Farewell to Troubadour.

Seven years ago I sang the praises of Troubadour Books in North Hatfield (across the river from here); in 2010 I added an update saying that the store was moving to Hadley, where it would share a building with Grey Matter Books. (You can see the new bookstore in a 2011 video here: “Two Guys Sitting Around Talking About the Used Book Business,” the two guys being John Riley of Gabriel Books in Northampton and Bob Willig of Troubadour.) And now it is my sad duty to report that after today the collections will be merged and Sam Burton of Grey Matter will be running the store (as he has for some time, actually; Willig is blind and has been in bad health). I went in, sold some books (including a huge and heavy Irish dialect atlas I’d been lugging around for four decades), and confined myself to buying a nice Penguin paperback of Henry Green… but since they say on the store website that during the merger next week “Anyone coming into the store … will be pressed in to service,” I may go in and help. It’s one way to finally figure out what they have and where to find it.


  1. Goodness, I thought this was about some new ultra-prescriptivist rule that forced us to use trouvère only.

  2. Frankly, I am torn. On the one hand, I mourn the demise of bookstores. On the other, I tend to buy e-books whenever available.

  3. I experienced “heavy Irish dialect atlas” as a crash blossom.

  4. Heh. You’re right, it’s definitely a crash blossom.

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