Nothing says summer on Cape Cod quite like unwinding with a good book on the beach. Local bookstores will help you get a head start on that beloved pastime with the celebrated Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail! So fill up the gas tank, pull out the map (or use your phone’s GPS) and start exploring.

Nearly every bookstore on the Cape, as well as three on the Islands, are participating in the trail, which was created by Vicky Titcomb, owner of Titcomb’s Bookshop on Route 6A in Sandwich; Sara Hines, co-owner of Eight Cousins Books on Main Street in Falmouth; and Caitlin Doggart-Bernal, co-owner of Where the Sidewalk Ends on Main Street in Chatham.

What’s in store for those who take a trip down the Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail? There is something magical and enchanting about visiting a local bookstore, especially here on Cape Cod. Each has its own distinct personality, one-of-a-kind history, and charm; like opening up a book for the first time, you never know what you’re going to get.

“We want people to recognize Cape Cod as a literary destination – a place to not only find great books and bookstores, but to meet interesting and important authors,” Vicky Titcomb says. “Book lovers and avid readers often seek out independent bookstores in the places they visit, and the Bookstore Trail map makes it easy and entertaining to do so!”

“As booksellers on Cape Cod, we’ve heard time and time again from customers how wonderful it is to visit a locally-owned bookstore because often they don’t have one in their area,” says Sara Hines.

One of the reasons independent bookstores are so vital to the Cape is that they help introduce debut authors to readers. They also bring notable writers into the communities and schools, helping to encourage a love of reading among the next generation.

It is why bookstores continue to thrive here – they matter and help to shape this place we call home. “Independent stores help give a community a strong and vibrant economy and give a positive character to our towns,” Caitlin Doggart-Bernal says.

So get ready to stock up on your summer reading list! Your treasure awaits, and can only be found at these participating bookstores. Trail maps will be available at participating stores and can be downloaded here. Follow all the updates on Facebook!

Happy exploring!