No Other Bookstore Like This making a name in Mystic
Mystic ―When Colleen Lynch was forced to leave her retail space in Groton last October, she stumbled upon a smaller but more charming spot in Mystic across the street from the train station.
That’s where No Other Bookstore Like This will be luring in customers during the busy summer tourist season.
Lynch says she’s the second independent bookstore in Mystic, though no competition to the well-established Bank Square Books, which carries mostly recent titles. Her store, which opened last November at 3 Roosevelt Ave., specializes in rare and vintage books, though she also stocks thousands of used books and even a few new books that are trending on bestseller lists.
“It’s been nonstop ever since I got here,” said the 32-year-old Lynch, a former librarian who loves to read and write. “I’m the only used bookstore in the area.”
Lynch, a Westerly resident, said she stocks about 20,000 titles in the 850-square-foot store she shares with her dogs Benny and Little Girl.
“It’s a great collection,” she said. “I know every book that’s in here. And I can order books for people.”
Lynch prefers getting books donated for store credit to taking them on consignment, which she currently is discouraging.
“I’m picky about the condition,” she added.
A lot of people ask her to check out their parents’ book collection as they move down to Florida, she said, but she doesn’t take everything. She also checks out book auctions, estate sales, library sales and even antique stores for those rare finds such as the first-edition Robert Penn Warren book she snagged for $2.
One whole wall of her store includes vintage and rare books, which she said overall accounts for about 60% of her business. Much of that business is done online through eBay, where she sells her higher-priced items.
“No one’s coming in for a $600 book,” she said. “Having two revenue streams keep the doors open.”
Lynch said she also enjoys supporting local authors, and is planning a series of events to highlight them and their work. Her latest event will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, featuring a talk with author Nick Checker, who will be discussing the literary journey of his novel “Druids,” a medieval fantasy adventure.
“I don’t do a lot of marketing,” Lynch confesses. “Mostly word of mouth and a few postcards.”
Lynch has one other employee and several volunteers who help out at the store.
“They like bookstores,” she said.
She said she can get just about any book someone is looking for, and charges only a $3 fee to get it for them. A lot of people come in to order books just to support a local retailer, she said.
Mystic has been a surprisingly strong place from which to sell rare and vintage books, she said, though she doesn’t sell nearly as many romance novels as she used to in Groton.
Still, she loves her space, which includes a children’s book area out back with plenty of room to sit back and read, and she enjoys getting to know the people who pop in.
“It’s a nice community environment,” she said. “This is a better location. I love Mystic.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: No Other Bookstore Like This
WHERE: 3 Roosevelt Ave., Mystic
OPEN: Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Tuesday
EVENT: “A Novel Journey,” 1 p.m. Sunday, May 21, featuring Colleen Lynch and Nick Checker.
Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.