Our whole visit to Butte was amazing. The four stops on the Montana Bookstore Trail make Butte the reigning champion for options. We were there on a cooler summer Saturday and we got to enjoy the town’s atmosphere, some of the nearby hiking trails, and a sweet-smelling rainstorm that rolled through overnight. I had the best sleep at the nearby Missouri Headwaters State Park Campground as the drops fell steadily on our little camper.
Isle of Books was incredible. From the moment I spotted the sign outside their door I was drawn in. Located in the Southern Hotel in Uptown Butte, this store is a gem. None of the photos I took truly capture the scope of the store, but I confess to being enamored with the brick, the vintage wall coverings, and the lovely old tile that has been exposed. The building has an incredible history, some of which I heard from a knowledgeable and very helpful bookseller and more of which can be found on their website or in this TV spot about them.
There was seating throughout the building and floor lamps for added lighting. All the other shoppers were chatting and wandering around with as much enthusiasm for the place as I felt. Once I got past the overall aesthetic, I was overwhelmed by the selection. New and gorgeous used books shared space on shelf after tall shelf. So many options including some books and series that I have had a hard time finding in other stores.
They had a large children’s section with seating, toys, and a book stand made from books. They had fiction, non-fiction, outdoors, graphic novels, all the Dragonsong books by Anne McCaffrey, Halo books to satisfy my son’s taste, and more and more.
Even better was finding out that they are expanding into the space next door. Soon there will be more books! And coffee! I have never had such a good reason to return to Butte.
As we left one bookstore to stroll to the next, we listened to a guitarist play in the shade of a building on Park Street. We stopped for lunch and watched the bustle as the last of the farmer’s market sellers packed up for the day. It was such a beautiful moment in time and the feeling carried through all the rest of our trip.
It could go without saying that I recommend Isle of Books but I’ll say it one more time anyway. Just go. You won’t regret the stop.