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Friday, December 08, 2006

The Queen of Burlington

Elizabeth So, as you may know, part of my personal revival movement of recent weeks has involved a return to "old" activities that were staples of daily life in the pre-Internet Age.  Things like going out for coffee and conversation and a hard-copy of The New York Times. Old-fashioned things. Physical things.

That's meant stopping by Everyday Book Shop on College Street in downtown Burlington across from the Freeps. And there's the added "perk" of hearing the British accent of proprietor Elizabeth Orr. Back in 1979 when yours truly landed in Burlap, the book shop was on Church Street where the Yankee Candle shop is now  (and before that, Everyday Books was where Stone Soup is currently located). Of course, back in 1979 (Jimmy Carter was president), Church Street had car and truck traffic and sidewalks - something that was about to change with construction of the Marketplace in 1980.

Now fast-forward 27 years to the present. There certainly have been some changes, eh?  But Elizabeth Orr and Everyday Book Shop remain! We stopped in yesterday on the way to see "The Queen," starring the marvelous Helen Mirren, at the Roxy. Outstanding flick!

Burlington's Book Shop Queen Elizabeth says customers have been strongly recommending she see it.

"People tell me I should," said Mrs. Orr, "but I never go to movies!"

Work, work, work. But retirement, says Elizabeth, who works every single day, is finally appearing on the horizon. Born in Hanley in the English Midlands in 1927, she'll turn 80 next spring.

"You know," she confided to us yesterday, "for the first time ever I've just started to think about it. I still don't want to."

God bless her!

Do consider dropping by the Everyday Book Queen, would you? And check out the cinematic version, too. You won't be disappointed by either.


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Many years ago I used to wait tables at Sweetwaters. One of the ways that I would get on the bartenders good side (which benefited me immensely) was to buy newspapers for them to put out for their customers. I always looked forward to going in to Everyday Book Shop and chatting it up with Elizabeth. She is but one of many eccentric personalities that make Burlington maketplace uniquely enjoyable.


Thank you for spotlighting this Burlington treasure. Small bookshops are, unfortunately, falling by the wayside and I'm glad downtown still has her!


I just worry that the small independent bookstores hurt the huge mega stores.

Remember everyone, Borders is just around the corner. And they have coffee at $5.00 per cup.

Does the Queen have expensive coffee? Didn't think so.

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