Between the Pages

By Lisa Cavanaugh

When Nancy and Ralph Titcomb moved to Connecticut in 1967 for his job at General Electric, they went looking for a home with a yard big enough for their growing family (they had eight children). They found it, but what they also found inside the big old house they purchased was a wealth of abandoned items, including many vintage books. Soon they were part-time antiques and book dealers. When they relocated to Cape Cod two years later and moved into a 17th-century home in Sandwich, selling books became the family business when they opened a shop on Route 6A in Sandwich. Now 50 years in, Titcomb’s Bookshop is a beloved store for readers of all ages. Nancy and Ralph still own the shop and their eldest daughter Vicky manages the business. The bookshop has employed a variety of Titcomb children and grandchildren (even Nancy’s mother worked the cash register into her nineties), and their son Ted crafted the iconic wrought-iron colonial man statue which stands sentry along Route 6A.

The business has evolved from used and rare books to today’s bestsellers, with a sizable children’s section. They also celebrate books that are Cape Cod-centric, and Nancy is proud to be one of the founders of the Thornton W. Burgess Society, the Sandwich-born writer/naturalist who created Peter Cottontail. Author readings are popular, and Vicky notes that being an independent bookstore means they can be creative in hosting events. “We offer the community the chance to meet some truly wonderful authors,” says Vicky. After a half century of sharing the love of reading, Nancy says the best thing about selling books “are the people.”

Titcomb’s Bookshop, 432 Route 6A, Sandwich, 508-888-2331

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