Get Out Of Your Car And Into Connecticut (June 2015)
Connecticut in summer is the jewel of southern New England. We’re not the largest state—just 70 miles wide and 110 miles long—but there’s a lot going on here. It’s spectacular to drive. When you stop to admire the scenery and soak it all in, walk around, grab a coffee, and pick up a good book.
There are amazing bookstores tucked away in the nooks and crannies of Connecticut. For starters, zero in on the “indies” in Bethel, Kent, New Canaan, New Milford, Ridgefield, Storrs, Torrington, Vernon, and Washington Depot. Some of these stores have delightful rooms for children, and all have authors coming in and special events. The Internet is great, but we need to keep these wonderful places around. Get to know them. The New England Independent Booksellers Association website is a fantastic resource for a book-browsing adventure.
Connecticut also has a wealth of superb public libraries. It would take years to see them all, but definitely give it a try. They need your help to stay afloat these days. Many of our libraries date back hundreds of years, and are historic landmarks. The Woodbury Public Library is one stunning example. These are places to be explored and enjoyed, sharing the lives of books. I recently ran through the entire list of Connecticut public libraries and “liked” every one of their Facebook pages. It’s one small way to show support.
My sister, Sue, is a children’s librarian in Indiana. She often reminds me how vital libraries are, especially during the early years when children first learn to read. Libraries are learning and meeting places that need to be strengthened and preserved.
On the topic of libraries, have you heard about the Connecticut Authors Trail? It’s a consortium of eastern Connecticut libraries that have banded together to present homegrown writers that you can meet and talk with in person. Look into it at connecticutauthorstrail.org.
I’m also joining the author ranks. My new book, Slices of Life~A Storytellers’ Diary, comes out in October. I can’t wait to get on the trail this summer, to meet folks and talk about my experiences. I never thought I’d write a book, but life is full of stories. I have the utmost respect for anyone who does this. Slices of Life is being published by a Connecticut house called Homebound Publicationsin Pawcatuck. Their focus on “contemplative literature” will nourish your mind and soul, as they like to say.
Once you’ve picked your hardcover, you’ll want a perfect place to sit and read. Shorelines beaches are always a great choice. Dreamy Connecticut lakes are another. There is a beautiful place in New Preston called The Hopkins Inn. Head over there, grab an Adirondack chair, and lose yourself in those pages.
The Inn at Kent Falls is an historic farm near The Berkshires. It sits on one of the loveliest properties in the state and offers anything you could want while glued to your page-turner. Close by is Kent Falls State Park. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
For those who want to look up from a great biography or murder mystery to see the landscape slowly changing, take your book on a cruise with River Quest. You can head up (or down) the Connecticut River, and let the captain do the driving.
Whatever you decide to read this summer put yourself in a literary frame of mind in an inspiring Connecticut setting.