There is something magical about walking into a bookstore, the shelves packed with every imaginable topic and title, just waiting to be explored. One of the best on the Outer Banks is The Island Bookstore, a place that allows us to step back in time before the world became addicted to online and electronic reading.
The Corolla, Duck and Kitty Hawk locations are all a bit different, no cookie cutter retail space, so these stores have grown organically from their locations.
The Kitty Hawk store, located in a strip mall at Milepost 4.5 on the Bypass, is open year round and frequented by locals. It is the smallest of the stores, and in the summer the shelves become so overwhelmed that there are overflow books piled on the floor too.
The shopping plaza it calls home has the Good Life on the one end, offering great coffee, tasty desserts and creative sandwiches, and Zen Pops on the other end featuring organic popsicles and ice cream delights from locally sourced and organic ingredients. Zen Pops can be a bit pricey, but it is absolutely worth the money.
The Corolla store is located in the Historic Corolla Village, which may be one of the best outdoor shopping experiences on the Outer Banks. The village is comprised of unique shops in buildings that date back to the turn of the 20th century, and it is within easy walking distance to the historic Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Whalehead Club.
Although their building is modern, The Island Bookstore in the Village fits perfectly with the local architecture. Typical of what owners Bill and Ursula Rickman seem to like, there are two floors of books, and the layout always creates a sense of exploration.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Island Bookstore in Duck, that makes shopping for a good read an excursion all in its own. Located in the Scarborough Faire Shoppes, the store encompasses two floors and offers thousands of titles selections. The ground floor is home to bookshelves that appear to be over six feet tall, including an abundant children’s section that offers outstanding titles appropriate for young readers, as well as those in middle and high schools.
In my opinion, the second level sets this location apart from the others. Proceeding up a narrow stairwell with a 90 degree bend, you enter a space reminiscent of your grandparent’s attic, the perfect place to search for a rare treasure. Regardless of whether you’ve located your reading selection on the first floor, the second level is worth the effort to climb just to visit this unique space.
The bonus is that all three locations have knowledgeable and welcoming staff that will make your book search an outstanding experience.