I recently had the chance to interview Chris Morrow, the co-owner of Northshire Bookstore, a much-loved, two-story storefront on Broadway in Saratoga Springs that sells—of course—loads of great books, as well as stationery, journals, tote bags and a limited (but well-curated) selection of records. Here’s what he had to say:
What inspired you to open the Saratoga location of Northshire Bookstore?
Well, we had been running the store in Manchester, VT since 1976, and when the Borders on Broadway went out of business, a number of folks from Saratoga Springs who knew our store asked us to open here. It was a long process of analysis and fundraising and searching for the right spot. It all came together, and we opened in August 2013. The inspiration was, and is, to connect people with books. This is especially important for kids who can learn the power of a story, get access to information and explore the world through books. Books have real power, and we exist to provide open access to titles as diverse as the world in which we live.
What makes Northshire Bookstore different? How does that reflect your personality?
Northshire has always been focused on excellence. I think of it as having three broad aspects: creating a physical environment that is uplifting, welcoming and soothing; having excellent buyers (who have been with us for decades); and having great booksellers who read a lot and can help our guests. Binding all this together is a commitment to being good community partners and promoting the First Amendment.
What impact do you hope your business has on the Saratoga community?
I hope we can contribute to the vitality of the city and be a haven for book lovers; Saratoga Springs has such vibrant cultural offerings. Hopefully, Northshire and the literary arts can be a positive part of the mix. And, of course, we want to be an easy one-stop choice for when people need a gift.