Thursday, October 12, 2017

Early 1980s bookmark from Northshire Bookstore

I picked up a copy of New England Cookbook by Eleanor Early at a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, thrift store and tucked away inside was this nice oversized bookmark for Northshire Bookstore of Manchester Center, Vermont.

Northshire Bookstore was founded in 1976 by Ed and Barbara Morrow and is still going very, very strong more than four decades later, and I don't have to tell you how unusual that is for an independent bookstore. It even has a second location now, in Saratoga Springs, New York, about 50 miles west. The bookstore's website,, is fantastic and it has a great reach on social media, with nearly 12,000 followers for @NorthshireBooks on Twitter.

Back in the early 1980s, though, there was no such thing as websites or Twitter. So bookmarks represented a great and important opportunity for "viral marketing" by bookstores. This one features artwork by Lance Hidy — a child reading a book in a chair while a cat lounges alongside — and that artwork is copyright 1982, which is probably when this bookmark was produced and distributed.

The back of the bookmark, which measures 3 inches by 7 inches, is full of useful marketing information. Some excerpts:

  • "The Northshire Bookstore is dedicated to the art of browsing. We invite you to visit us and are ready to help with your selection. We will gladly special order any title in print and also ship anywhere in the world."
  • "Our Children's Level, downstairs, is a complete store within a store, highly esteemed throughout New England and beyond for its breadth, friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable staff."
  • "Our full service record and tape department is well known for its strength in classical and jazz. We will gladly order any record or tape that we do not stock."
  • "Please include $2.25 UPS & handling for the 1st book and 50¢ for each additional book."

Children's books are still a huge part of the bookstore's mission. According to the website: "Almost a third of our stores are devoted to kids! Getting youngsters to read sets them up for a lifetime of success. We have dedicated, expert Children's staffs and a superb buyer."

Best wishes for another four decades, Northshire!

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