by Susan Santangelo
In this era of so many indie bookstores in peril, and Borders closing its stores all across the country, there's great news to share from Fairfield, Connecticut (the thinly disguised setting of my Baby Boomer mystery series). Borders Books in that town was among the last to close, but the lights went out early this summer.
But...Fairfield, Connecticut is also home to Fairfield University, a forward-thinking Jesuit institution of higher learning. I have fond memories of Fairfield U. -- my husband and I met there way back in the dark ages.
Fairfield U. has an on-campus bookstore -- a rather small bookstore by today's standards. When the Borders store went under, the University powers-that-be saw a great opportunity, and took it. Yep, they signed a long-term lease and moved all the F.U. books, banners, sweatshirts, and other assorted school merchandise into the former Borders, which is on the main commercial street of town, the Post Road. Even better, they hired the former Borders store manager to run the new store, and have expanded their list of titles to include mainstream fiction and non-fiction. The grand opening was this past Friday, and the Fairfield Stag (not a real one, of course), who's the mascot of the University, helped cut the ribbon. Among the opening weekend events was a chance to enter a mystery writing contest sponsored by the store.
What a great collaboration between town and gown. Gotta love the Jesuits!