How A Farmer Becomes a Bookman

We had the pleasure of visiting Whitlock’s Book Barn today (20 Sperry Road, Bethany, CT).  Situated in a beautiful woodsy area of Connecticut north of New Haven, it is owned by Norm Pattis.  Originally begun by a Mr. Whitlock who is now deceased (but he lived well into his nineties) — he began by collecting books and eventually displaying some on the farm with an honor system coffee can for people to put money in.  Before too long he had to kick the turkeys out of the barn to make room for books and customers.

Meg Turner, extremely helpful employee, outside the turkey (book) barn

It wasn’t long before the sheep had to be kicked out of the sheep barn!

The Sheep Barn, with books $5 and under on the first floor - maps (lots of maps!) upstairs

The grounds of this bookshop is beautiful, even in the rain…

Meg even rustled up a framed piece of an old map showing Gorham, New York, where our  Old Scrolls Book Shop is located.

Audrey White behind the desk; Meg Turner and my husband Ron looking at a map of Gorham, NY

I would recommend this book shop to anyone.  The location is beautiful, especially if you love country drives and appreciate the beauty of nature.  The women who run the shop are helpful, pleasant and knowledgeable.  We spent several hours here, and found excellent books at reasonable prices.  We left with a boxful!

Here is a sampling of our catch of the day:

We drove north as we had intentions of visiting West Hartford Book Shop in West Hartford, CT — but I made a call on the road to the owner and learned that they were in the process of moving to a new location and all the books were boxed up.

So we continued up 91 to Northampton, Massachusetts, a base we’ve often used for book scouting in the past, and have installed ourselves at a Clarion Hotel and Conference Center for the night.   Our intention was to stay at the historic Northampton Inn, but they were fully booked.  Dinner and a good night’s rest seem in order after a long drive in the rain…tomorrow we’ve got our eye on a few shops in Massachusetts and then we’ll continue north to New Hampshire!


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