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Going to the Outer Banks: Visit Manteo Booksellers

Updated on February 2, 2012
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.


The first stop I make when I go to the Outer Banks is a little place tucked away on a side street in downtown Manteo, Sir Walter Raleigh Street. Looking for all the world like a sixteenth century English shop from the outside, Manteo Booksellers is everything a bookshop should be and more on the inside.

Steve Brumfield's smile welcomes you as soon as you cross the threshold. Then you enter a cozy world of books, books, and some more books. Best sellers, novels, non-fiction, children's and young adults. It is all there. Their specialty is beach books. I don't mean the trashy little paperbacks we love to read while sunning at ocean side, although those are there, too. I mean everything about the North Carolina coast: lighthouses, ships wrecks, pirates, folklore, The Lost Colony, fishing, shelling, birds, the Wright Brothers, EVERYTHING to do with the Outer Banks. Steve is also a great advocate for North Carolina authors. His events calendar is full of the book signings he hosts for those authors, some famous and signing their first book.

His enormous inventory is easy to browse, tucked in nooks and crannies throughout the store. The children's section is a bright and sunny spot in front of a large window. The books are shelved where little folks can reach. A child sized table and chairs invites young customers to sit and read a spell while parents look for their books in the grown-ups part of the store. Comfortable chairs with homey lamps nearby invite the grownups to sit and stay a spell while they read chapter ones.

Photo courtesy of Manteo Booksellers
Photo courtesy of Manteo Booksellers

Manteo Booksellers is the often the scene of festive events like Herbert Hoover Day which is held every August 10th. On that day there is live music, refreshments, and a Herbie trivia contest all to honor President Hoover, who was also an author and literary advocate.

Besides books, unique gift items including pottery by local artisan Jim Fineman, calendars, reading glasses, tee and sweat shirts, totes, mugs and hats with the store logo, journals and jewelry give you a wide choice of souvenirs to remind you of your favorite book store.

So when you get to Mann's Harbor turn left and never mind the big fancy new bridge. If you bypass Manteo you will have bypassed the birthplace of the New World and such important sites as Fort Raleigh, Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island Aquarium, Festival Park, and best of all Manteo Booksellers.

Manteo, NC on Roanoke Island


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    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      7 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I am sad to say that Manteo Booksellers is no more - the shop was flooded by hurricane Irene. Another independent bookshop, Downtown Books, has since opened. I'll visit it the next time I go to the Outer Banks.

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      10 years ago from Central North Carolina

      My children's historical fiction, Pale as the Moon and An Independent Spirit have sold very well in those shops;o)

    • profile image

      Dan Spaventa 

      10 years ago

      Donna - It has always amazed me the inventory that OBX book stores have. They always seem to have the summer reading books we can't find anywhere else. Will have to check this out on our next trip.

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      11 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Yes, indeed they do. Steve is very supportive of NC writers!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      11 years ago from California Gold Country

      Looks charming! I hope they have your books.


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