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This House of Books

This is the final day to be entered for the Montana Bookstore Trail drawing. Between my husband and myself, we’ve managed to visit nineteen of the twenty-one bookstores on the trail this summer. I have no intention of stopping. This fall, I plan to visit the ones I didn’t make it to and I’ll write about each one on this blog.

But with the prize drawing coming up tomorrow, I think I should talk about my favorite store on the list and the place where I started the trail.

This House of Books is unique in that it is a co-op, (The Billings Bookstore Cooperative) – owned, supported, and loved by its members. I am one of those members, so I am very biased, I’ll admit. My own book and those of the 100+ other member-authors have a space there. But regardless of that, it is a beautiful store and a fun place to spend some time in downtown Billings.

I’ve gone to poetry readings and writing groups there. They host author readings/signings, discussions, kids’ story time, and game nights. They are involved in downtown community events like the art walks and film festivals. They are also very supportive of the other downtown businesses, collaborating and promoting other stores as often as themselves.

I give them all the love for their importance in the community but they also have a solid selection of products. Books of every genre, a nice children’s section with books and quality toys and stuffed animals. They have a great selection of games and puzzles. I always find a journal or notebook I want there and, of course, bookmarks and stickers. They also sell beautiful jewelry from local artisans and tasty tea.

Wood floors creak in that perfect way as you enter. The big front window lets in the light to help show the tall, full shelves and lovely, creative displays. There’s ample seating where you can stay awhile to read or write. You’ll want to. The store has a laid-back, friendly vibe. It’s always clean and inviting and the booksellers will happily help you find what you’re looking for, offer recommendations if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and order it in if they don’t have it. A nice bonus is that shipping is always quick. When I order something they don’t have in stock, I usually have my book in my eager hands in less than a week.

I feel so lucky to have a place like this in my town and outright blessed to be a part of the co-op. If you’re near Billings, I obviously recommend that you stop in. But if you’re distant and you want to help show this piece of my heart a little love, you can shop at their online store or support them with your membership.

If you’ve done the Montana Bookstore Trail at all this year, be sure to scan that QR code and fill out the short form. You’ll be entered in the drawing even if you didn’t make it to every store. Your submission helps them show how many people participated this year so they can get support to can keep the trail going again next year!

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