Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Bookshop - Phoenix, AZ

The Bookshop - Phoenix, AZ
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The nice thing about The Bookshop in Phoenix is that there is no pretense or deception.  It doesn't try to trick you with other things in the store to lure you in.  This place is the quintessential, "make no bones about it," bookstore.  Small in stature, but classic in every other way.  This place could be the picture for the dictionary entry, "bookstore."

This store is a compact, one-level business.  But even though it's small it's packed with books, some new but mostly used.  The used books come from donations, occasional estate or home sales, and from customers in exchange for store credit.  Sven R., the owner, has done a great job utilizing his store space.  The space doesn't limit the genres or the variety within each.  Sven stated that his classics, poetry, and philosophy sections are strong.  I thought he also had a good section of mysteries and he's even managed to squeeze in a respectable children's section.  One of the lesser known offerings here are the vintage and collectable books.  I would encourage collectors to check this store out since some of these items have been overlooked.  

Sven has been in business for 10 years, the last two at his current location.  The change in location has been a great move since they are surrounded by several other businesses, including a coffeeshop.  The store is located on a very busy intersection which certainly increases visibility.  Parking is free but can be a little tight so you might have to take a second pass to find a spot.  Sven's opinion was strong that the trend for his store and for indies is on the upswing.  From everything I can observe and in my conversations with other owners, I would agree.  His success can be attributed to a diverse customer base of locals, tourists, and snowbirds.  One of the things I like is that he prints off store flyers and distributes them to the concierges of nearby hotels.  I think this would be a great idea for other indies.

Sven is fortunate to have a handful of volunteers to help out, but other than that he's the talent that puts it all together here.  I asked him what his secret is and I loved his response.  "One book at a time and one sale at a time."  I like that outlook and I like the future at this terrific indie.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  Neither Wolf Nor Dog, Kent Nerburn.  The author goes on a journey with an elder from the Lakota tribe who wants to bare his soul about the mistreatment of Indians over the generations.  This book is so much more than what I can share in a sentence or two.  A compelling, true story and something all of us should read. If you are a human relations teacher, this should be required reading.   I loved it.  Highly recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Revenant, Michael Punke.

Another view from the outside.  

View looking through the store from the front entrance.  

Along the right aisle of bookshelves.  

Looking to the left of the store from the front entrance.  A portion of the children's section can be seen here.  

There are a few sidelines here including these unique magnets as well as some greeting cards.  

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

Recognized in Phoenix as one of the best.  

The sentiment of every independent bookstore I visit.  

I always like it when indies offer customer incentives and I wish more of them would.  

Another partial view of the children's section located in the front of the store.  

Some of the collectables can be found here in the back of the store behind the counter.  

Another nice view of one of the book aisles.  Sven does a great job with his space.  

With Sven on the left, the fine owner of The Bookshop.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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