The question comes up again: Why shop Ridgefield?
When it comes to , located on Main Street next to Town Hall, most Ridgefielders know why.
The independent bookstore opened in 1984 at its first location in Copps Hill Commons -- purchased in 2004 by Ellen Burns and Darwin Ellis, it moved to its current location in August, 2009.
The store is one of a dying breed -- as such, it attracts bookers from nearby towns that don't have an independent bookstore of their own.
And with the closing of Borders stores everywhere, its reach has grown.
But there are still easier and less expensive options, so why go to Books on the Common for something you can get online or at a bigger store?
Ellen Burns said Amazon.com is the store's biggest competition right now, not surprisingly, and that the website has been driving prices down over the past few years.
"We don't do the volume they do," Burns said. "We offer discounts for book clubs, for seniors and children, but it's still hard to keep up."
But there's a reason people still go to the corner bookstore, Burns said.
"It's a place where people can come to talk about books," she said. "You can't get that other places."
Burns and her husband, Ellis, know what their customers like to read and purchase books individually with that in mind -- Burns said it's an important difference from sorting through "some algorithm" created online.
"If you want easy and cheap, you go online," Burns said. "But if you want a downtown area where you can go from the hardware store to Squash's [office supply] then it's important to support local merchants."
"Without that support, this doesn't exist," she said. "Shopping locally keeps merchants in town."
When asked to imagine a dystopian Ridgefield in which local businesses are a rarity rather than a corner feature, Burns paused a moment.
"A much sadder place," she said. "It would be a less vibrant downtown. There are a lot of vacancies now, and while it's easier to go to the computer, people would be diminishing their own communities by not supporting local merchants."
But Books on the Common is lucky, Burns added, and is doing well:
"We've been very fortunate, because people in Ridgefield and surrounding towns get that."