NB Logo TEAL VT NY curved swoop.jpg

Northshire's Next Chapter

It is with excitement, confidence and sadness that I announce that the Northshire Bookstores are passing out of Morrow ownership. 

I started the process of selling the stores before Covid, but the pandemic reinforced that the time was right for me to move onto other things. When thinking about selling, my main worry was always finding someone (or two) who had the right sensibilities as well as the chops; someone who appreciated The Book, the art of bookselling and our amazing staff and who also had the background, energy, vision and resources to carry the bookstores into future decades. Amazingly, my first conversation led to today’s announcement. Clark and Lu French of Manchester, VT are the new owners of Northshire Bookstores. 

My parents started the original store in September of 1976. We lived in a dark apartment underneath the bookstore. I was 9. While the ladder leading to the trap door in the floor of the service desk area was very cool, I was not coaxed into bookselling full time until 1998. It was just for a couple of years to help my parents with an expansion… And here we are 23 years later. 

Perhaps it is fitting that I am at a loss for words, given how many words we have shepherded from soul to soul over the decades. What is bookselling without paradox, irony, humor, hope and fear, and a whole lotta hard work? The books that have lived in the stores are so varied and numerous, like a beach with each grain of sand a different color. But, as I sit here letting memories flow over me, it is the people I am most grateful for - the amazing colleagues who have worked at the bookstores, the inspirational authors who have convened with us in Manchester and Saratoga, the kindred souls at other bookstores and at publishing houses, and the generations of guests who have made all this possible for us. What a beautiful adventure! I am grateful to all of you - thank you!

In the midst of Covid last summer I received a letter from a customer which started, “Over the last 45 years your bookstore has been both a salvation and inspiration for our family.” We have tried our best to live up to the highest standards of independent bookselling and to serve the communities that have supported our mission. It has been an honor. 

My last request is that you welcome Clark and Lu into the Northshire family and support them as they make the bookstores even better in the coming years. 

With gratitude,

Chris Morrow


Founder's Note

When we opened the doors of the Northshire Bookstore on Main Street, in September of 1976, we couldn’t have imagined that it would become one of the many institutions that distinguish this corner of Vermont. We have gone through countless transitions and challenges to arrive at this point. And now, our family is transitioning again. 

This is a bittersweet watershed event for us to be sure, but one we are confident will be seamless and beneficial to the welfare of the bookstore and its service to the several marvelous communities it serves…the communities of Manchester and Saratoga, the community of book-loving visitors who continue to support us from their homes, near and far away, the community of publishers with whom we labor to connect author and reader, and our vast community of authors, who provide us with the riches we endeavor to share. Without the support of these various communities the Northshire Bookstore would not have prospered and grown to its current place in the world of books. 

We feel confident that we are passing the store’s stewardship into good and competent hands. Clark and Lu have been longtime patrons and supporters of the Northshire. They are book-knowledgeable, community-oriented, long-time residents, and have proven business and leadership acumen. Most importantly to us, they have a deep appreciation for the existing team of booksellers whose experience and institutional knowledge is irreplaceable, and who are well prepared to see the bookstore through its next few decades of growth and service to the community we love. 

We are eminently grateful to all of you for your support and caring these many years and to know that all your book needs will continue to be met in this wonderful community. 


Ed & Barbara Morrow

Clark _ Lu Pic.jpg

Since 1976 the Northshire Bookstore has been one of our community’s most important cultural and business institutions. It has fostered a love of reading, knowledge and discourse while offering the area’s finest retail shopping experiences, both in Manchester and in Saratoga Springs. 

Throughout our many years as Manchester residents, we have been loyal patrons of the bookstore and admirers of its founders, the Morrow family. As this beloved family-owned business approaches its 45th Anniversary, we are thrilled and honored to become its next stewards. Along with our ownership team members Jon & Tom West, we are committed to continuing the legacy and high standards the Morrows have cultivated over their long tenure.

Our family has been fortunate over the years to be involved in many exciting area ventures, including the Taconic Hotel and the recent restoration of the former Mark Skinner Library building. We have experienced the value of community engagement first hand by serving as board members of local institutions, such as the Manchester Community Library, Taconic Music and Burr and Burton Academy. 

The Northshire Bookstore is a significant local landmark and a vital community center. This conviction and our life-long love of reading and book collecting are what drew us to this endeavor. Equally important to us is the bookstore’s dedicated staff. We value their decades of expertise in creating an unparalleled retail experience and are grateful for their guidance as we begin this exciting new chapter. 

The Northshire is more than a bookstore to us. It’s a vibrant gathering and shopping venue where memories are made and discovery is encouraged. Supporting and nurturing this enriching experience is our highest priority. We are sincerely grateful to the Morrow family for trusting us with their life’s work and welcome the opportunity to continue their legacy for many years to come.

Clark & Lu French

Store May 2007 003 _2_.jpg