|Forever Books, St. Joseph, MI|
|"Humans, I command you to bow in my presence and pet me."|
The original intent of this project and blog was to feature this country's many wonderful and unique independent bookstores. So yes, this will be one of those blurbs but I could EASILY spin this off about a charming bookstore dog who works here. Clearly, the star of the show here is Poppy, a smallish, energetic (when he's working the floor) bundle of curly fur. His duties include participating in children's story time; being available to greet his many human fans who stop in to pet him (Uh, don't forget the BOOKS, people); stocking his own display of popcorn for purchase; maintaining an active presence as the store's social media darling; and playing with his friend Kevin, a similar breed of dog who visits there. I could hardly focus on the store with Poppy roaming everywhere. What I noticed in between my episodes with Poppy was one attractive and quaint bookstore in a quaint town.
Congratulations to Forever Books and owner Robin A. who are beginning their 21st year in business, still in its original location in downtown St. Joseph. Robin began this venture with no experience and never thought she'd make it this long. But there's a reason she's been successful. She's smart, with a great staff (like Diana and Poppy), and thank goodness for the tourists. As she told me, make your money during the summer season and holiday season and pray you can hold on until the tourists return. Forever Books offers all new books (the store is very well-curated) and a variety of sidelines including book thongs and other literary-themed items. One of their best events is a top 20 book symposium held three times a year. The staff talks about a few of their favorite books and the attendees usually respond by buying some of the featured books. The events are so popular that customers need to make a reservation. I think this sounds like a great event idea.
I could've talked to Robin, Diana, and Poppy all day. These three couldn't have been nicer and I'm alway so appreciative of their time and talents. I'm troubled only that more locals don't frequent this cute bookstore. So I'm going to implore the regulars, when you return to the store, bring a friend with you. Even if they're not a reader, they'll have lots of other items to browse. Or they can certainly get some gift ideas. But be warned, the importance of buy local, shop local is critical to a vibrant and healthy community. Don't leave it to the tourists, lead the way St. Joseph. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Run Away, Harlan Coben. If you haven't read this author I would encourage you to do so. This mystery focuses on a couple's adult daughter who has become addicted to drugs and attached to the wrong crowd. Their problem is they want to find her but don't know where she is until dad spots her in a park strumming Beatles tunes on a guitar. Let the chase begin. This one is a page-turner. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Golden Hill, Francis Spufford.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Another Good Dog: One Family And Fifty Foster Dogs, Cara Sue Achterberg.
|Step right in and let your adventure begin.|
|Wonderful front window display.|
|A nice courtesy in all bookstores.|
|View looking to the left from the front entrance.|
|The perfect book display for after the holidays.|
|A great place near the front of the store to sit and sample a book. Or wait for Poppy.|
|I always enjoy seeing the staff favorites displays. Have you read any of these yet?|
|Typical picture of Poppy on the go to greet a customer. Receive Indie Bob bonus points if you can identify which end is which.|
|In addition to his other talents, Poppy can also arrange a mean display of Poppy Popcorn.|
|You know you're going to get a few books so you might as well get a tote to put them in.|
|As with every other bookstore I visit, the socks sell well.|
|An obvious award-winning bookstore business. Congratulations Robin and gang!|
|The non-fiction staff favorites.|
|Some of the games and activities available.|
|The store offers a nice and varied assortment of sidelines.|
|A few of the greeting cards available.|
|A great place to sit your friends and take a post card picture.|
|I've seen this in a few indies but not as many as you might think. A book holder for your lap.|
|A small portion of the items of local and regional interest.|
|View looking back toward the children's section.|
|An example of the creativity in the children's section.|
|It's never too early to foster a love for books and reading.|
|Ask your bookstore about this.|
|Overview looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.|
|Who wouldn't enjoy petting and meeting this cutie?!|
|This is the before picture. Diana prepping Poppy for a photoshoot, something he's very used to.|
|With Robin in front and Diana and Poppy in back, some of the fine folks you'll meet at Forever Books. Thanks for a great visit.|