The Book Shed Outpost ~ Books are a-Happening in Benson Vermont! – and Tacos too!

By Joe Trenn, The Book Shed

From New York to Los Angeles through London, Moscow and Tokyo, pop-up stores have become the new big thing in retail. This summer the phenomenon comes to Rutland County when Benson gets it first pop-up store, The Book Shed Outpost.

Joe Trenn at The Book Shed


Open most weekends (weather permitting) in July and August and possibly through the fall foliage season the Outpost will be located next to West Coast Tacos on the corner of Route 22A and Mill Pond Rd. A wide assortment of books reflective of the stock available at the original Book Shed will be carried as well as a variety of discount books. The Book Shed, Rutland County’s oldest used book store, has been operating for 17 years in the village of Benson. According to the owner, Joseph Trenn, his biggest difficulty is in getting travelers to make the turn from 22A and drive the 3/4 of a mile to his location in the village. He is hoping that the conveniently located Outpost will help remedy that.

West Coast Tacos, an LA inspired taco stand, was opened this spring by Jan and Tim Bird of Benson just a few miles from New England’s west coast, the shores of Lake Champlain. The yellow corn tortillas for their various tacos and burritos are cooked on site. They offer a signature nine inch corn tortilla which is custom made for them. Rounding out the menu are hand cut nachos, burritos and a delicious steak and cheese sandwich. As an authentic accompaniment to their food the Birds make every effort to carry a cane sugar variety of Coca-Cola made in Mexico (“Hecho en Mexico para refresco”) – the fabled “Mexican Coke” is what we all drank years ago before the advent of high fructose corn syrup. West Coast Tacos is open everyday from 11-8 pm. Phone is (802) 236-1018.

It is shaping up to be a busy summer on this corner of Benson seven miles north of U.S. Route 4 in Fair Haven.  Books and Tacos on a summer day? – who can resist!

The Book Shed
733 Lake Road
Benson VT 05731

 West Coast Tacos
58 Mill Pond Rd., Benson, Vermont 05731
(802) 236-1018

c2013 VABA

The VABA 2012 Spring Book Fair ~ In Words and Pictures!

The VABA Spring Book Fair was a rousing time for all participating and those attending… here are some notes and photographs from those who were there!  -

Donna Howard of The Eloquent Page, our intrepid book fair organizer!
[image: from Rachel at Old Saratoga Books]

And please plan to join is for our next fair on 12 August 2012 in Brattleboro – click here for more information.

Rachel at Old Saratoga Books was an exhibitor – she writes about her experience on her blog Book Trout and shares it with us here:

Rachel at Old Saratoga Books

Here’s a helpful travel tip. When traveling in the pre-dawn hours to a destination you are unfamiliar with in a vehicle you are unsure of, it’s helpful to avoid spooky mountain roads where your cellphone doesn’t get reception. I foolishly set off at 4 am  from Saratoga County, New York to exhibit my wares at the Vermont Book and Ephemera Fair in Burlington, hoping to arrive early for the setup. The plan was to arrange my book booth and then stroll around leisurely with a strong cup of coffee to see what my colleagues were selling before the official opening at 10 am.

While I spent a lot of time rehashing my book fair packing list (I remembered my cash this time, unless last November’s Albany Book Fair, when I had to beg for singles from another bookseller) and picking out the books I wanted to bring to Burlington, I was less diligent about researching my driving route and ended up taking Route 9N through the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga, where I collapsed into a fast food restaurant after almost two hours of hairpin turns, a couple of deer in the headlights, 20-30 mph driving through villages through rain and fog and having my check engine light come on after grinding up a particularly steep incline. The cheery counter lady assured me that Burlington was only another hour and a half away, which proved to be the case and I made it in plenty of time to be set up…. ” ~ Read More…


Barbara Harding of Otter Creek Used Books in Middlebury, VT wrote on her blog:

I did it! My thoughts and plans came together and above shows my booth at the recent VT Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair – the Spring show – over the past weekend – Sunday, March 25 – in Burlington.”  Read More…

[Otter Creek Used Books]


Some images of a lovely bookish day from Patty McWilliams at Hermit Hill Books:



Joe Trenn from The Book Shed in Benson, VT writes:

“A steady stream of customers came through The Book Shed booth at the VABA Spring Book Fair. We enjoyed a good amount of sales but the greatest pleasure of the day was the opportunity to talk books with fairgoers and see the material brought by the other vendors. My personal highlight of the day was finding a new addition for my London books collection at the Craftsbury Antiquarian Books booth hosted by Tom Twetten. Shakespeare’s Second Globe: A Missing Monument by C. Walter Hodges was among Tom’s offerings and at a very attractive price. Hodges, an illustrator, made the case for rebuilding the Globe with this 1973 illustrated work. A close analysis of Wenceslaus Hollar’s magnificent Long View of 17th century London was used to demonstrate the feasibility of a rebuilt Globe. As a result of his and other’s efforts 21st century visitors to the great city can now see Shakespeare’s plays in a replica of his famous theater. Hodges’ book, which was not published in the US, was a great find and a great addition to any London lover’s collection. Thanks Tom for bringing it along. I’m looking forward to the August 12th VABA Summer Fair in Brattleboro for another opportunity to spend the day amongst books and book lovers. Who knows what treasure will turn up there?

Front panel

Rear Panel

Test your knowledge of London and Shakespeare by identifying the
mistake on the above image of the dust jacket!
[leave a comment with your answer in the "reply" box below] 


From George Singer, of Ashley Book Company in Burlington:

“I spent well over an hour at the Fair. There was plenty of room to maneuver, the books were nicely displayed for the most part, and the dealers were uniformly welcoming. All in all a delightful experience, positive enough so that next year I plan to have a booth.” 


Ben Koenig of the Country Bookshop in Plainfield, VT commented:

“This year’s VABA Burlington Book Fair was a breath of fresh air. Well run and well attended – who could ask for anything more? But wait – people were also buying books, old paper and old postcards. Customers were entering my booth with packages from other dealers and, amongst those who knew me, they couldn’t wait to share their excitement about their recent purchases. Yes, I sold books. But even better was the feeling that a shift was taking place. After years of depressing faces and poor attendance I was seeing the excitement of a crowd hooked on books.”


If anyone would like to share their thoughts about the day, please comment!

[All Images courtesy of the booksellers depicted, with thanks to all]

@2012 VABA