’s expansion last October from 3,000 to 4,800 square feet and Monte Cristo’s opening in December of 2012 — “are reason for optimism about the future of books and bookstores hereabouts.”
“I think there’s really a strong market here — a lot of book clubs, a well-educated community,” Bank Square co-owner Annie Philbrick told the paper. “And I think it’s the customer service we provide that online can’t do. People spend a lot of time online, and I think they just want to go into a bookstore.”
The paper also noted Monte Cristo owners Christopher Jones and Gina Holmes, who relied on their community, and their desire for a local bookstore when launching a fundraiser in 2012 that yielded $10,000 in start-up money.
Bank Square and Monte Cristo were credited for their events and services, such as book signings, author lunches, special orders, and suggestions from people who know, and who love, books. They make up “the personal touches that online browsing can’t provide,” wrote the paper, adding: “Reading is, indeed, alive and well on Connecticut’s eastern shore.”