One thing that has disappointed me as I have gotten older, is watching the art of reading go down the tube. Most people that I know rarely read, and those that do stick mostly to articles and other short form literature. I guess no one thinks that they have time for long form anymore. That’s why I have been so impressed with each discovery of hole in the wall book stores around Connecticut. A couple of days earlier, I found myself getting free books with my lunch at the Traveler Restaurant, and now, I discovered the Book Barn, an outdoor, multi building book store that is also a family farm.
As I pulled into the Book Barn, a small gravel parking lot quickly leads you to a small tent with tables covered in books. A line is formed in front of the table with someone standing behind it. One by one, he looks at the books that are handed to him and he inspects each one carefully. Most of the time, hew is unimpressed and offers pennies, but sometimes, you will see his eyebrow raise and a small smile comes over his face. This book is special, and he has decided an amount that is a little more eye opening. No one knows his criteria, but that is part of the fun.
You don’t have any books to sell? Well that’s fine! Right after this area, is a map showing 5 different buildings across the property, each holding books of a differing theme. Wagons are provided for you to fill up, and couches sit, waiting for you to take a seat and get lost in a tale. Speaking of getting lost, it is very easy to do on this sprawling property, but don’t worry. Being lost surrounded by books isn’t the worst place to be lost. Don’t feel pressured to buy. It’s perfectly ok to just sit and read.
And now we get to my favorite part of the Book Barn, it’s integrations with the owners gardens and animals. In between each building lie sprawling gardens filled with local fauna. If you are lucky enough to be there when the flowers are blooming, sweet scents fill your nostrils and excite your senses. There are multiple cats roaming the property, all friendly. One might curl up next to you on the couch while you are reading. Don’t be scared, it’s his home that you are a guest in. And then there are the goats in their playground. What a sight to see. A true king of the castle.
All in all, the book barn gives me hope that long form literature is being kept live, in its own unique way, spreading the joy of reading to the next generation.
Closest Supercharger Milford CT 45 mi
1 CT Turnpike Milford CT
The Book Barn
41 W Main St, Niantic, CT 06357