In a seamless transition, Misty Valley Books in Chester, Vt., changed hands late last month. "People know there's a new owner, but they don't feel it's different," commented Lynne Reed, who purchased the 15-year-old store with her husband, Bill Reed, from Dwight Currie, author of An Invitation to the Feast: Celebrating Life in an Age of Plenty (HarperCollins), and Michael Kohlmann.
According to Lynne Reed, it was a chance encounter at the local grocery store that led to the purchase. "One of the employees saw my husband and said, 'Hey, Bill, do you want to buy a bookstore?' " Although Bill teaches high school French and Lynn has only a year and a half experience in the book business, as former director of marketing for Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., she said she feels confident that they made the right choice. "I've always run things," she told PW, "and this is my community." Lynne will manage the store full time, while Bill continues to teach.
With her own expertise in education—for a number of years Lynne directed an English program for international students and marketed the program abroad—the first thing she plans to do is expand the children's department and add more sidelines to the 1,400-sq.-ft. store. She and Bill will likely lead book-related trips to Europe under the auspices of the store.
For the most part, however, it will be business as usual at Misty Valley. Longtime employees will stay on, and the store will maintain the same hours. Lynne plans to continue the store's two big annual events—the Vermont Voices series of readings by local authors in November and the New Voices reading series, which some years has brought together as many as a dozen different writers for a weekend in January.