Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

The little bookstore that's bigger on the inside

What could be a more perfect gift for the writer in your life than a journal? Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester has beautiful leather bound journals for sale, most of them with metal clasps, and with beautiful leather engraving.

They come in two sizes, Large and Medium. 

There are two designs. The designs are the same on both the large and medium journals. One design is an engraved circle in the middle, inside a frame of sorts. 

On the other side of those journals is a tree with a braided border and multiple shapes in between.

The other journal’s design looks much more rugged, and looks more like a pouch with the metal clasp.

These might be great gifts to give to children to help stir their imaginations. Maybe it will help them write great stories!

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is pleased to offer Socks from Out of Print, , the company that makes the Pins and the Tote Bags we also have in stock.

As with all of the Out of Print merchandise, the theme of the socks is books, and anything related to books. Like this typewriter, for example. What writer or aspiring writer wouldn’t want a pair of socks laden with typewriters?

The socks come in three sizes – Large, Small, and Children’s. At the moment, the selection of large socks looks like this:

There are fewer small socks, but the inventory changes constantly. Nonetheless, all of the socks have something to do with books.

Right now, Clifford is the only Children’s pair of socks in stock. This, too, shall change.

The socks are all comfortable, and are great conversation pieces! They are perfect gifts for the readers and writers in your family, or your literary friends!

Happy Holiday Shopping Guide!

Today’s choice for gifts at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, the “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street are crossword puzzles. Crossword Puzzles to me bring back memories of my mother, who always had a crossword puzzle book in her hand, and was constantly working on puzzles. We always kidded her about it, but in actuality, she really loved them because it kept her mind working. They are fun to do, and aside from keeping someone busy, they really do help sharpen one’s brain.

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester has a nice selection of crossword puzzles for adults, and they range from easier puzzles to harder ones.

The New York Times Hard Crosswords are probably for the more experience puzzlers, or those people who may be pretty good with words. They would make great gifts for the right people in your life.

The other crossword books we have are a little easier, but still can make a person think!

None-the-less, they are all a lot of fun, and will give the right person something fun to do on a cold Winter night!


Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Science Fiction author Wil McCarthy. As we usually do in our Author Spotlights, we ask our authors to tell us a little bit about themselves and their writing. Wil’s had some incredible experiences, as he mentions below:



My name is Wil McCarthy.  I’m a former tech company founder and CTO, and I hold patents in 7 countries, including 31 issued U.S. patents.  I’ve written 13 books, and I used to be a contributing editor for Wired magazine and the science and technology correspondent for the SyFy channel.



 Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)



I sometimes publish in magazines like Analog and Asimov’s, and some of my backlist is available from ReAnimus Press.  But I’ve got four books out from Baen (ANTEDILUVIAN, THE COLLAPSIUM, THE WELLSTONE, and LOST IN TRANSMISSION), with another two on the way (TO CRUSH THE MOON and RICH MAN’S SKY), and I’m presently working on a seventh (POOR MAN’S SKY).  So Baen is mostly where you can find me.




How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?


You can friend me on Facebook, or “like” my author page there.



For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Lost in Transmission?



My work is generally classified as hard science fiction, because I try to write about things I believe are possible, but given all the unknowns in science, that leaves a lot of space to play around in.  The important thing is telling a good story that makes sense, and captures the reader’s imagination.


LOST IN TRANSMISSION is a book about the lives of immorbid people – that is, people who can die by misadventure, but can’t grow old or get sick.  They live extremely long lives, sprawling out over thousands of years, and if you think about real history in that context, that’s more than enough time for civilizations to rise and fall.  When people live that long, the consequences of their actions can’t simply be pushed off to future generations.  On the other hand, those time spans let people – even supposedly average or mediocre people – accumulate vast troves of experience.  So there’s a lot of room for personal growth, even where the world is falling apart.


Also there are starships and robots and programmable matter and miniature black holes.  This is a Queendom of Sol novel, with a lot of big science lurking in the background.  That’s not what the book is about, but it’s woven into the environment.




What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?



The nominal villain of the story is someone who correctly foresees a total economic collapse.  If you know that’s coming, way ahead of time, you can make hard choices about what to save and what to throw overboard.  It makes sense, and it may even be necessary, but that’s cold comfort if you’re one of the things being sacrificed.


The nominal hero is someone who’s determined to defy his leaders and save what he can, at great personal cost.  But it’s hard to succeed at such a monumental task, so is that really better?  Is the overwhelmed hero actually doing more good than the patient schemer?  That ambiguity kind of sets the tone for the book.  But the hero is easier to like.








What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?



The Queendom of Sol books are structured like fairy tales, with Big Science taking the place of magic.  All kinds of things that would be miraculous to us are no big deal in the Queendom.  Also, Queendom society is Utopian in a lot of ways.  It’s based on people’s deepest needs, which can actually be quite different than what they think they want.  So it’s not a democracy, for example.  But neither is a fairy tale, right?  I think a lot of readers are drawn in by that.  I am, too.



What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?



My favorite part, hands down, is being illustrated.  Cover art is my drug of choice, because it’s the only way to see the images that my words produce in someone else’s mind.  The writing process is a lot of hard, solitary work, and the publishing process consists largely of reading your own prose over and over again until you can’t really even see it anymore.  Also, as most writers will tell you, going back and reading your old work is disappointing, because you’ve moved on.  It seems immature, or irrelevant.  But the cover art is still exciting!


I also wrote a screenplay for a movie once, and it was weird to see my writing in that very visual format.  Not necessarily rewarding, because the movie that got made was pretty different than the script I turned in.  But there were flashes of me in there, and it was kind of eerie to watch those for the first time.


As for greatest lessons, wow.  Hmm.  I took a long break from writing when I started my company, and that ended up eating nearly fifteen years of my life.  But when I started writing again, my whole self just kind of relaxed into it.  I didn’t forget how to do it, but I did forget how good it felt.  So I think the lesson is, if you love something, don’t stop doing it for fifteen years.  Really don’t.




What question do you wish interviewers would ask you, and what would the answer be?



I wish people would ask me what accomplishments I’m most proud of.  But it’s a funny thing, because I’m not actually sure what the answer is.  I’ve raised two children.  I’ve found my perfect mate.  I’ve published books, and I’ve started a company from scratch, from nothing but the ideas in my head.  But at any given moment, I may not be thinking about any of that.  Maybe my proudest accomplishment is just existing at all, and that’s not something I can take credit for.  But it sure is amazing.




What else can we expect from you in the near future?



Coming up this spring, back to back, are TO CRUSH THE MOON, which is another Queendom of Sol novel, and RICH MAN’S SKY, which is the start of a new series set in the near future, where the space program is controlled by a handful of high-net-worth individuals.  I’m indescribably excited about both of these books, and I think everyone reading this should pre-order them from Annie’s Book Stop.  COVID has wrecked a lot of things, but we can still settle down with a good book.


 (Like one of these? – SL)


Thanks so much for taking the time to answer so many of our questions, Wil! Perhaps we’ll learn more about you in the Spring in a Zoom interview!

As we approach the end of 2020, we at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside are sure you’ll agree with our hopes that 2021 will treat all of us a bit more kindly. As a gift idea for yourself or for friends and family, come explore our spread of Tarot decks, oracle decks, and Lenormand sets to take a peek into your future and to summon inspiration. In addition, we also sell various traditional playing card games.

Many of our decks come from U.S Games Systems, a Connecticut-based company that has served New England and the world since 1968.

We expect it to be a long winter, with the probable necessity of finding indoor activities that the whole family to enjoy. We’ve stocked basic playing card decks with large print faces and suits, as well as some classic card games like Authors, Wizard, and Crazy Eights.

Thank you, as always, for making our shelves your destination.

This is going to be a more personal blog entry in our ABSW Holiday Gift Guide series than the ones our staff and I usually write. Not that our recommendations aren’t usually personal picks, but this time I’m going to let you see a little bit behind the curtain at the little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside.

December 2020 marks ten full years since I took over as owner of Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester. It also marks ten full years since my mother died.  She never got to visit the bookstore, although my father and some of my siblings have been here on several occasions.

I count myself infinitely lucky to have grown up in a house full of books. They’ve led me to this current path where I can put books into the hands of others… titles that  are either new discoveries or are old friends from years gone by.

Here are three books that had a tremendous impact on me at different points in my childhood.

“When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of an overworked and underappreciated baby flying dragon, he stows away on a ship and travels to Wild Island to rescue the dragon.” – MY FATHER’S DRAGON, written by Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett.

“For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he”s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different.” – THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, written by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

“Gareth doesn’t have nine lives, but he is definitely not an ordinary cat. For one thing, he can talk. For another, he has magical powers that Jason never dreamed of.” – TIME CAT, written by Lloyd Alexander, illustrated by Bill Sokol.

SPRING 1970: I was six and a half years old, in the hospital recovering from a surgery for what was called “lazy eye” back then. I had a patch over one eye and felt too sick to do much of anything except sleep. A kind nurse read parts of MY FATHER’S DRAGON to me during my hospital stay, and I loved how each odd item that our hero initially packed in his backpack eventually had an ingenious use to save the day. MacGyver had nothing on Elmer Elevator.

WINTER 1972: I was in fourth grade and our teacher gave the class a “good behavior” treat before we broke for the Christmas holiday… she showed us the Chuck Jones film version of THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. As an avid fan of animation, even at the age of nine, I enjoyed it tremendously, probably more than most of my classmates. A few months later, when the spring Scholastic Book Club forms circulated and I discovered that the book was on the list of titles we could buy, I begged my older sister to share her allowance money with me so that we could buy it. I still have that copy, with our signatures in it.

AUTUMN 1974: By the time I was twelve, my parents were used to seeing books on my birthday lists and Christmas lists. But I don’t remember asking for TIME CAT specifically. So I was pleased and surprised to see this book that seemed almost to have been written *for* me. In years to follow, I devoured everything that Lloyd Alexander wrote.

I re-read these books at least once a year. Now that I am an adult, I realize what these three books all have in common… they all are about escaping from the travails of life and discovering new places and new friends when least expected. Those themes have always resounded with me, but I am sure they are even more relevant in these days where we are sheltering in place, but finding new ways to reach out to others.

MY FATHER’S DRAGON, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, and TIME CAT are all in stock currently, and we consider them part of our “never out of stock” inventory.

Books have been a comfort to me all my life. Let some of my favorites be a comfort to you.

—Patty Cryan, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester

Jigsaw Puzzles. They are really fun things to do when you are stuck at home, and want to be social with the people you are with. Or, if you prefer, trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle by yourself and finishing it gives one a sense of accomplishment. And the beauty of it is, once you have completed it, you can break it up, and put it back together again, or if it is really hard, and it is a really nice picture, you may want to frame it!


Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester has some very nice jigsaw puzzles for you to buy as a gift for a loved one who enjoys puzzles (or you may want to get one for yourself!).


Most of our puzzles are 500 – 1000 pieces, so the pieces are pretty small. Most of them are probably quite difficult. We are always getting new ones in, as well. The 1000 piece puzzles we have now are The World of Sherlock Holmes, and Sibley’s Backyard Birds. The Sherlock puzzle would be great for Mystery fans, and the Sibley – well, Birders, of course.

I am just guessing, but it looks as though the next three 500 piece puzzles are just as difficult, judging from the covers. The Where’s Bowie puzzle is extremely busy (and fun!), as you can tell by looking at the small figures (and Aliens!)

The Frontiers of Space and the Frank Lloyd Wright puzzles are also extremely busy, and the Frank Lloyd Wright puzzle may look nice as a wall hanging once it’s done.

The other puzzle we have is totally different, and could be given more to younger children. It is a 550 piece puzzle, The Night Before Christmas. It is a great puzzle to really get you into the spirit of Christmas.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday, whichever one you may celebrate, from all of us at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!

The last full month of 2020 is upon us!  In observance of the winter holiday season here at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside, our current hours of operation, between now and December 19th are:




Our extended hours are to allow you more time to shop safely.

We hope you’ve been enjoying our series of holiday gift ideas!  Posts will be appearing daily between now and December 24th.


We’d like to remind you of our range of publisher specials for this month; any and all are great candidates for gift-giving for your loved ones and for you!









All of our publisher specials this month are 42% off retail prices.

Thank you, as always, for making our shelves your destination.

—Patty and the staff of Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester

Something you might think about as a gift for someone are hand crocheted kitchen towels. We have a fantastic selection of them, practically guaranteed to match any kitchen, because they come in all colors! This year, as always, we are happy to have kitchen towels for all seasons, created by local artist Katie Giroux, who crochets and sews all of the tops.


Now, even though the weather hasn’t been very cold lately, Winter is coming. People are starting to get out their Winter clothing, coats, gloves and boots, waiting for the temperature to drop and the snow to start falling.  Snowmen, reindeer, and the holidays are on people’s minds, so let’s go to some of our cool selection of kitchen towels that represent some of the holidays.

Katie makes towels for all seasons, so there is an good supply of  Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter towels waiting to grace your kitchen, or the kitchen of a family member or friend.

There are also towels that depict everyday scenes of things like kitchens, coffee, and love, plus a number of all-year-round towels to choose from. Note that the towels are made so that you can wrap the knit top around the handle of your oven and button it so it will stay on!

So, come on over, and catch a look at this unique gift that will suit just about anyone. Check out our supply of hand-crocheted kitchen towels.

From all of us at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, have a great holiday season, and thank you for making our shelves your destination.

As William Wordsworth said, “The world is too much with us”, and those words are especially true in this pandemic year.  Here at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside, we’d like to introduce you to some of the science fiction and mystery audio dramas and audiobooks from Big Finish, to help take your mind off current events.  

First, there are the audio titles that ABSW is known for, considering our love for DOCTOR WHO, the world’s longest-running science fiction serial.

There are numerous single-episode and boxed-set collections available, covering more than fifty years of time travel adventure and spanning a range of Doctors and Companions… the monthly range, the Lost Adventures, the Companion Chronicles, just to name a few.

And then there’s the spinoffs, featuring characters who’ve merited their own series.

In addition, Big Finish produces a number of audio drama series based on vintage television shows.

There’s something for everyone who loves science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror. Give your friends, your family, and yourself the gift of exploration and imagination – new worlds and permutations of old stories!

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