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Spotlight on Bookstores: *Where the Sidewalk Ends* in Chatham, Mass.

sobWe spent two weeks in beautiful Chatham, Mass., this summer.  This charming town, at the “elbow” of Cape Cod, sits on Nantucket Sound, and has many saltwater inlets with calmer (and warmer) water.  Aside from beaches, and biking, and ice cream, we enjoyed walking the village Main Street and visiting the many shops.wtse sign

One of my favorite discoveries was, not surprisingly, a bookstore!  Where the Sidewalk Ends is located at 432 Main Street, just past the village center toward Shore Road.  If you hit the Chatham Village Cafe on the left you’ve gone a bit too far, but stop in for a sandwich.  You can top it off with coffee and dessert at Where the Sidewalk Ends when you’ve finished your book shopping.

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wtse exteriorThe bookstore fills this entire 2-storey renovated barn.  There’s plenty of seating outside (in good weather), and in (with a fire burning in the winter).  Comfy chairs, fresh coffee, free wi-fi, and BOOKS!  I could really settle in here.

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wtse cape books

The area attracts many seasonal visitors and day-trippers.  Where the Sidewalk Ends has a large display table with both fiction and non-fiction about the area, as well as works by local authors.  I usually research an area we’re visiting by reading not only guide books to the area, but seeking out a novel or two based there.  I believe in the full-immersion vacation!

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wtse childrens stairsThe children’s area is upstairs; it’s brightly lit and full of all our favorite books, stuffed animal characters, and educational toys and games.  During the summer Where the Sidewalk Ends teams up with a local inn to host Fancy Nancy tea parties inspired by Nancy O’Connor’s books.  The events sell out quickly, so I’ll have to make sure to get advance reservations if we return to Chatham next summer.   You know how I love my tea parties! This photo is looking down from the second floor to a landing where greeting cards are displayed.wtse signing sign

We missed the tea party, but LW7 and I did attend an author signing, and this one has a fun story to go with it (aside from the book, which is a great story, but she and I haven’t sat down to review it yet … the life of a 7-year-old is so busy!).  The first evening we went to the store I saw this sign announcing an upcoming author signing.  I turned to take a picture of the sign, and a nice man (holding an adorable baby) asked if he could take my picture taking a picture of the sign.  It turns out he’s the author’s husband.  I thought it would be really funny if J were to take a picture of said Author’s Husband (yes, I know his first name, but I’m not sure he wants to be blogged about!), while Author’s Husband was taking a picture of me taking a picture of the sign announcing Author’s book signing.  Sadly, J was consoling LM4 (at the time, now LM5), who had dropped the ice cream off his cone … another missed photo op!

wtse e at signingLW7 and I returned to Where the Sidewalk Ends the next day for the signing.  Hannah Roberts McKinnon was there with her Middle Grade novel, Franny Parker.  McKinnon was a delight to talk with, she was very patient answering questions from my daughter, and talking with her about what it means to be an author.  Our school district uses the “writers’ workshop” program, in which the students write, edit, and publish (final copy) their work.  LW7 told McKinnon that they’re both authors!  In the course of our many-threaded conversation we discovered that her family and ours have good friends in common; it’s a small world after all!  I posted about this back in August, so if it feels like deja vu, that’ll explain it.

For those fortunate to live in Chatham for the summer months or year-round, Where the Sidewalk Ends hosts their own book groups, as well as offering discounts and an online bulletin board for other local book groups.  Now that the peak season has passed, the shop has more readings featuring local authors.   I’m looking forward to visiting again next summer!

Here are a few more interior shots, from their website:

wtse overview

wtse interior

19 comments to Spotlight on Bookstores: *Where the Sidewalk Ends* in Chatham, Mass.

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