The owners of Phoenix Books, an independent bookstore with locations in Essex, Burlington and Rutland, have purchased Chester's Misty Valley Books. Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner met with Lynne and Bill Reed - who bought the Chester landmark in 2001 - for the closing on Monday, May 16th. "Twenty-one years ago," says Reiner, "as Mike and I embarked on this adventure, we considered buying Misty Valley Books from the original owners, Dwight Currie and Michael Kohlmann. So it feels like we've come full circle. We are so delighted to have Misty Valley as part of our Phoenix family!"
Misty Valley Books. Photo courtesy chestertelegraph.org.
"It feels fitting to keep Misty Valley going and growing as part of our goal to preserve local independent bookstores and strengthen the communities hosting the stores," adds DeSanto. "We hope to complete the transition with no interruption in the high level of service Chester and the surrounding communities have seen over the years. Bill and Lynne Reed have lovingly owned and operated this iconic New England independent bookstore, and our intent is to keep intact all the traditions surrounding the store while adding a few new ideas from the experience of owning and operating three other stores in Rutland, Essex and Burlington. The wonderful programming, especially New Voices and Vermont Voices, will continue, with guidance from the Reeds, we hope. The present staff has been invited to stay on, so customers may not even notice the change in ownership. We look forward to serving the community for many years to come."
Now in its 29th year, Misty Valley Books occupies a beautiful historic building in a storefront location adjacent to the Fullerton Inn and across from the handsome Chester Green. Approximately 6,000 books are stocked, including current fiction and nonfiction in hardcover and paperback, art, poetry, spirituality, history, biography and Vermontiana, a young reader section and a children's room, plus greeting cards, magazines, calendars and toys. The store hosts numerous author events, including the prestigious Vermont Voices series in the fall and nationally recognized New Voices in January. The store has also provided off-premises bookstores for the Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference, UVM's Asian Studies Outreach Program and local businesses and restaurants.
From left to right: Lynne and Bill Reed, Renee Reiner, Michael DeSanto. Photo courtesy chestertelegraph.org.
"We are so pleased that Michael and Renee of Phoenix Books are buying Misty Valley Books!" says Lynne Reed. "Bill and I have had a perfect life here in Chester for the past fifteen years. What could be better than having a bookstore where everyone who comes in loves to read, where you get to have interesting and meaningful conversations every day, and where you know and love your customers. We are happy that they will be continuing Misty Valley’s strong commitment to our community, readers and author events including the well-known Misty Valley New Voices annual weekend for debut authors. They will be a great addition to Chester and the surrounding towns in southern Vermont."
Chester Telegraph: Reeds sell iconic Misty Valley Books to another Vt. independent
Seven Days: Phoenix Books purchases Chester's Misty Valley Books