Meet Our Booksellers: Mel

Meet Mel!

Mel is one of our new booksellers. "I love getting to talk to our customers about books all day." Mel was a member of our YA Book club before she became a bookseller, and we're so excited to put those "book talking" skills to good use. Mel is a fount of knowledge about Yellowstone and has great recommendations for anyone looking to explore Montana through fiction or non-fiction. 

Outside of the bookstore Mel is working towards her Masters of Library and Information Science. She also enjoys crafts, running, hiking and adventuring with her partner and cat (and yes the cat goes on adventures too!) If you spot Mel hiking around South Cottonwood Canyon, don't be afraid to ask her what audiobook she's listening to. Like many of the booksellers you've already met, Mel is a big fan of Wild Crumb and Red Sugar Dim Sum, and of course Montana Ale Works.  

Meet Our Booksellers: Matt

Meet Matt!

Country Bookshelf regulars will recognize our tallest bookseller, Matt! Besides chatting with folks about books, much of Matt's day is devoted to inventory management, particularly with receiving all our amazing new titles, and returning those that have had their day in the sun and are ready to retire to greener pastures (like our bargain section!)

One of Matt's other hidden talents is juggling! He is a prolific book profiler for our Blind Date shelf, you'll definitely want to swipe right on a few of them. He's got a penchant for sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels - scroll below for some of his favorite recommendations. 

Meet Our Booksellers: Christina

Meet Christina!

"I'm a bookseller and I love discovering new books and meeting people."

Another of our Library Science students, Christina can most often be spotted in our Kid's section. She also enjoys music and theater and has some great recommendations from our music, drama, and pop culture sections as well.  If you ever felt like challenging one of our staff members to karaoke, set your sights on Christina. One of her favorite cards says "Can you perform under pressure?" "No, but I'll give Bohemian Rhapsody a go".

Outside of the bookstore she spends time with family and friends, listens to music, reads (of course!), watches movies, makes jewelry (you can spot some of her designs on her etsy store), explores the outdoors, and spends a lot of time studying for school. She loves hiking in Bear Canyon, and pizza from Colombo's. 

Meet Sage!

Meet Our Bookseller Sage Banner

Meet Sage!

"Albert Camus came to me in a dream once. He was very polite and told me to do my dishes. Also we were in space and my cat was there but you couldn't see them."


Sage is one of our newest booksellers, and our new philosophy aficionado. "I find it very meditative to shelve and organize books but my favorite part about working at Country Bookshelf is getting to interact with customers. Whether it be giving a recommendation, hearing about a book they loved, or simply ringing them up, I love all the moments in life I get to witness." They can often be found handselling The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to anyone and everyone nearby.

Sage is a student at Montana State University with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies. They love philosophy but when they're not reading or writing for class they can be found drinking tea, hanging out with their cats, playing games on their Switch, or hiking. Sage has hiked coast to coast in England, walking 150 miles in 11 days! Enjoying the wild flowers in Triple Tree is one of their favorite local hikes. They love breakfast food so you might catch them at Wild Crumb or The Cat Eye Cafe before work in the mornings. Stop in and say hello to Sage!


And We're Back

Country Bookshelf is rolling into the new year with an out-of-this-world virtual event celebrating the work of Ursula K Le Guin, followed by a fiery book club discussion of Susan Orlean’s The Library Book.  

Thursday, January 20th at 7:30pm MT – In a trivia night/literary salon moderated by Dispatches from Anarres editor Susan DeFreitas, Books in Common NW pays tribute to the extraordinary Ursula K. Le Guin alongside contributing writers Stevan Allred, Molly Gloss, Fonda Lee, Sonia Orin Lyris, and Ben Parzybok. Explore Le Guin's legacy and impact on some of the Northwest's favorite authors in their own words as they share their contributions to Dispatches from Anarres and test their knowledge against one another.

Monday, January 24th at 6:00pm MT -- Country Bookshelf is hosting our in-house book club in the comfort of YOUR home! Our book clubs are free and open to the public, and we're always happy to see new faces. This month we're discussing Susan Orlean's The Library Book - a riveting journalistic look at the fire that consumed the LA Public Library. Join us for a dazzling discussion on this love letter to libraries and a compelling true-crime investigation. "Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book" (The Washington Post).

Tis The Season To Shop Local

Holiday Shopping Tips for Bookworms

  • Shop Early: Supply chain, printing scarcity, shipping woes - it's chaos! If you know what you want to gift, preorder or buy it when you see it.
  • Think Ahead: Don't get overwhelmed - think about who you're shopping for and start a list. We have plenty of sources for gift inspiration! Browse our online catalogs and suggestions, or ask one of our booksellers for a recommendation. 
    • Here are some recommended deadlines. Sadly we can't make absolute guarantees, but these are our best estimates. We recommend placing your orders with us by the end of day on Tuesday, 12/14 for the best chance of receiving items for a pickup on or before Christmas Eve. As for shipping - we don't recommend using media mail after 12/1, as these packages will be de-prioritized by the postal service and likely won't arrive in time. If you're shipping packages with us, make sure we have them by the end of day on Wednesday, 12/15 for the best chance at arriving on time for Christmas.
  • Come Say Hi: Skip the shipping! We are bursting with great books, imaginative stockings stuffers, and fun, locally made gifts. Our enthusiastic booksellers are ready to help you find mind-blowing gifts this holiday season.
  • Be Flexible: If your first choice is out of stock, there are so many more titles we want to recommend to you! You're sure to find some unexpected or surprising treasures to give (and maybe a treat for yourself too). We're happy to make recommendations over the phone or virtually. 
  • Stay informed! The holidays are always a wacky time, and pandemic concerns continue to influence shipping delays, store inventory, and more. Stay up to date with all the happenings at Country Bookshelf by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.

And Most importanly:

Stay Well: We are so fond of our customers and want you to have a joyous, peaceful, and safe holiday season.

Shop Early For A Stress-Free Holiday

Shop Early, Shop Local: November is the New December

Why Shop Indie Local early this holiday season? 

Supply and staffing shortages mean locally owned businesses face even more challenges this year. While we won't run out of books, we may run out of specific titles and not be able to restock due to hiccups in the supply chain. And please chat with our staff if you don't see the title you were looking for, we probably have more than one recommendation to make to replace that out of stock title, or surprise someone with a book they'll love that they hadn't even heard of. Our neighboring businesses are facing similar challenges, so we encourage you to shop local and shop early for the holiday season. 

Let’s ensure that our local independent businesses can stick around for holidays to come:

Meet Our Bookseller: Kaycee

Meet Kaycee!

"I help organize the children's section. I keep up to date with the newest books so that I can best help customers, and because I really enjoy children's literature. I like when I hook a kid into a new series because I get to see them come back and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I like to think I am personally responsible for the Redwall revival here in town. I read Young Adult titles for the Reading the West Award short list in 2021. I also nominate titles for Indie Next, and write reviews for! 

I love to cook and bake things from scratch, especially breads. I also love to swim and try to go twice a week at minimum. I play a lot of board games with friends. I am a HUGE fan of punk music. My friends and I were constantly going to local shows around Montana. I grew up with it, and I still blast it everywhere I go. Especially Queerpunk, that's my bread and butter." 

Check out Kaycee's "Not Quite Horror" recommendations here!

If you need a children's book recommendation, or a horror book recommendation, or a scary children's book recommendation, Kaycee is the Bookseller for you. Find some of her favorites this year in the list below.

Meet Our Bookseller: Emi

      Meet Bookseller Emi banner

Meet one of our newest booksellers, Emi! "I'm an avid nordic skier, I love to rock and ice climb, run and mountain bike. Anything that gets me out in the mountains! I also love to knit and read about empire and colonialism. I did competitive gymnastics for 12 years, and I eat kimchi with almost every meal. 

As a bookseller I love getting to help people find books that they will love. Learning what it is about books and reading that gets folks interested and excited always leads to great conversation. I also enjoy introducing readers to new authors, and books with great representation."

Click here to heck out some of Emi's favorite Asian Women Writers with her If/Then list,  along with some of her other favorites!

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month!

Book cover of El Cucuy is Scared TooCelebrate Latinx Hertiage Month starting on September 15th with some incredible children stories from these #ownvoices authors. September 15th is the anniversary of independence of several Latin American countries who declared independence in 1821. "This celebration has become a vital opportunity to dispel ignorance, prejudice and fear through education about multiculturalism and the history of the countless contributions of Latinx communitites"-Milagros Chirinos, Human Rights Campaign. These are some of our staff's favorite picks, but please feel free ask us about more books and titles that we can provide to futher celebrate the many Latinx communities from around the world.

In El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Ramón is too nervous for his first day of school to go to bed. His monster, El Cucuy (el ku-koo-ee), who lives in the cactus pot, can’t get to sleep either. Together, they work through their anxieties about living in a new home in a healthy, affirming way. It’s great to see a book where their feelings are validated and respected, but also they work toward overcoming their fears of new beginnings. Great for kids who recently moved to a new home or are starting their first day of school!

Book cover of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura BelprePlanting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré is the beautiful story of the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. Belpré was the first mainstream author to have Lainx story books published in the United States. She was also a librarian, puppeteer, and advocate for social change. Learn about the incredible life story of the woman who changed the world by planting literary seeds across American libraries. 2021 is the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Literary Award and I would highly recommend the 2021 winners and nominees, such as Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisnernos, Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera, and ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raúl Gonzalez for your bookshelf.

If Dominican Were a Color Book Cover“If Dominican were a color, it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright. If Dominican were a color, it’d be the roar of the ocean in the deep of the night, With the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight.If Dominican Were a Color by Sili Recio is a beautiful poem about the different colors of the Dominican Republic. The pages paint a story of self-love and acceptance that celebrates the author's hertiage. The author's note gives personal insight to the racism and colorism Recio faced as a child and gives comfort to those who have felt the same.