|Burlington By The Book - Burlington, IA|
If I were to compare bookstores to football players this place would be an offensive lineman. The player nobody knows but always gets the job done, toiling away in obscurity. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers? Yeah, we've all heard of them. They're called Powell's and The Strand in bookstore land. But this place in Burlington is the store that quietly goes about making it happen and giving a good name to bookstores everywhere. And like that offensive lineman, people need to know about this place!
This one-level bookstore located in the heart of downtown Burlington has been in business for 4 years. And in this small Mississippi River town I think this is a good sign. Chris, the owner, admits that the store has struggles and challenges but he is making it work. He has a small part-time staff of 3 and also has a great support system that includes his mom and dad who offer their assistance in the store when he needs it. The store consists of all new books, magazines and newspapers, and lots of sidelines with the emphasis on items and gifts of local interest. There is a nice children's section in the rear of the store. The customer base here is largely local and there are certainly regular customers who frequent the store. Additionally, the summer months bring a nice influx of tourists thanks to the cruise riverboats on the Mississippi. The store is located only a few blocks from the river.
It is always nice to meet the owners on my visits and today was no exception. These people are always great ambassadors and advocates for independent bookstores. Chris stated that it's tough to change people's shopping habits here (e.g. "let's go to the mall"), but slowly those changes are happening. He also hosts author signings, many of them with local ties. Clearly, Chris and this store are deeply invested in the community, something that should continue to show dividends moving forward.
If you're in the Burlington area and haven't been to this store, you need to check it out. The community is lucky to have a nice independent bookstore, as many other communities aren't so fortunate. But when you visit this store I don't want you to think of it as Burlington By The Book. Instead, when you visit this indie you must consider it Burlington BUY The Book! Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Let The Great World Spin, Colum McCann. Couldn't get into it. Gets some good reviews from many and also won a book award but I had trouble with the writing. I thought it was too disjointed.
CURRENTLY READING: The Last Duel, Eric Jager. Non-fiction.
|Great front window display.|
|Great sign for those of us in the cold!|
|Looking toward the rear of the store from the front entrance.|
|If you're going on a long drive to visit a bookstore, pick up an audiobook.|
|Lots of local interest items here.|
|Kids will like some of the sidelines here.|
|Find a bargain or two here.|
|Assorted greeting cards.|
|Find some art by one of the local artists.|
|If your kids like to collect bugs you'll need this! Whatever happened to using the Skippy jar with a few holes punched in the lid??!!|
|Great selection of magazines.|
|You and a friend can sit here and try out a book.|
|Another great chair to browse a book. Thank goodness for stores that have chairs!|
|A portion of the children's section.|
|View from the rear of the store looking toward the front.|
|Half-price bargains on the shelves so you can stock up!|
|Where else can you get astronaut ice cream but at an independent bookstore!|
|This has something to do with Dr. Who. This may mean something to the Dr. Who fans but I'm not up on it.|
|With Chris, the fine owner at Burlington By The Book. Thanks for a great visit!|