Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, has quite a few claims to fame. It was founded in 1898 – you read that right…1898. It is the oldest continuously operating retailer in the Concord area. And it is the largest independent bookstore in northern New England.
In 2014, Gibson’s was awarded the coveted Independent Spirit Award, given each year by the Book Publisher’s Reps of New England to a bookstore that best exemplifies the spirit of the independent bookstore.
In 2018, it was one of five venues in the country nominated for the Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year Award.
The store carries 40,000 book titles, so whether you’re looking for a classic, a cult favorite, or a book for the beach, Gibson’s is likely to have it. If they don’t, they’ll order it, which they do several times a day to provide customers with speedy special orders.
(I know I’m using a lot of italics for emphasis but I can’t help it – I find each of these facts impressive!)
Gibson’s hosts more than 100 author events each year, featuring national superstars like Erik Larson, Jodi Picoult, and Jonathan Franzen; local talents like Donald Hall, Sy Montgomery, and David Elliott; and up-and-comers like S.M. Stevens. (Haha, yes I added that last part on my own, it is not in the store’s official materials.)
I’ll be reading from Horseshoes and Hand Grenades as part of Gibson’s “Discover Local Authors” event on Tuesday, Nov. 12th, at 6:00 PM.
Store owner Michael Herrmann bought Gibson’s Bookstore in 1994 and has expanded it twice to meet the needs of readers. In 2013, Michael moved the shop to its current location at 45 South Main Street in New Hampshire’s capital city.
More Than Books
Gibson’s does more than sell books. Some of the awesome programs and services they provide include:
Supporting Books Clubs — Gibson’s stocks the books on the lists of dozens of local book clubs and provides them to book club members at a discount.
Young Reviewers Club — Children and teens (ages 11-17) are given Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of forthcoming books. The students review the books, Gibson’s displays those reviews in the store once the book is published, and the student earns a $2 gift certificate to the store.
Just for Kids — Within Gibson’s, you’ll find independent toy store Imagination Village with oodles of educational toys and games plus of course an extensive collection of children’s books.
Frequent Buyer Program — For every $10 spent, the customer gets a stamp. After collecting 10 stamps, the customer gets a shopping spree with 20% off virtually all of the books, cards and other store merchandise, on a day of their choosing.
The Laydown — A podcast in which three booksellers from Gibson’s chat about all things literary including upcoming releases and the hottest book news of the month.
Teacher Discounts — Many books for use in the classroom are 20% off.
True Brew Café — A “homegrown café” and a welcoming place to sit while enjoying a book and a brew from True Brew Barista.
What Others Say
If this description hasn’t yet made you want to check out Gibson’s for yourself, read what customers say on TripAdvisor and in this feature article from the Concord Monitor.