The Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., has won the 2016 Independent Spirit Award, sponsored by Book Publishers Reps of New England to recognize "excellence in a bookstore member of the New England Independent Booksellers Association."
Nikki Mutch of Scholastic, the BPRNE member who nominated Norwich Bookstore, wrote: "Fiercely Independent, Liza Bernard and staff are passionate guardians of our books and authors. They work with reps to curate a selection of books that appeal to their surrounding communities, and are always willing to try something new to broaden horizons--Liza trusts us to help guide her selections and the staff reads what we put in their hands. Working with their local library, schools, and other independent businesses, they have shown what shopping local truly means. It means community and home, and Norwich Bookstore displays that in spades. I love working with Liza and going into Norwich Bookstore. I have had so many wonderful conversations with the staff and their customers, including receiving a lovely handwritten thank you note from one of Liza's favorite customers when I suggested a book I thought she might like. Small town bookstore done right."
At one point in the judging process, BPRNE said, there was "an unprecedented five-way tie." Those other stores, which the organization wanted to call attention to, were Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, Vt.; Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, Mass., Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y.; and RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.
The Norwich Bookstore receives two nights' lodging for the NEIBA fall conference September 20-22 in Providence, R.I., and a free ticket to all NEIBA meals for an exceptional bookseller of Norwich's choosing who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the show.