Friday, June 20, 2014

River Lights Bookstore - Dubuque, IA

River Lights Bookstore in downtown Dubuque, IA
I've met several independent bookstore owners on my journey and they all have one thing in common (besides being nice people and avid readers!), a passion for their job.  Sue at River Lights in Dubuque is no different.  When you get a chance to REALLY talk to these people you find out how thoroughly invested they are in their business and profession.  Their business is selling books and here in Dubuque,  IA, business is good.  This indie is thriving due to great local support and tourism.  I got a great positive vibe from Sue about this store and its future and this is incredibly refreshing from an indie bookstore point of view.  However, as many of you know this outlook does not come about without a lot of work and Sue, her husband, and her staff have put a lot of time into this store.  This store is also in a great location in downtown Dubuque, in an area that is experiencing a revitalization and renewal.  Located within easy walking distance of eateries and unique shops.  River Lights does not have a cafe but I highly recommend walking across the street to Jitterz Cafe for a latte and wifi.

In the indie bookstore industry, Prairie Lights in Iowa City is the place that many have heard of and deservedly so.  But you need to know that there are other outstanding indies in Iowa.  If you live within driving distance of Dubuque, you need to make River Lights a destination.  This place is a gem and you need to discover it if you haven't already.  One level bookstore, well-organized and maintained, and lots of books to choose from.  Great area in the back where they host book readings.  Great children's area with child-proof and spill-proof chair covers.  They also have some periodicals available as well as a small assortment of greeting cards and other small miscellaneous type items.  There are also several places for customers to sit down and test drive a new book.  

These posts about indies are somewhat repetitive when talking about the staff.  Sue the owner and her staff, Andrea and Fran, were super.  People, get to this place and have a chat about books!  Nothing better than talking to these people and sharing ideas about the books they sell, what they like and don't like.  If you can't find a great recommendation from people like this, you're not trying.  

River Lights is a keeper so put it on your list.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson.  Half way through it.  It's pretty good, survival in North Korea.  

RECENTLY FINISHED:  Pietr The Latvian, Georges Simenon.  An Inspector Maigret novel.  Think Sherlock Holmes chasing a bad guy in Europe, early 20th century.  It was good, 3 stars.  The Lincoln Conspiracy, Timothy L. O'Brien.  Think Sherlock Holmes hunting down a conspiracy twist about the Lincoln assassination.  Historical fiction.  Very interesting.  3.5 stars.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling).  The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, Edward Kelsey Moore.  They both look great.  Off to the "piles waiting their turn" they go!

Outside River Lights, located on Main Street.  So Americana!  

Just inside the front door.

Great area in the back of the store.  They rearrange this space and host book readings here.  

Three of the greatest people you could talk to at River Lights.  From L-R, Andrea, Sue the owner, and Fran.  Thanks for a great visit, ladies!  

Quiz:  Which one is Indie Bob?  Clue:  See picture above.  Process of elimination.  Figure it out.  

Every indie that has the space should have chairs like these!  Front of store.  

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