Down the street from the sophisticated Atticus Books, the Book Trader is the aunt you love to have tea with because her house is so warm and cozy. Filled with chintz upholstery covered seating, this used bookstore and cafe has the vibe of college, comfy and a little worn. More cafe than bookstore, there are still quite a few terrific offerings, plus the chocolate chips are the best I had in New England.
The “cult reader” bookshelf brought a smile to my face. These are the old-fashioned “if you liked book x, then you’ll like book y” books, but clearly so popular at the Book Trader that they need to be chained to the shelf. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen books in a store, or anywhere, chained like a bike to telephone pole. I perused a couple, they worked quite well even if you have to stand fairly close to the shelf to read them.
There are all types of books and the day I visited and towers of newly arrived used books that the staff was processing, so turn over looks lively. Two more areas that I recommend you visit, first, the cookbooks in the cafe section. There were several classics that if I wasn’t flying home, I would have been tempted to buy, especially the Alice Waters books. Out front the ‘cheap rack’ contained several great beach reads, how many times can you say that about the cheap rack?
Stop by, check out the chained books, find a great beach/after finals read and, oh, and did I mention how great the chocolate chip cookies are?
1140 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06511