It was raining as we walked to Isle of Books in Bozeman. From the outside, the store is surprising because it’s all full-length windows almost like looking into some sort of showroom. As soon as we stepped inside though, we were enveloped in warmth, the scent of books, and that feeling of wonder that always says “bookstore” to me.
We all looked down and admired the unique flooring of the store. It’s papered with pages from copies of Lonesome Dove. Then once you drag your eyes up from the floor, all you can see is books. Their website says there are over 75,000 books in this location and the day we were there, I believe there were more. They’d just received books from an estate sale and there were boxes and stacks of books waiting to be shelved. If you want selection, this is a great stop for it.
The kids’ section was robust and also boasted seating and a selection of toys to entertain youngsters for a moment. We needed it for our youngest while the rest of us took in the amazing selection of books and the whimsical décor. There is an archway made of books and the legs of mannequins wearing various types of tights and clothing and shoes hanging from the ceiling. You’ll also spot creative items hiding out on shelves and tables like easter eggs, a Lego Titanic and Hogwarts among them.
There was such a fantastic selection that we had no trouble at all finding something for everyone and at a great price. We left with extra bags the bookseller kindly wrapped our treasures in to protect them from the rain on our walk back to our car. There is ample, convenient parking at the store but we had strolled over from the downtown area. It would have been a great idea, had we not fallen in love with some rather large, heavy volumes and a Little House on the Prairie box set. That was a throwback from my childhood. A set just like the one we bought used to sit loyally on my bookshelf growing up. I’m not sure where mine ended up, but now my kids can read them, too.
My husband was most delighted to find a nice copy of a book he remembered from his childhood, Pecos Bill. It came complete with a cassette (yup, we’re that old) of the audiobook narrated by Robin Williams. Now we just have to find a cassette player to share the experience with our children of the streaming era who can barely imagine how CDs work.
But isn’t this exactly the reason why we love books and bookstores? These are the places you can go to purchase or repurchase priceless experiences.
Yes, Isle of Books in Bozeman is owned by the same person who owns the store we fell so in love with in Butte. You can purchase from their online store if you’re not local to either city. If you are, both locations offer a trade-in program if you have need to make room on your shelves at home. Find out more on this webpage.
The walk to Isle of Books from the restaurants and shops in downtown Bozeman is a short one even in the rain, so I recommend a visit when you’re next in town. It’s a place you’ve really got to see for yourself.
More on the wonderful stops on the Montana Bookstore Trail is still to come!