Phoenix News

  • The next chapter in Rutland’s story of revitalization will include an independent downtown bookstore, as Phoenix Books has signed a five-year lease on a portion of the former Lake Sunapee Bank building, owned by MKF Properties.

    “I could not be more excited about our future in Rutland,” co-owner Michael DeSanto said. “I think we found the perfect space, directly across from the Wonderfeet Children’s Museum, in the heart of downtown. The store will be a warm, welcoming community space where people can relax, slow down and connect with books and each other. It will be much more than a bookstore.”

    DeSanto and his wife and partner, Renee Reiner, decided to open the Rutland store following a recruitment effort by Green Mountain Power in collaboration with the City of Rutland, Downtown Rutland Partnership and more than 50 local residents and businesses, which each agreed to pre-buy $1,000 in books. Phoenix’s model, known as community-supported enterprise, is like a farm CSA, as supporters pre-buy books or invest in the business to help fund startup costs.

    DeSanto said the 2,400-square-foot store would fill a third of the former bank, which owner Mark Foley is dividing to provide the perfect setting. “Mark Foley and GMP have been true partners in our effort,” DeSanto said. “The bank was our first choice from the start, but was bigger than we could have filled. Mark agreed to create a space to fit our needs and put us in the center of this wonderful downtown.”

    “Like Project VISION, this has been all about collaboration, community and Rutland’s future,” GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said. “We are so excited to support and be part of all the amazing progress taking place in Rutland.”

    “I loved the concept as soon as I heard about it,” GMP Vice President Steve Costello said of the pre-buy program. “Virtually everyone we spoke with agreed to participate. Everyone had their own reason, from supporting independent retail, to a love of books, to the desire to help foster Rutland’s ongoing rebirth.”

    Mayor Chris Louras met with Costello and DeSanto the first day he visited Rutland last fall, a visit DeSanto called eye opening. “By the end of that first day, I was falling for Rutland,” DeSanto said. “People rolled out the welcome mat at every turn.”

    With a lease in place, DeSanto said he would focus on designing the store’s interior, inventory, and looking for a local person to serve as manager. The store is expected to open by August. Phoenix also has stores in Burlington and Essex Junction.

    “Rutland’s downtown, which is filled with architectural gems, wonderful local retailers, arts and cultural opportunities, and a bounty of dining options, will be a great home for Phoenix Books Rutland,” DeSanto said. “I can hardly wait to open.”

    Foley said he was excited by DeSanto’s energy and optimism, which he called contagious. “Mike is in this business for the love of books and learning,” Foley said. “It’s a business, of course, but I think the secret to Phoenix Books’ success is tied directly to the fact that it is much more than that for Mike and Renee. Phoenix Books Rutland will be a great addition to downtown, and will help continue the years-long revitalization.”

    Mike Coppinger, executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership, said Phoenix Books would fill a void downtown. “It ranks as the most pressing missing element, and Phoenix Books will help draw business to our existing restaurants, shops, and other services,” Coppinger said. “I am especially excited about how Phoenix Books will help complement our downtown kids’ museum."

    To learn more about Phoenix Books, pre-buys and investment opportunities, contact DeSanto at 872-7111 or michael@phoenixbooks.biz.

    Posted 04/16/2015
  • Phoenix Books Essex customers can treat themselves to these delectable and delightful spring cookies made by Treats by Teri.

    Posted 04/15/2015
  • Vicki Hoefle, author of local favorite Duct Tape Parenting, stopped by the Burlington store this morning to sign copies of her newest book: The Straight Talk on Parenting- A No-Nonsense Approach on How to Grow a Grown-Up.

    Would you like an autographed copy?  Quantities are limited, so give Phoenix Books Burlington a ring at 448-3350 so we can put one aside for you.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted 04/13/2015
  • Polly Young-Eisendrath stopped in today to sign copies of her newest book, The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, & Discovery. When asked to describe it, Polly encourages readers that "yes, it's a story about losing someone to Alzheimer's, but this book is mainly about love and the Buddhist perspective. Mindfulness."

    Would you like an autographed copy?  Quantities are limited, so give Phoenix Books Burlington a ring at 448-3350 so we can put one aside for you.

    Posted 03/31/2015
  • Didn't make it to our event with Peter Shea?  Watch his event on RETN's The Authors, and get inspired to see Peter's favorite lakes and ponds for yourself this spring!


     

    Posted 03/30/2015
  • Voting has begun for the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by children and teens of all ages! Last year, over 1,200,000 votes were cast by young readers. Visit ccbookawards.com to see the finalists, and encourage kids & teens to vote for their favorites now through May 3.

    Winners will be announced during the 96th annual Children's Book Week (May 4-10, 2015), the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.

    Also, be sure to visit Phoenix Books for our Children's Book Week Events!  On Thursday, May 7th, Curious George will appear at Phoenix Books Essex, and on Saturday, May 9th, Harry Bliss will visit Phoenix Books Burlington.

    Posted 03/17/2015
  • If you missed Katherine Paterson or Robert Mello, here's your chance to watch their talks!  You can find other episodes of The Authors on RETN.org.

     

    Posted 03/08/2015
  • Local author Greg Delanty visited Phoenix Books Burlington recently, and was kind enough to sign some books for us:

    Greg's most recent title is Book Seventeen: Poems.  Purporting to be a "lost" seventeenth book of the 16-volume Anthologia Graeca, Book Seventeen uses the themes and images of ancient mythology to conjure a new way of looking at our modern world. Gods of all types line the pages of this collection, from those deities that only operate in our personal spaces-the poet's companion, the demigod Solitude, as well as the elusive god of Complicity-to more familiar divinities in unfamiliar roles, such as Helios shopping in an outdoor market in Paris, or an aging Aphrodite in a short skirt chatting with visitors to an unfamiliar city. Pithy and humorous, reverential and impudent, Greg Delanty's poems showcase the author's keen eye for the mythologies on which we depend to make sense of our messy, bewildering lives.

    Would you like an autographed copy?  Quantities are limited, so give Phoenix Books Burlington a ring at 448-3350 so we can put one aside for you.

    Greg Delanty was born in Cork City, Ireland, in 1958 and lived in Cork until 1986. He has received many awards, most recently a Guggenheim for poetry. He is a US and Irish Citizen and teaches at Saint Michael's College, Vermont.

    Posted 03/02/2015
  • It is with sadness we report on the passing of a dear friend and colleague. Bonnie Christensen died January 12 at the Vermont Respite House of ovarian cancer, just shy of her 64th birthday. Bonnie inspired us with her wit and love of life and her dedication to her craft.

    As booksellers we admired her artistic skills, appreciated her storytelling talents, looked forward to hosting her book events, and enjoyed selling her books that covered a wide expanse of subjects from Django Reinhardt to Andy Warhol to Nellie Bly. She was a true believer in our indie bookstore and shared our vision of an independent life.

    Bonnie created beautiful children’s books. “Of her more than 20 titles, the most acclaimed was "Woodie Guthrie: Poet of the People" (Alfred A. Knopf), which won the Horn Book - Boston Globe Honor Award and inspired praise for its subtle images, which Booklist described as "sinewy and emotionally compelling." It was also named a New York Times Notable Book. Neal Porter, her editor at Macmillan, said she "infused all her books with wit, a keen intelligence, and unbridled beauty." (bfp, 1/24/15)

    More importantly, Bonnie was a steadfast and wonderful friend. Mike and I had a lovely visit with her and her daughter Emily in Venice in 2001. We were grateful for our friendship and the opportunity she gave us to share her books, her art, her grand sense of fun, and her unique views on life’s vagaries. We will miss Bonnie dearly. A memorial service is planned for March 21 at the All Soul’s Interfaith Gathering.

    --Renee Reiner
    co-owner, Phoenix Books

    Links:
    Bonnie's obituary in the Burlington Free Press
    and in Seven Days



     

    Posted 01/29/2015
  • Posted 01/20/2015

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