Saltwater Bookstore brings new life to Marblehead

Laura Cooper owner of the new coastal, New England Vibe bookstore. Photo by Julie Gaunt

Inspired by the resurgence of independent bookstores in the New England area, Laura Cooper opened Saltwater Bookstore with the aim to create a bookstore unique to Marblehead.

“Careful attention was given to the design and layout of Saltwater Bookstore to provide the shopper a memorable experience,” said Cooper. “I decided on a cozy, coastal vibe, with floating wood shelves, rattan lighting, cushioned reading nooks, and lots of other special design details. Light and bright, the colors of the 4,000-plus book covers really make a beautiful impression when entering.”

The new bookstore features both adult and children’s books, and rooms that contain a selection of thoughtfully curated titles to choose from.

“I encourage everyone who visits to take the time to browse the different categories, page through books, with hopes you leave with something you never expected to find,” said Cooper.

Having a local section in her community bookstore was very important for Cooper. There are designated shelves full of titles written by authors in Marblehead and the New England area, as well as books with related subject matters, such as sailing and ocean studies.

Cooper said that the section has been well-received, and that she currently has more books that will be added to it.

“Opening an independent bookstore has always been a dream of mine. I’m an avid reader and spending time in bookstores has always brought me great joy,” said Cooper. “Lucky enough to call Marblehead home for the last 20-plus years, I couldn’t think of a better community to make that dream happen. Full of beauty, charm, and supportive residents, Saltwater Bookstore is in the perfect place.”

While Cooper is currently getting settled after Saltwater’s recent opening on May 25, she plans on incorporating events, such as author signings and book-club meetings, in the near future.

Cooper said the store’s website,, will be launching this week, and that updates are available on the bookstore’s Instagram page @saltwaterookstore.