The DMS wants to send some good cheer out to those wonderful independent books sellers starting in March. So, we decided that every month it would be great to share some of our favorite corner bookstores with our readers. For our first Village Story Peddlers post, we want to talk about Books on the Common. This unique book nook has all the charm and enchantment you could imagine. It is a brilliant showcase for the many amazing stories housed on its reaching shelves. There to greet you with a friendly, bookish smile is the wise guardian of the books. Once inside, hold onto your pants, because the magical worlds of words will open right up for you. Follow along as we explore the history of the store and chat with the knowledgeable staff about what they think about books these days!
March Village Story Peddlers:
Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
Here's the story...
Books on the Common was established in 1984 by Bob and Sally Silbernagel in a tiny 450 sq. ft. space. Bob and Sally ran the store together, putting in long hours, with help from only one part-time employee. Just a few years later, they boldly doubled that space and expanded into the adjacent store, for a total of nearly 2,100 square feet - above average size for an independent bookstore.
With the additional shelf space, Bob and Sally were able to expand their inventory and increase the number of titles in stock. Over the years, their three children helped out at the store, and more staff was hired. Books on the Common offered outstanding customer service, wonderful conversation, and great book recommendations - all critical to the survival of independents. Sadly, on May 16, 1991, Bob lost a long battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 49, and Sally was left to run the store on her own. She hired additional staff and kept it going, despite the increasing competitive pressures to come.