Monday, December 19, 2016

Blue Marble Books - Ft. Thomas, KY

Blue Marble Books, Ft. Thomas, KY
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When I plan out my bookstore visits I write out a general itinerary of the indies I want to visit and then try to follow a logical route.  With every tour I almost always deviate from the original plan because booksellers constantly give me suggestions of other bookstores I should visit and most of them are rather insistent.  That's how I found Blue Marble Books.  This place wasn't on my radar until Emily at The Booksellers At Fountain Square in Cincinnati told me that it was a great children's store and only 10 minutes away.  I'm afraid she undersold Blue Marble!  This is a nationally recognized award-winning children's bookstore.  It was recently named to a top ten list of children's bookstores by Penguin.  After meeting Peter M., co-owner, and Betsy G., one of the booksellers and a former elementary school librarian, success at this store is no surprise.

Peter's wife Tina is the founder of Blue Marble Books and its journey began in 1979.  Back then, it started out as a toy store, thus The Blue Marble name.  Over the years, it gradually transitioned to books and still kept some of the toys.  The great thing here though, as Peter told me, there is nothing sold here that requires batteries and there are no electronics.  And make no mistake, this multiple-room store is absluelty crammed with books for children of all ages.

This store is a big draw for kids, teachers, and tourists.  Like any indie, the store has regulars but they are kids.  There are teens who know when their next favorite author's book is released and are here on that morning ready to get it.  Blue Marble is also heavily involved with book sales to many nearby school districts, a great thing for the store's business.  The secret here?  As Peter told me, great customer service and an incredibly knowledgeable staff.  Any children's store that has a former grade school librarian on staff qualifies as more than knowledgeable.  

My favorite thing here is a specially themed room modeled after the book, Goodnight Moon.  If you have a child who is a fan of this book, bring them to this store.  But no matter what your child is into, you'll find it here.  Princesses, ballerinas, dinosaurs, monsters, super-heroes, and more.  You name it, Blue Marble has it.

Peter and Betsy were terrific to meet and talk to.  You and your kids will absolutely love meeting them and seeing this store.  But don't plan on making this a short visit.  There's no way your kids will want to leave this store in a hurry.  Once you visit here, plan on becoming a regular.  Your kids will insist!  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  I'll Sell You A Dog, Juan Pablo Villalobos. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Nanette's Baguette, Mo Willems.  

One of the front window displays.  

The iconic logo on the side of the building.  

Another exterior view.  Notice the miniature trolley car in the foreground, an acknowledgment of the building's history as a trolley station.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  

This really fun train set will be one of the reasons your kids won't want to leave the store.  

...This is where you'll sit while they're playing with the train set!

Always check the calendar for store events.  

I'm including this because it might apply to some of you.  

This room and the one pictured are both behind the front room where you enter.

Continuing on into another room and a great display.  

This is a portion of the teen room, another room in the store.  

Your kids will find lots of other fun stuff here besides books.  

You'll have to visit the store to see if this dog is real or fake.  

This is a portion of the Goodnight Moon room, located upstairs.  

Another view of Goodnight Moon.  

Goodnight Moon.  Don't miss seeing this!

If you still have holiday shopping, you should definitely check this display.  

With Tom on the left and Betsy in the center.  Thanks for a great visit.

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