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This summer’s retreats are all about putting the right books into the hands of the right person, and who better to help with that task than authors themselves? Our June retreat will feature debut novelist Claire Gibson (Beyond the Point) and historical fiction writer Michelle Gable (The Summer I Met Jack). Both women will be in conversation with Annie on Friday, June 7, at The Paxton House.

Our July retreat will feature essayist and fellow bookseller Mary Laura Philpott (I Miss You When I Blink); tickets are on sale for her appearance at our live podcast event on July 20, which will be open to the public.

retreat schedule

Have you ever wished for a summer camp for grown-ups, only maybe with fewer required activities and more quiet time? Do you long to be among kindred spirits, surrounded by good books and delicious breakfast foods? Is your idea of paradise a small Southern town with giant oak trees, walkable streets, and quaint shops?

Then we’ve planned an event with you in mind. Our June event is booked (pun intended!), but we’ve got a few spots open for our July retreat, scheduled for July 19-21.



Check in at downtown Thomasville’s historic bed and breakfast, The Paxton House, then take a walking tour of our beautiful Southern town. Guests and Bookshelf staff will have happy hour together at The Paxton House, followed by a porch dinner provided by The Paxton. Guests may check in at The Paxton as early as 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon; dinner will begin at 7 p.m.

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We’ll begin Saturday with a delicious breakfast at The Paxton House, followed by a book club-style discussion in one of the Paxton’s gorgeous seating areas. Annie, owner of The Bookshelf, will lead the discussion based on a book selected in advance of the weekend. Following our book club discussion, guests will be encouraged to shop and dine in downtown Thomasville, within walking distance of The Paxton House. Recommendations will be made to ensure guests experience all our quaint downtown has to offer.

In the afternoon, we’ll reconvene at The Paxton for a summer reading guide discussion, followed by an optional “Entertain Your Inner Nerd” class led by a local instructor.

Guests will be responsible for their own dinner plans, and at 6:00, The Bookshelf will open for after-hours shopping exclusive for retreat attendees. At 7:00, The Bookshelf will host a live podcast recording of From the Front Porch, The Bookshelf’s weekly podcast.



Breakfast will be provided prior to checkout, and Sunday festivities may be completed at the guests’ scheduling and leisure.

Reservations + cost

Spots remain for our July Reader Retreat (July 19-21); our June event is sold out.

Our 2019 Reader Retreat has two price options: $725 for two nights in a private room at The Paxton House, and $625 in a semi-private/shared room at The Paxton House. Both options include accommodations; a 45-minute walking tour of Thomasville; Friday night happy hour and porch dinner, as well as two breakfasts; literary programming by The Bookshelf, including a live podcast recording, an Entertain Your Inner Nerd class, and an after-hours shopping experience. Guests and attendees will also receive a swag bag containing a hand-selected hardback book chosen by Annie for the attendee, as well as other curated goodies from The Bookshelf and its neighboring stores.

A locals-only option, without an overnight stay at The Paxton, is $275 and includes dinner at The Paxton House on Friday night, plus all other retreat activities.

Tickets and reservations (for locals and long-distance attendees!) can be purchased through The Paxton House. Space is limited, so make your reservations by calling Carol at The Paxton: 229.226.5197. Just tell her you’re booking for the Bookshelf Reader Retreat!