Village Books and Paper Dreams is a community-based, independent bookstore and gift shop located in the Historic Fairhaven Village on the southside of Bellingham and in the iconic Waples Mercantile Building on Front Street in Lynden, Washington. Since 1980, we have been "building community one book at a time." Village Books and Paper Dreams is a place to meet your friends, talk books, or just while away an hour or two among our shelves or at Evolve Chocolate + Cafe deliciously perched on the mezzanine of Village Books in Fairhaven, overlooking the Village Green. If you're in the neighborhood come on in to explore!
Village Books and Paper Dreams co-owners Paul Hanson, Kelly Evert and Sarah Hutton are proud stewards of the store, which Chuck and Dee Robinson founded on June 20, 1980. At the time, Fairhaven was a far cry from today’s bustling community center. “Fairhaven was a rather sorry looking place in 1979,” Brian Griffin writes in his book Fairhaven, A History. By opening their now-legendary independent bookstore on 11th Street and, soon after, its sister gift store Paper Dreams, the Robinsons ushered in an era of recovery and creativity in the Victorian-era village. In 2004, Chuck and Dee built a new three-story home for the Fairhaven store … just steps away from the original location.
In 2015, we opened our second location in the landmark Waples Mercantile Building on Front Street in Lynden. The century-old concrete and heavy timber structure nearly burned to the ground in 2008, but now it is a modern-day downtown anchor housing the Inn at Lynden, Village Books and Paper Dreams, Overflow Taps, Avenue Bread, Cheeks, and Bellingham Baby Company.
When the Robinsons sold the store in 2017 to Kelly, Paul and Sarah, they entrusted it to a highly experienced team. The trio had been managing day-to-day operations for several years. Sarah had been with the store for more than a decade. Kelly and Paul arrived in 2011, both with extensive experience in retail, specifically bookstores and bookstore management. The new owners carry on traditions such as book groups, community partnerships, Reader Rewards, the Devoted Dreamer program, outstanding service, children’s story times, and a Holiday Open House, to name a few. But they’re also making their mark with new programs.
We carry new, used and bargain books, sell ebooks, and partner with Libro.fm to offer digital audiobooks. The books on our shelves are carefully curated by Village Books' buyers right here in Bellingham, meaning they are not titles chosen by someone in some remote office or determined by an algorithm. Years of experience with local customers and knowledge of local interests helps us carefully select the books you love. If you don't see books on a topic of interest to you please let us know. Thanks to you, Village Books is able to continue keeping local readers in mind. Local interests also guide our inventory of great gifts, apparel, home decor and treats at Paper Dreams.
We are thrilled to be part of IndieBound, a national organization of independent booksellers started by the American Booksellers Association. Take a moment to visit their website to learn more about this energetic and passionate group of book lovers.