Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Copperfield Book Service - Macomb, IL

New Copperfield Book Service - Macomb, IL

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Regular readers of The Indie Bob Spot will know how much I enjoy the people I get to meet in the many bookstores I visit.  It is almost as important to my experience as the bookstores themselves.  When I talk to the owners and booksellers, occasionally I'll have to prompt them a bit to get them going.  Kind of like priming the mower to get it started.  Not so here at New Copperfield Book Service.  I had the pleasure of meeting Linda C., the co-owner here, and after I introduced myself and my project that was all that was needed.  She was effusive, energetic, and enthusiastic about everything she talked about.  There is no way I could absorb everything she shared with me and there is no doubt she is all in when it comes to independent bookstores and small business.

This town is home to Western Illinois University which is usually a good sign for bookstores but the university's presence is not critical to the store's success.  The customers are largely townspeople and farmers, with some retired university faculty and some current faculty and students sprinkled in.  Many bookstores need a good sideline business to be successful but here the books are able to carry the load.  There are some unique sidelines here though including some incredible photo prints in the gallery area.  As for books, the store offers new books and some used books but there is no book buy-back program similar to what other indies have.  The used books here are DONATED by loyal local customers and also by friends of the library.  A sure sign of strong local support.

The one-level store is divided into three sections.  Linda calls the front the performance area, the rear of the store is the gallery, and the middle the books.  There are occasional author events here and many musical events.  What a great way to bring more customers into the store!

Linda kept referring back to the great community support that has sustained this store.  She told me about many examples but there was one that stuck with me.  A few years ago, her partner and co-owner, Rick, required a kidney transplant.  They are the only two employees and there was no way she could continue the business on her own.  The community stepped up.  I'm sure I only know a fraction of the help they provided, but thanks to 5-15 volunteers, the store stayed open and moved forward.  Local support is such a strong indicator for successful bookstores.

I haven't reported lately on cats in bookstores.  They have one here that is totally spoiled and does not care to leave the store.  And you won't get a word out of the cat.  But Linda?  You'll get a lot out of her and you'll love every minute of it!  Don't pass up this terrific bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores, Jen Campbell.  An easy, quick, humorous book filled with quotes overheard in bookstores.  A nice change of pace book and I'm pretty sure everyone who has been to a bookstore would enjoy this one.  That means everyone reading this blog!  Recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Tale For The Time Being, Ruth Ozeki.  Enjoying it so far and I see no reason for that to change.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Bootlegger, John E. Hallwas.

Front window display with an unfortunate shadow of the photographer.  

Are you kidding me?  3 days worth?  If we get hit with a 3 YEAR blizzard I think I have enough!  

View from the front entrance looking toward the rear.  Astute readers may recognize the celebrity on the left.  Yes, that's my mom.  

A wonderful area in the front of the store to try out a book and sit with some friends.  

Some of the book club choices.  

New releases featured on a wall with a mirror.  This use to be a shoe store and back in the day you could see shoes on this wall.  

Try not to let your snoring annoy the other customers.  

Lots of local interests and local authors.  

A portion of the children's section.  

View from the rear of the store, near the gallery, looking toward the front.  

Need it wrapped?  They can do it!

A portion of the gallery area near the rear of the store.  

Some great reasons to patronize your local independent bookstore.  

How much do the regular customers like New Copperfield?  Enough to give them a gift of these figurines.  

With Rick H. and Linda C., the fine owners of New Copperfield Book Service.  Thanks for a great visit!  

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