“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” is the frequently quoted response of American humorist and author Mark Twain when he heard his obituary had appeared in a newspaper while he was still living. These days, a similar reaction is heard from owners of independent bookstores in response to the oft-told tale of brick-and-mortar booksellers going out of business.
“Independent bookstores are alive and well in western New York!” affirmed Anne Mancilla, who opened Explore! the Bookstore in 2008 in Clifton Springs. “I think people have tired of impersonal online shopping for books. These days, they can visit their local independent bookstore and find enthusiastic, knowledgeable book lovers and, in doing so, support their local economies.”
During the month of October, lovers of books and “bookish items” are encouraged to follow a trail of bookstores from Brockport to Penn Yan. Fall Into Books — A Bookshop Tour features 13 stores, all within 1 1/2 hours of Rochester. Bookshop “Tourists” download or pick up a “Passport” at the first store they visit, which will be stamped or stickered at each stop with a chance to win one of two gift baskets. The Passport also entitles shoppers to receive 10 percent off any purchase.