Brome Lake Books / The Bookstore

“You feel you’re letting down a friend,” said Reine-Marie.

“Partly, but I run a bookstore,” said Myrna, looking at the row upon row of books, lining the walls and creating corridors in the open space. (The Nature of the Beast, Chapter 4)

Founded in 1998, Brome Lake Books is a little village bookstore with a lovingly curated collection of new titles and old favorites for the discerning booklover. Local authors and books on the area are featured in their own section. A special area in the bargain basement is dedicated to raising money for the community hospital through second hand book sales. Wooden shelves made by a local craftsman line the walls. Lower units in the middle of the room are fitted with casters for smooth movement along the hardwood floors (you do have to be prepared for those impromptu dance parties). Large bay windows overlook the park and the river in the heart of the loyalist village of Knowlton.

Brome Lake Books

A reading area is dedicated to Louise Penny with a little wood stove and a mantle above to display Louise’s books, Three Pines café-au-lait mugs and a decanter of licorice pipes. On the wall is a framed copy of the Three Pines Inspirational map. A braided rug made by a friend’s mother with two cozy arm chairs and a little coffee table complete the area. Lining the top of the bookshelves are samples of Louise Penny’s books in various languages.

Brome Lake Books - Three PinesOwners, husband and wife, Lucy Hoblyn and Danny McAuley may be found puttering around the store on most days. Daily they walk to work with their three year old Portuguese sheepdog, Watson, or the big hairy carpet as he is often called. Watson is the official greeter at Brome Lake Books and he has many friends that stop by for a friendly wag. Their three boys Angus (age 18), Adam (age 15) and Benjamin (age 9) have all grown up with the bookstore and have inherited a love of reading; the very best gift a parent can give.

Last April, Brome Lake Books moved into the next door building and were overwhelmed by all the generous help that they received. Thirty friends, neighbors and customers turned up to carry boxes and boxes of books and heavy shelves. A book club prepared a sumptuous picnic lunch for all to share. One of the happy helpers was none other than Louise Penny herself. Everyone was smiling and jovial then someone starting singing their A,B,C’s as it helped put the books in alphabetical order. It was a very Three Pines day.

One of the great pleasures at Brome Lake Books is having the chance to meet and correspond with the many fans of Louise Penny. Whether it be Arleen from Texas, Diana from Nova Scotia or Andrea from Australia, Louise always has the best fans. Louise inspires us to be kind, caring and thoughtful people. Her books are more about love and community than murder; more about art, poetry and food than crime. More about living than dying. Vive Gamache, Vive Louise!

“So often, a visit to a bookshop has cheered me, and reminded me that there are good things in the world.” ― Vincent van Gogh

Discussion on “Brome Lake Books / The Bookstore

  1. Millie says:

    What a wonderful description of Brome Lake Books! I’d be a daily visitor. It uplifted my spirit to know there are still places and establishments, such as the bookstore, that have such a sense of being part of the community and not just renting a business space. I hope to visit some day. Hopefully when you host a dance. No wonder so many people turned out to help you move next door. Wishing you all the success in the world.

  2. Susan Mekinda says:

    Thanks for all the visuals. This one is most home like. My kind of comfort place.

  3. My daughter has started to read Louise’s books and I think the two of us will be making a tour of the Eastern Townships some day in the future. She loves the books and 3 Pines too. This bookstore looks perfect. Living in a town where there are no local bookshops anymore, I crave the moments when I can visit such a lovely place.

  4. Sue Jackson says:

    I visited this bookstore in July and met Danny. Your description is as wonderful as the store is. Danny is an engaging, friendly owner and seemed not to mind talking about Brome Lake’s most famous writer. I sat in the Louise Penny reading area and I thought Armand Gamache was going to join me! Lovely store, friendly owner, and beautiful town! Thank you Louise Penny for introducing me to this area.

  5. Cheryl Hooper-Feeney says:

    Since discovering Louise Penny’s works in 2013, and attending our first pre-launch in Knowlton in 2014, my husband Dan Feeney and I have fallen in love with Lake Brome Books, and the Eastern Townships! We live in northern Vermont so we’re neighbors, as well. Lake Brome Books is the #1 stop on our increasingly frequent pilgrimages. Vive Libres Lac Brome! Merci!

  6. Thank you Paul Hochman, Minotaur Books and Louise Penny we are very honoured to be selected as the grand finale of The Real Places of Three Pines!!!!!! We always say Louise Penny has the best fans and we love meeting each and every one of you. But we are doubly fortunate to have Louise Penny and her incomparable writing. Our world is a much better place because of Gamache, Clara, Ruth, Olivier, Myrna, Rosa and Three Pines. And we are so very grateful.

  7. Paul Hochman says:

    Thank you, Danny!

  8. Maurice says:

    Another Vermont fan, have read them all including “The Nature of the Beast” that crept across the border. I couldn’t put it down. Having been to Knowlton about one year ago for the community gathering and signing, it does feel like Three Pines! In browsing through Lake Brome Books, I was looking for Myrna!

  9. Diane Paterson says:

    Can’t wait to go to my new mailboxe. I will be getting my first parcel how wonderful to open it and seeing my new Louise Penny book! Anticipation…bye, have to get it now!

  10. Rolene O'Brien says:

    Today, much to my surprise as I had forgotten about it, I received the Three Pines map, resulting in broad smiles and identifying the various buildings. Looks just as described and as I had imagined it. As to the Broome Lake bookstore, I got my two Vive Gamache mugs from them several books ago, use one every day, gave one to the librarian who introduced me to Louise Penny’s Three Pines with Still Life.

    • Sharen Wilde says:

      I too was surprised and thrilled to receive a Three Pines map. I danced all the way home from my mail box! Except for a few obvious.buildings. I could not determine who lived in which house. (????) How did you do it?
      I would love to visit the book shop. Sounds like the cozy library in an old mansion I went to as a child. It had a stone fireplace and big overstuffed chairs.

  11. Anna says:

    I look at the pictures of the bookstore and just feel warm inside, it’s like being at the Bistro. Can’t wait to visit.
    Danny, did you get a visitor’s book?

    • Hi Anna,
      Yes, I had a guest book made by Night Owl Paper Goods in Alabama. It has a wooden cover with Three Pines and Vive Gamache burned onto it. It’s filling up fast. We have entries from Connecticut, Warwick RI, Nova Scotia, Toronto, California, Vermont, Maine, San Diego, Thunder Bay Ontario, Texas, Tasmania just to name a few. I’ll post a picture on our Facebook page. I hope one day to see your name there?

  12. Linda Bowlin says:

    I would also like to know how to identify the houses in the map, for instance, Ruth’s and Clara’s f0r a starter, any help?

    • Sharen Wilde says:

      I started reading the books again and wrote down clues about the buildings’ locations and their descriptions. I’m on The Brutal Telling and think I’ve finally worked them all out, except for the Gamache home.

  13. Trish Sanders says:

    We were so happy to have time to visit Brome Lake Books and meet Lucy. On our way from Hovey Manoir, we stopped at the Bookstore as part of our” Vive Gamage” tour in Quebec.
    That was in August before the location was opened online. And we were fortunate to sign the Guestbook. It will remain a treasured memory of our holiday in Canada for many years.

  14. Anna says:

    Thanks Danny. I saw your Facebook page. The book looks great. Save me a spot, or maybe in the next book because I won’t get there until next year. Maybe I can get the next Louise Penny novel when I come.

  15. jenny Bertenshaw says:

    Just come across this lovely site and have also just finished reading Louise Penny’s latest book The Nature of the Beast.As usual could not put it down,love her work. How fortunate you are to have her living amongst you.I don’t own a Portuguese sheepdog Danny-but I do live in Portugal and see them everywhere.along with the lovely water dogs.

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