Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Bookies - Denver, CO

The Bookies, Denver, CO
(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

I wasn't one step into this legendary bookstore when I was hit squarely in the face with a crystal clear thought.  Kids are going to absolutely love this place.  This store is a kids' playground with just about anything imaginable.  That said, I don't want you to get the impression that this store is exclusively for children.  Once you browse though the store and get further inside there's another group of people who need to make regular visits here.  If I were a teacher in the Denver area, of ANY grade level, I would hit this store often and hard.  What will you find?  Resources, classroom materials, books of course, and lots of IDEAS, among other things.  This place is nothing less than a win-win for all.

This one-level indie is jam packed with books and sidelines for people of all ages.  I've been to many bookstores with a dedicated children's section but it is an obvious strength here and in its DNA from its beginnings over 40 years ago.  The diversity of inventory for kids includes a plethora of games for all ages, jigsaw puzzles, arts and crafts, educational learning aids, and a variety of toys. If your child is a non-English speaker, there is an entire aisle devoted to foreign language books.  This store should be at the top of your list for holiday gift shopping.  Adults, do not despair because while your kids are having fun there is much here for you too.  Lots of adult fiction and non-fiction expertly curated by Larry, the store's book buyer with over 30 years in the business.  You can also find greeting cards, calendars, jewelry, and reading glasses to name a few.  

Sue L. began this business over 40 years ago in the basement of her house.  She did this with no background in business and it has evolved into a must-see Denver bookstore with a well-staffed group of employees, many who have a background in education.  I didn't get to meet Sue during my visit but as I told Ann, this store is a well-oiled machine with a lot of strong cogs.  Larry, Ann, Luke, Carolyn, Sharon, Jeannie and all the others were all wonderful to meet and share with me a bit about the store.  The customer service they offer here is unparalleled.

I like the Denver area and it is a pretty good bookstore town.  Every time I'm here I keep finding more good ones to visit.  If you're in the Glendale area of Denver, get to The Bookies for the kids or yourself.  There's no way you leave empty handed.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, Leah Price.  Boring.  Really not interested in a book that sounds like a lengthy and scholarly work worthy of something produced at advanced schools of literature.  This is a book about the physical book and the connections/history we have with them.  I don't think this is accessible for the casual reader.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Reckoning, John Grisham.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Voices: The Final Hours Of Joan Of Arc, David Elliott.  Such Good Girls, R. D. Rosen.  

Another exterior view and one of the massive display windows.  

Yes.  And at every other indie.  

Story time was just getting started on the day of my visit meaning there was lots of energy in the store!

I would strongly encourage all teachers to pay this store a visit for multiple reasons.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  The majority of the store is to the right of this view.  

Looking to the left of the front entrance and kids will immediately be dazzled.  

Just inside the front entrance is this display of new calendars.  

Table display inside the front entrance will attract the kids.  

For those adults shopping here, this display of popular fiction is right behind the display pictured above. 

Hats are one of the many sidelines.  

Bookshelves of bestsellers with lots of shelf-talkers by The Bookies staffers.  

After you take a dozen or so steps into the store, this is your view looking to the right and the remainder of the store.  

A children's book with the hat to go with it.  Perfect.  

A nice display of travel and nature genres.  

You'll not only find books for your toddler, you'll find some hip clothes.  

And that toddler has his/her own section.  

Same for the early readers and young adults.  

Some really good leveled non-fiction reading options.  

I might've passed out if I hadn't found a healthy Harry Potter section. 

Find this section for something to fit your budget.  

I thought this was really cool.  Kids can put on their own theater production using finger puppets and this puppet theater.  

More wonderful gift ideas for the kids.  

You know that hat you found inside the front entrance?  Continue onward through the store and find a purse to go with it.  

A whole aisle devoted to children's foreign language.  Outstanding!

A dedicated area for arts and crafts items.  

Lots of little seats for little readers in the story time area.  

I really liked this.  A device that kids can use to help improve their reading.  

A very cute play area.  

I love this!

Of course they have greeting cards!

You might want to consider more than one of these totes for all the items you'll be getting.  

With Larry on the right, the fine book buyer at The Bookies.  Thanks for a great visit.  

Sunday, September 1, 2019

That Book Store - Wethersfield, CT

That Book Store, Wethersfield, CT
(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

I love to hear the stories of bookstore owners, their families, their staff, about how their journey to the present happened.  I can say that no two paths are the same and all are as unique as the bookstores I visit.  For store owner Karen O. and daughter Belle it began at home when Belle was back from college for a holiday.  Karen was increasingly frustrated with her job in nursing as well as enduring a daily commute in horrible traffic.  Belle did not enjoy her semester of college and was homesick.  So with little business experience, mother Karen decide she was opening a bookstore and told Belle she was going to join her.  That Book Store was born in July of 2018 and now, slightly over a year later, its all systems go for a bright, cheery, and happy bookstore with a happy mother and daughter.  Congratulations Karen and Belle!

One of the nice things about the store's building is that it was pretty much move-in ready.  It was formerly a veterinarian clinic and then was given a cleaning and makeover, both of which worked perfect for the bookstore.  From the outside it looks like a new building but in reality it dates back to the 1930s.  I especially like the large windows around the store for lots of light.  That Book Store offers all new books and a few used ones, all of which are inventoried.  As Belle told me, the sidelines are an important part of the business and interestingly enough, the bookmarks are some of the better sellers.  They also offer greeting cards, journals, and mugs and glasses to name a few.  They recently acquired a liquor license and now offer beer and wine, much of it produced locally.  I think this is huge for any bookstore able to do it.  What a great thing to offer beer and wine at author events, bookclubs, and trivia night. 

What else?  A big red chair and a bookstore cat.  Belle told me they wanted something to give the store a feeling of cozy and comfort and what is better than a big, over-stuffed red chair to sit down in and read a book (and the wine doesn't hurt either!).  Perfect!

I was disappointed I didn't get to meet Karen, but Belle was terrific to meet and tell me their story.  I see a bright future for this store and now it's up to you, Wethersfield, to embrace these two women and their dream and support the shop local, buy local slogan for a vibrant community.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Filthy Rich, James Patterson.  The unbelievable story of Jeffery Epstein and the lesson learned that wealth corrupts and wealth allows those who possess it to operate above the rule of law.  The depth of corruption among the wealthy of this nation is truly incredible.  I found this book to be intriguing but it is definitely troublesome and honestly disgusting.  All of the information in this book was uncovered and published before Epstein's recent exposure in the media.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, Leah Price.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Gods Of Howl Mountain, Taylor Brown.  

I think this is when books says, "Excuse me, my eyes are up here!"

A large and well-stocked display window.  

Books schmooks, let's go!

Every single bookstore.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  Notice the large windows that provide lots of natural lighting.  

Looking to the right from the front entrance you'll find the check-out counter and the area where you'll place your drink order.  

Great bargains just inside the front entrance.  Why go online when you can visit here.  

A very lovable romance display.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

Directions:  Buy a tote bag.  Buy a mug to place in the tote bag.  Browse the store for some books to put in the tote bag.  Order a glass of wine, find the big red chair, sip and read.  

Assortment of young adult fiction.  

Partial view of the children's section.  I still can't get over these wonderful windows.  

The perfect place for a couple of small readers.  

I don't think I've visited a bookstore that doesn't offer bargains.  

Just a few of the books offered of regional and local interest.  

Consider buying an autographed book from a favorite author.  

Partial view of the cafe seating area.  I see you big red.  

A variety of snacks and beverages to enjoy at any event or whenever you visit.  

More and more bookstores are offering jigsaw puzzles.  

Overview of the cafe seating area.  

Make sure you visit the back wall.  


If you're a Harlequin fan and need large print for your vision, snap these up.  

Partial drink menu.  

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  

If you pick a book because of the cover, consider picking your drink by its label.  

Romantic book art.  

With Belle, one of the fine booksellers you'll meet at That Book Store.  Thanks for a great visit.