|France & Finch Bookshop, Lincoln, NE|
I had a very strong first impression of Francie & Finch as I came up to this store. As I looked at the black metal sign attached to a historical building that was constructed in the1800s, my impression took root. The entrance was bordered on each side by classic window displays. Inside the bookstore was a high-ceilinged space with walls of books and very cool art work by local artists. This place is hip with a capital "H" and that's what I felt here. In fact, if you could perform a "bookstore-ectomy," extracting the store and building, you could pop it down in Brooklyn, Boston, or Chicago and never tell the difference. It would fit in anywhere, but "hip" is here in the heartland, newly opened for just a few months, and off to a great start. Congratulations Francie & Finch and congratulations Lincoln.
So Francie & Finch is one of the new members of the independent bookstore family and so far so good according to the owner Leslie H. The store is a one-level space, very neatly arranged and offers all new books with a few sidelines. The locally made leather journals were especially attractive and they're selling quite well along with the greeting cards. They enjoy having various groups meet in the store including a journal club, writer's workshop, and poetry workshop, just to name a few. There is a very nice children's section that hosts story time events and this section is the pride of Leslie's 8-year old granddaughter who is serious about helping out and running that part of the store.
I think the store is ideally located in downtown Lincoln, in near proximity to a large Marriott, The Lied Center for Performing Arts, lots of downtown urban housing, and many businesses. It seems like there are customers everywhere and all are very close and easily within walking distance. And this doesn't even take into account the large community of people associated with the University of Nebraska. I especially like the art work featured in the store, any of which can be purchased. The art work is displayed on a rotating schedule so if you see something you like, get it!
Leslie and Tony, one of the booksellers, were so nice to welcome me and tell me about the store. Leslie took a leap of faith to open Francie & Finch, leaving her career in the travel industry to start the bookstore. I've met many owners who've left a career unrelated to books or retail and followed this dream. Kudos to you, Leslie. Congratulations on the beginning of a wonderful journey. Check this place out if you're in Lincoln. You'll have a great experience. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Case Of The Missing Books, Ian Sansom. Very British comedy about a librarian who goes to Ireland to take over a library. It turns out to be a mobile library, a junk heap, but the problem is the 15,000 missing books. Everyone in this town is a nitwit and the story is utterly absurd at times. I would love to see this adapted to the stage, it would be hilarious. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Gateway To Freedom, Eric Foner.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt.
|One of the two front display windows.|
|Looking straight up this beautiful building just outside the entrance.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance.|
|Looking to the right from the front entrance.|
|A nice table display of popular books to the left of the front entrance.|
|Looking for original and local artwork? You'll find it throughout the store.|
|Thankfully, my broken "readers" can usually be replaced since many indies carry them.|
|Wonderful display of worthy hardcovers.|
|I thought this displayed art work was fantastic.|
|Take your time and try out a book.|
|You should buy a work of art to go with your book and greeting card.|
|A few of the greeting cards available. I especially like the one on the top left.|
|TWO seats to sit with a friend and try out books.|
|Music on vinyl is returning. Look for this bin in the store.|
|A portion of the children's section.|
|Washable, rip proof, and chew proof baby books. I wish some of the adult books came like this!|
|View looking toward the front entrance from the back of the store. Serendipitous readers my recognize the celebrity in the left background. Yes, that's my mom.|
|A few of the biographies displayed.|
|ALWAYS ask your independent bookstore about gift certificates.|
|You can find some uniquely made leather journals here. Look for this display.|
|With Tony on the left and Leslie in the middle. Thanks for a great visit.|