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Like many families, we have several vacation traditions. Pretty much all of ours are nerdy. One of our favorite things to do in Vermont is to visit independent bookstores. There aren’t many where we live, and it’s fun to visit a really well-curated bookstore and browse the shelves, explore the nooks and crannies, and see what we can find.

As it happens, central Vermont has some excellent bookstores. We were able to visit three this trip.

On Monday, we went to Woodstock, which is a great town to visit if you ever get the chance. I had been waiting to get to a bookstore for over a week, since I finished reading the fourth Land of Stories book. I was tempted to run out and buy a copy of the new book right away, but the Kid suggested I wait and buy it in Vermont. Since I’m all about supporting independent bookstores and the Vermont economy, I was quite pleased at the suggestion.

But on Sunday, I finished the book I was reading, and so we headed to Woodstock to visit The Yankee Bookshop. It’s a nice little store. I’ve always found what I was looking for when I’ve shopped there, and they have a great kids section. Unfortunately, they weren’t letting dogs in the store that day because the owners’ dog was there and he’s not friendly to other dogs, so we didn’t get to shop much, but the Kid and I found The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey right away.

On Wednesday, we went to Manchester to do back-to-school shopping, and we got to visit our favorite bookstore, Northshire Bookstore. It’s a huge store that has everything. Not just books, either. We got gifts for lots of people, and I even bought a dress there last year. The children’s section was still decorated from the Harry Potter release party earlier this summer, which the Kid loved, and we had a great time.

Then on Thursday, we were wandering around Rutland, and we found The Bookmobile, which is a used bookstore. We had such a great time there. I think we were in there for over an hour, and it’s a tiny shop. In that time, we hardly talked to each other at all, each of us browsing studiously for most of the time we were there. I found a whole bunch of Fairy Books, which means I have lots of new fairy tales to read, as well as the second book in a YA series the Kid recommended to me and a Phillip Pullman series I hadn’t known about. The Kid says I have to stop reading children’s books or people will think I’m weird, but let’s face it: that ship has sailed.

Best of all, the Kid found a button that says, “My parallel universe, my rules” that she’s added to her new jean jacket, so she’s all set for middle school next week.