A New Chapter

In an era of online book sales, Barrington Books Retold makes literature an interactive experience


Barrington Books Retold’s manager Jennifer Massotti describes the vibe of the store, an offshoot of the original Barrington Books in Barrington, as “unexpected” – and it certainly is. While it appears to be an ordinary bookstore, the new location in Cranston’s Garden City Center is packed with unexpected and delightful finds. For example, upon entering the 5,000 square foot space, you’re immediately greeted by a vintage red and white French car. Yes, a real, full-sized car inside the store. The store carries over 20,000 titles of new books here, everything from adult fiction and nonfiction to children’s picture books and young adult reads.

As you walk farther in, you find yourself in a gorgeous gift section, which carries adorable finds of all kinds. Cute Rhode Island, New England and nautical themed gifts and goods are also scattered throughout. There’s everything you’d need for gift giving, like fun cards, wrapping paper, bows, ribbon and gift bags.

The entire back of the store is dedicated to the children’s section. Built around a fun tree sculpture that marks the reading area where a children’s story hour is held every Monday and Friday, and carpeted to look like a sandbox with grass in the middle, the whimsical kids’ section is packed with games, toys and essential children’s reads for every age. The cozy cushioned benches in the story section are all fitted with wheels, so they can be moved out of the way to accommodate a larger audience for bigger author events that Barrington Books Retold frequently hosts.

Every detail of Barrington Books Retold is beautifully thought out. “Each section of the store has a surprise to happen upon,” says Jennifer. The tables and shelves in the store were all carefully selected aesthetic pieces – like an antique rickshaw – or specifically made for the store. Jewelry displayed in the gift section is mounted on an eye-catching art installation made of vintage books – highlighting “that the soul of the store really is books,” Jennifer explains as she points out the piece. Around every corner is something unexpected, making Barrington Books Retold a delightful place to wander and browse.

The original location has been open for almost 30 years, its interior space constantly growing and adapting physically, but this new space, open since October, was really a blank canvas. It presented a unique opportunity to be able to build on the type of merchandise and style that had been created at Barrington Books. “It really is Barrington Books but reimagined for busy, young families,” says Jennifer on the new location. Barrington Books Retold definitely does offer the perfect one-stop visit for any kind of gift you’d need, with an incredibly attentive and knowledgeable staff. Special events are always happening at both Barrington Books locations, so check out the website to see what’s going on.

Barrington Books Retold
176 Hillside Road, Cranston