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Independent Bookstores Return
If you like the experience of holding a book in your hands, smelling its pages, and enjoy discovering and purchasing a book based on the recommendations of well informed and insightful bookstore staff, you’ll be happy to learn that brick and mortar bookstores are making a comeback nationwide. And now that trend is local to us with the exciting opening of Books on the Pond, located just a few miles from Green Hill Beach.
Meet writer and researcher Alexandra Lehmann who spent childhood summers on East Beach and Quonochataug Pond in Charlestown, RI. When the occasion presented itself in early 2019 to start a new chapter in her life, Alexandra wanted to return to the beaches she has loved the most, and opened Books on the Pond.
The timing couldn’t be better. Books on the Pond is cultivating community just when we need it most. It appears that there’s a shift happening for many away from digitalisim, perhaps described as a technology back lash of sorts. Many are tired of giving so much of their time to screens. Because of apps, we now know the truth about the hours we’re spending on devices, and we’re not happy with that look in the mirror. Adding to this, we’re fed up by the loss of privacy we’ve experienced, whereby every online purchase we make is monitored and tracked in order to sell us more goods and services in an interruptive, real time way.
But fret no more, you can quickly feel more human by dropping into the reading room at Books on the Pond. There you’ll likely find Alexandra in conversation with a patron on an interesting topic. The mood is relaxed and welcoming. I guarantee when you walk in the door, you’ll find something to sink your eyes, heart and mind into. Browse the tables and shelves of curated books and rejoice to be in a space amongst others with beating hearts. There’s no telling what you’ll stumble upon in this magical space. Although the hand-picked selection is limited at present, customers can order a book and pick it up with a 24-48 hour turn-a-round time.
Alexandra shared with me, “There is a book for everyone; I receive joy by helping people find a book that is special and meant for them in this moment of their lives.“
Set in the Rickel Building at 2144 Matunuck Schoolhouse Road, Alexandra has created a unique and special spot for us to browse books, both new and used. The reading room is cheerfully painted in a buttered yam color, and a curated collection of books of various topics and genres are within easy reach on tables and shelves for you to hold and skim.
But if you think Books on the Pond is just about books, you’d be mistaken. Alexandra is both a curator of books and a creator of events that range in style from a workshop format to thought provoking parlor events where guests go deep in conversation on a specific subject matter. Set in the store’s cozy reading room, or in warmer months on the outdoor patio, Alexandra hosts a wide range of innovative and diverse programs. It could be an after dark reading of scary tales at Halloween, a gathering focused on local subject matters like Rhode Island history, or an event to mark a notable date, like she did this summer when inviting everyone to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. There’s something for everyone at Books on the Pond.
Here’s a sample of happenings just since Labor Day:
Book Club Conversations at Books on the Pond
On an ongoing basis, and often based on patron input and interests, Alexandra hosts conversation meet ups for a selected book. If you have an idea for a book you would like featured in the Books on the Pond book club, be sure to let her know!
There’s even a book club for her youngest patrons. Recently the featured book was Kimo and Kalini: A Hawaiian Mouse Tale by Jim Morris. This is an illustrated book of lovely soft watercolors that tells the tale of one brown and one grey mouse on the Halona Blowhole in Oahu.
Book to Film Club at Books on the Pond
Books are selected and read by the book club, and then participants gather at a later date to watch the film that was adapted from the novel. A recent showing at Books on the Pond was the The Big Short.
Business to Business Social Events
Hosted social gatherings to connect customers with local businesses. Books on the Pond’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony took place in mid-October with The Charlestown Chamber of Commerce. Lehmann serves up New England hospitality at her signature events, at this one she arranged a catering from Quonnie Siren Oysters to her attendees delight!
Events to Welcome Teens
Local author Kent Starrett, an excellent literary craftsman and young writer delivered the aforementioned October Halloween event where he read haunted fiction tales to the delight of 15 frightened attendees!
A refresher course on why grammar matters was presented by guest speaker Jim Hart, a Providence public school English teacher who discussed the role and power of grammar for clarifying ideas.
Upcoming November Events
November 15, 6-8 p.m. Free event. Macrame is Back! Bring your favorite beads and leave with a bracelet, dog collar or start a hanging planter. This is a great opportunity to start some handmade Christmas gifts, which are special and well received.
Speaker Series: Tomaquag Museum Director Loren Spears
November 20, 6- 8 p.m. For the first time ever, an indigenous people’s perspective will be offered by guest speaker Loren Spears, director of the Tomaquag Museum. She will discuss her preface to Westholme Publications’ newly released edition of Roger Williams’ “A Key into the Language in America”. President of the Charlestown Historical Society Pamela Lyons will make an introduction. Wine & Cheese Reception. Advance registration required, please email Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seats.
Book Prices & Buy Back Program
- 20% off most New Books, including Best Sellers, New Releases & Popular Paperbacks
- Books on the Pond Buys Used Books, We Offer a credit towards new book purchases, this helps you save on tax.
- Used Books (hard and soft covered) in great condition are sold here too, and mixed in the shelves with new books according to subject matter.
- Wifi Available, but you’ll be too captivated by the place to care.
Holiday Shopping Ahead!
Winter is coming, so let’s patronize this local treasure before they close for the season on December 23rd. Mark your calendar for the upcoming Charlestown, RI Holiday Ramble taking place December 6th and 7th.
Alexandra will be offering Christmas and Hannukah stories on the hour, showing the 1959 film How the Grinch Stole Christmas and have a raffle for a prize featuring Three Christmas Story Classics and a beautiful decoupaged box. In addition, the store will be decorated for the season and bursting with a selection of holiday gift items, stocking stuffers and (of course) the best line up of books for holiday gift giving.
General hours of operation are below. Drop by and introduce yourself to Alexandra. If you’d like to explore what’s possible in programming and community building for you or your organization, reach Alexandra by email at email@example.com or by calling 914-450-9598.
Fall Hours of Operation
Now thru December 23
Thursday-Saturday 10-6 pm
Sunday 10-4 p.m.
** Closed December 24th, Reopening April 2020!!
Dive Deeper and read this article blog post featuring Books on the pond Owner Alexandra Lehmann from Shelf Awareness.