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Making Your Move to One of America's Best Small Towns: How to Find a Great Little Place as Your Next Home Base Paperback – November 4, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: M. Evans & Company (November 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871319888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871319883
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is a pleasant little book to help you find a pleasant little place to live. Crampton (From the Airport to the City), who defines the essential institutions of a small town as a high school and a hospital, warns against living in towns that have allowed big-box stores to suck the vital juices out of the downtown area and instead advises choosing places that have figured out how to renew resources and provide a sense of community. He offers one page of information for each of the 120 towns listed, including geography, climate, schools, recreation facilities, sales tax rates, per capita income, the cost of electricity, and the average cost of a home. Sections such as "Finding a Job" and "Paying Your Dues" are interesting from a sociological standpoint and will prove helpful to a reader weighing the benefits of small-town living. Though not as data-intensive as comparable books, including Places Rated and America's Top-Rated Smaller Cities, this work is adequate considering the affordable price. Recommended for libraries in towns listed in the book as well as some public libraries.
Sylvia Andrews, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 73 people found the following review helpful By J. C Dickey-Chasins on March 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a good place to start if you're thinking of moving to a town of 15,000 or less. It will point you to many interesting communities. However, having used his previous book to guide my last move, and as a resident of one of the towns highlighted in this book (Grinnell), I can honestly say that data only carries you so far. Crampton could provide readers with a great benefit by lengthening the amount of description and flavor for each town. In particular, one key element missing is the 'dynamic' of a town: is it progressive? conservative? excited about education? quick to vote down taxes and bonds? These elements form the 'culture' of a small town, and believe me, the culture of a small town will be *very* important to you!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Neon Night on March 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Actually, I would have given "Making Your Move" 4 stars had I found the descriptions of the individual towns more interesting. But, what I did find was a witty style of writing, some laugh-out-loud moments, and some very down-to-earth advice on the pearls and perils of small-town life. One might apply Norm's smart and insightful guidelines to just about any sparsely populated area in the quest for new habitation. So even though his selections failed to fire me up, they did make me realize that I may not be cut out for small-town living after all. And that, in itself, is worth far more than the price of a book. Thanks, Norm, and make that four stars.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a resident of one of the 120 "best small towns" recommended by Norman Crampton, I was delighted to see Silver City on the list.
While Crampton's book is a good place to start your search for small town living, it is important to realize that each small town offers a unique personality. Some generalizations simply do not apply to Silver City. For example, it is not necessary to join a church (or country club) in order to fit in here. Even a small community like ours has diverse sub-populations: recent retirees, most of whom have some affinity for the arts; old-timers, most of whom are the conservative church-goers Crampton describes; and Hispanic families, many of whom have worked in the mines.
These groups rarely interact, although we usually get along very peacefully. We also have a number of folks who teach at the university -- and we rarely see them around town.
To learn about Silver city, you won't get much information from the Chamber of Commerce or the editor of the newspaper. You'd do better to spend some time hanging out at the AIR cafe, talking to whoever comes in. The morning and afternoon groups are quite different and everyone is friendly.
The author gives some nuts and bolts about each small town. Unfortunately, with the exception of weather, much of this information will change by the time the book is printed. And your decision may well be made by factors that can't be added up.
The best part of the book is the section on economics of small town living. Here, he's right on. You have to budget for travel to a large city now and then. Air travel will be more costly and you need time to drive to a large airport. His view of housing prices seems optimistic.
Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John VINE VOICE on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a very good book. 50% of the book is devoted to Mr. Crampton's less than interesting observations of life in a small town. His advice is mostly extremely basic common sense stuff that any normal person should already know. He offers very few interesting insights.

The other half of the book is his list of the 120 best small towns in America. This part of the book is even more weak. It's obvious Mr. Crampton did a lot of internet travel to gather his data as the descriptions are clearly culled from the towns' chamber of commerce websites. He offers zero insight or information gained from him (or someone else) actually visiting / living in the towns and conveying what the towns are actually like.

His ruse is painfully evident as the "more info" listing for each town is merely a link to their respective chamber of commerce website! What "more info" could there be given that the author merely copied the site? Even his internet research was exceptionally lazy.

The book should be titled "A Compilation of America's Best Small Towns' Chamber of Commerce Website Info plus Non-insightful Musings of the Armchair Travelling Author."

And how do the towns qualify as being best? By Mr. Crampton's estimation they must have a highschool, and a hospital, and at least a few other businesses that aren't Walmart. Could the bar be set any lower? With that criteria one could throw 120 darts blindfolded at a map and do just as well as this book.

The book could be fodder for a Garrison Keilor Ketchup skit, "you know June, why don't we retire to the country, find a town with a highschool and live out our days..... Dear, have you been getting enough Ketchup lately..."

A very weak text that I'll be returning to Amazon post haste!
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Making Your Move to One of America's Best Small Towns: How to Find a Great Little Place as Your Next Home Base
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