Millbrook readers will be happy to hear that the Merritt Bookstore is continuing to operate under its new owner, Kira Wizner.
In a recent email Wizner wrote, “I feel lucky to have found the Merritt Bookstore at a time when it was looking for a new owner.” For some time she had considered taking it on, in part because she wanted to make certain it continued as a valuable resource for the Millbrook community. When saw on the shop’s website that it was for sale, she decided to take the plunge.
Wizner is a lifelong lover of books who says, “As a kid I would read the back of the cereal box” if there was nothing better around. An omnivorous reader today she likes all genres but her favorites are probably novels. Recently she has taken a liking to mystery stories - those by Martin Walker and Louise Penny, and Alan Bradley for starters.
Three years ago Wizner and her husband, Jake, rented a house from friends herein Millbrook. The following year they bought a house of their own,where they spend weekends with their two children. Jake is a middle school teacher in New York r as well as a writer of young adult books. His most recent, “Worth Writing about: Exploring Memoir with Adolescents” was published by Stenhouse Publishing.
For the moment Wizner will continue living in New York, where her children ages 10 and 12 go to the Blue School. She plans to spend Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Millbrook and return on Friday. She will be in the shop Saturdays and Sundays throughout the holidays.
Merritt Books will have all sorts of tempting things for Christmas including an extensive selection of books as well as toys and games for children of all ages. They will also have Christmas cards as well as pretty ribbons and papers for those who like to wrap their own presents.
I was thrilled to discover an assortment of titles published by the British firm, Persephone Books, that specializes in mid-twentieth century English writers, most of them women. Each volume has an elegant grey jacket, a ‘fabric’ endpaper with matching bookmark, and a preface by writers such as Diana Athill, Penelope Fitgerald, and Edmund de Waal. These books are a treasure and not readily available in this country,
In March Wizner will close the shop for extensive remodeling. While the space is reconfigured, Merritt Books will remain open in a pop-up location somewhere in the village. Come spring there will be a grand opening.
The upstairs gallery will remain open. Currently on view is an exhibition of landscapes, still-lifes and portraits by Stanfordville artist, Lynda Youmans. On December 5 Merritt will be hosting a First Saturday event featuring Millbrook photographer and author G.A. Mudge and his recent book, “Alice in Central Park: Statues in Wonderland.”
Also on December 5 Rick Moody will read from and sign his new novel, “The Hotels of North America.”
Wizner says she is grateful for all the help and support she has gotten from the former owner of Merritt Books, Alison Meyer, who is staying on. Alison will continue to produce The Millbrook Literary Festival, which will be held on May 21, 2016. Many of the staff will also continue helping at the store.