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West Hartford BookWelcome to 15th edition of The West Hartford Book, which, like wine, seems to get better with age — the only difference being that we have to work at it. So we do.

The exceptional quality of work provided by our regular contributors continues to ensure that The West Hartford Book is both a directory of resources and a delightful exploration. Indeed, in our increasingly impersonal world of texting, Facebooking, tweeting, Wikileaking, Instagramming, Snapchatting, globalization, mega-mergers, stock market bounces, hyper-tech, and chain ownership, we remain staunchly the opposite: A trusted, homegrown resource for useful local information produced entirely by local people.

The brilliant photography of Hartford’s Lanny Nagler never ceases to amaze as he catches incomparable detail, nuances of character, and subtle humor in every shot. Artist Bill Dougal’s wonderful illustrations give places and scenes a touch of levity with a soft, sensitive stroke. Our nuggets — those easy-to-digest snippets about local life scattered here and there in small boxes — are written by Judy Henderson, whose ability to inform while amusing is unique. Annie Lane, whose exceptional designs somehow weave it all together, makes each edition crisp, inviting, and easily accessible. And behind the scenes, a small team of sales and administrative staff — all consummate professionals — keep everything moving, organized, and accurate.

But while tuned-in to the big picture, we continue to embrace the small one. The one with the special things that still make all of us proud that West Hartford is home. And that’s what makes The West Hartford Book a “keeper,” to set aside for whenever you need to find something locally — or whenever you just want to browse through all that’s going on in one’s home town while enjoying a cup of tea. You can always find us when you need us — in your bookcase or on your coffee table. But you can also catch our digital editions on your smart phone or at distinctivedirectories.com.

And don’t forget that The West Hartford Book has siblings: The Valley Book, including all of the Farmington Valley towns; The Glastonbury Book, focusing on Glastonbury but including regional information, as well; and The Shoreline Book, covering Branford to Westbrook to Old Lyme. All are mailed free of charge to residents and businesses, realtors, hotels and tourism centers. And they, too, can be found 24/7 online, as well through our mobile smart phone version, which gives you a fast connection to local businesses without slogging through sluggish Internet traffic jams.

So, again — welcome! And thanks for 15 years of interest and support. We’re proud of every edition we’ve produced, but none more than this one. And we hope that you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed creating it.