Saturday, July 23, 2016

Plot Twist Bookstore - Ankeny, IA

Plot Twist Bookstore - Ankeny, IA
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I've often felt that central Iowa, the most populated part of the state, has been void of independent bookstores.  Ankeny is just north of Des Moines, the state capital, which is the largest city in Iowa.  Des Moines and the surrounding area are growing rapidly and Ankeny is the 3rd fastest growing community in the country.  But where are the independent bookstores to serve this population?  Central Iowa and Ankeny need an indie for this vibrant part of the state.  Problem solved!

To the best of my knowledge, Plot Twist Books is the newest bookstore in Iowa.  It celebrated with its grand opening on April 30, 2016, making it about three months old.  Its opening is part of a national trend of more bookstores opening instead of closing, a great sign, especially in central Iowa. The store is located in Kimberly Plaza with several other businesses.  The area is highly visible on a main road and the plaza area has lots of free parking.  The one-level store offers all new books and a variety of sidelines.  Chocolate covered potato chips?  Yes please!  You'll also find an assortment of greeting cards.  These, along with puzzles and games, have been selling well in the opening months.  The children's section is particularly good and Plot Twist is already offering a story time for young children.  The store is also involved with offering author events and signings.  Mary, the owner, has done a great job out of the gate by doing all the things that successful indies do.  In short, this place is poised for a long, successful run and in this location and this community, things are only going to get better.

The bad news on my visit is that I didn't get to meet Mary.  The good news is that I met two of her fine booksellers, Jill and Cary, and had a great time talking to both of them.  As with all new indies, Mary and her staff are still figuring out how best to stock the store.  What books to offer, who their customers are and what do they like, and what sidelines to stock.  At this time, the business is doing quite well and the books are the thing.  But here's what I know about Mary without even meeting her.  She's smart, her eyes are open, and she's on top of it.  The perfect bookstore owner.

Since this is just a baby bookstore, I know there are many in central Iowa and Ankeny who haven't been here yet.  Don't delay.  This place has a great future and you want to see it now so you can be a part of a great beginning.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Underground Girls Of Kabul, Jenny Nordberg.  A very well-researched account of the unbelievable challenges facing women in Afghanistan.  In this country, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the birth of a daughter is a cause for mourning.  This is an eye-opener.  Highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  Songs Of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Trombone Answers, John M. Donovan.

View looking through the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the right of the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance you're going to find a great place to sit and try a book.  

Even though this bookstore is newly opened, they're already scheduling author events.  

Display of Indie Bound recommendations.  

Display of what the local AP English class students will need to get, a great way to form ties to the community.  

If chocolate covered potato chips aren't your thing, you can grab some Chicago style popcorn.  Or go ahead and get both!  

A few of the sidelines available.  

A nice display of staff recommendations.  

Just a few of the greeting cards available.  

A sentiment that I feel in every bookstore I visit.  

A portion of the children's section.  

This is exactly my challenge with every bookstore I visit and document.  

View from the back of the bookstore looking toward the front entrance.  Astute readers my recognize the reclusive celebrity spotted browsing.  Yes, that's my mom.  

Only at an independent bookstore.  

Timely display for the upcoming Harry Potter release. 

With Jill on the left and Cary on the right, two of fine folks you'll meet at Plot Twist.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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