When Greenwich resident Diane Garrett opened Diane’s Books in a small space on Grigg Street in 1990, downtown Greenwich had 7 independent bookstores (of which Diane's is the only one of the original 7 remaining!) By her side was her husband Gordon who became known as Mr. Books and you can sit on his bench outside the store that was installed in remembrance of his love of Diane and her dream.
Gordon or Mr. Books
Garrett hails from Sudbury, a nickel mining town in northern Ontario, Canada--where her father was both miner and actor. Her mother read to the family every day when they were young which instilled in Diane a passion for books that persists to this day. (Side note--Sudbury is also the childhood home town of Alex Trebek of Jeopardy! fame-sadly they never meet despite being only 1 year apart in age! so maybe there is something literary in the water!)
Beautiful Lake Ramsey, Sudbury, Ontario where Diane spent many a childhood summer canoeing & just hanging out
After moving to Greenwich from Canada (and a brief stint in Paris, France--Diane's favorite city in the world!!)
Diane in Paris, 2017
Diane was astonished to learn there was no bookstore dedicated to children in the Greenwich area. She felt the need to do something about it and attend to the rest of the family at the same time. “I wanted the whole family to read,” Diane says. “We can’t raise lifelong readers unless everybody’s reading in the family”.
An expert on all things literary, Diane's literary prowess and local celebrity is noticed by many in Greenwich. Flash forward 32 and counting! years from the store opening and her formula hasn’t changed a bit, the shop is still bursting with books and her customers keep coming back. For Diane, It’s about the customer and everything else follows. Her judgment free attitude (“I don’t care what you read, as long as you’re reading,” ) and her highly selective inventory (“Every book we have is there for a reason.”) keeps customers repeatedly returning for book selection assistance and gift recommendations. Some even refer to her as “the book matchmaker.”
Diane Receiving the Malcolm Pray Award
For various philanthropic efforts, Diane was awarded with the Malcolm S. Pray Excellence in Business Award through the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce. The award is given to business owners who provide impactful community service to the Greenwich area.