Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Books Inc. - Palo Alto, CA

Books Inc. - Palo Alto, CA
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Books Inc. is not your typical, run-of-the-mill independent bookstore.  They don't have an owner, they have a president.  They don't have one store they have ten (soon to be 11).  And no bookstore cat.  Well, I didn't get a visual or have an allergic reaction but no, I don't think so.  But what they do have is a great selection of books and sidelines and a store staffed with friendly, knowledgeable people, an indie trademark.

Books Inc. has a long history that can be traced back to 1851 and bills itself as, "The West's Oldest Independent Bookseller."  I don't know about oldest but it certainly is one of the biggest, employing 200+ employees.  All of the Books Inc. locations are very active with author events and the Palo Alto store I visited is able to accommodate 50-75 people by rearranging the portable shelves.  I talked to Sarah, the events coordinator at this store, who told me that every Books Inc. store organizes its events independently of the others.  They have a variety of sideline offerings and I think kids will especially enjoy the many that are suitable for them.  Nadine O., the store manager, told me that the best selling sidelines go in trends and by seasons.  The current hot item is adult coloring books.  Really.

The store is located in the Town & Country Village where you can find many shopping opportunities besides books, a good set-up to attract many customers.  The intersection is very busy but once you're in the shopping area you'll enjoy free and easy parking.  Books Inc. draws a nice mix of customers including locals, tourists, and parents who are dropping off kids at nearby Stanford University and looking for a book to fill their empty nest void.

I didn't get to meet the Books Inc. president, Michael Tucker, but I did get to meet Nadine O., Sarah, and Eleanor, one of the booksellers.  Readers, bear with me as I repeat myself again about the wonderful people I get to meet on this journey.  These three were so patient and giving of their time to talk to me and I am always grateful for this during my visits.  These are three talented young women and if every Books Inc. has expertise like this, the future is bright.

Books Inc. is one of the indies featured in, My Bookstore, by Ron Rice, the basis of my journey and project.  Two of the indies featured are within 5 minutes of each other, Kepler's and Books Inc.  You can hit two of the best indies in half a day.  Readers, see how easy I'm making it for you?!  Oh if only my whole journey were this easy!  The Bay Area is blessed with a wealth of independent bookstores and this is one of them.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante.  This book of fiction is getting many great reviews and I can see why.  Story of two little girls becoming friends in Naples, Italy and growing up in a challenging environment.  This book is the first of a series and follows the girls from childhood to adolescence.  I enjoyed this but I think women will enjoy it even more than men.

CURRENTLY READING:  Triggerfish Twist, Tim Dorsey.  This is a wild one.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Royal Wedding, Meg Cabot.

A nice front window display.  

The posted schedule of events at a very active Books Inc.  

Looking into the store from the front entrance.  Alert readers will recognize the celebrity in the orange, Fran M., the IT person for The Indie Bob Spot.  

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  Lots of magazines and greeting cards available.  

View to the left from the entrance.  

Books Inc. is an award winning bookstore.  

If you're a San Francisco Giants fan, you'll love this display.  

Extensive selection of magazines.  

Just a few of the greeting cards available.  

The most unique socks can be found in independent bookstores.  

A few of the staff picks available.  

Designer bags.  Since you'll be getting a few books you should get a bag.  They're easier to carry around.  

Sidelines and games for the kids.  

Find this table for some bargains.  

I'm always asking people about series books and what order to read them.  This helps!  

Children's section in the back of the store.  

A portion of the children's section.  

View from the back of the store looking toward the front.  

See what the book clubs are reading.  

With Nadine O., the fine store manager at the Palo Alto Books Inc.  She's holding the artist's picture of Books Inc. that is in the book, My Bookstore.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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