|Afterwords Books, Edwardsville, IL|
When you look up the words, "cozy" and "charming," in the dictionary of bookstores, this is the place you'll see pictured. Lots of natural light, lots of comfortable seats, and everything neatly arranged and layed out in a historical house built in the 1800s. To an atmosphere and setting like this, add a personable bookstore owner who is as friendly and conversant as any and you get the perfect recipe for a winning combination in Edwardsville, IL.
Luanne L. has been the owner here for the last 6 years of the store's 8 years in the business. Luckily, for bookstore patrons in Edwardsville, Luanne is tenacious. The store has had 5 moves in the last 5 years but has found an outstanding location in its current home and is much more visible now. Travelers who explore old Route 66 will be able to visit Afterwords Books now with this location.
Luanne shared with me that the store has continued to show positive growth over the past 8 years and its no wonder why. The store has a strong children's section with twice weekly story times. There are frequent children's author events that are very well-attended. In-store book clubs, a documentary club, and a knitting group are all here and are great ways to bring people into the store. Some of the store's sidelines like greeting cards, book cover coasters, and unique crafts are created by local artisans. Is it any wonder with community connections like this that the store had a solid group of volunteers to help move the inventory a mere 3 months ago?! Kudos to you, Edwardsville.
The store is arranged all on one level in multiple rooms. It offers new and used books and all are shelved together. And if you need to pick a day to visit, go on Friday when they have cookies provided by any one of the several local bakeries.
As with most of my visits, owners like Luanne are an absolute delight to meet as well as a regular customer and former bookseller, Mike, who was in the store on the day of my visit. I can't imagine anyone visiting here and NOT having a great time. But Edwardsville, I want to give you a word of warning. You are in possession of a treasured gem. Don't blow it. Many communities would love to have what you have. So visit Afterwords Books, browse, talk books, find something for yourself or a gift for someone else. Learn the lesson of communities who didn't do this. Don't miss this terrific bookstore. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Fever, Megan Abbott. Well, I came close but didn't finish it. The book is probably in the maid's break room in some hotel in Alabama. The hazards of traveling the country in support of independent bookstores is that some things get lost along the trail. This book was going great until I lost it and based on what I read, I would recommend it.
CURRENTLY READING: Moon Palace, Paul Auster.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood. And received as a gift a wonderful Afterwords Books coffee mug. Thanks Luanne.
|View of the side of the bookstore from the parking lot. The ramp makes the store handicap accessible.|
|When you see this sign, pull in.|
|Another exterior view.|
|A couple of great places to sit on the front porch and try out a book.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Remember, this store is in an old house. This is just the front hallway.|
|This is the first room to the left after entering.|
|This is the first room to the right after entering. Lots of great places to sit in this room.|
|Your kids might enjoy these learning mats.|
|Some unique and creative items in the front hallway.|
|Just some of the items here that kids will love.|
|This is a portion of the children's room.|
|Another portion of the children's room. This is the second room on the right after you enter. If you haven't brought your child here yet, make a point of it. They will love it.|
|The store offers a line of Melissa & Doug items for kids.|
|A few of the unique greeting cards available.|
|Check out some of the events at Afterwords.|
|Kids will find lots of stuff here they like.|
|Very unique trees made from book pages.|
|Find this room in the back left of the store, especially on Friday. Cookies.|
|Some of the ornate craftsmanship found in this historical house that is Afterwords Books.|
|Items of local interest.|
|You can get some of Emily's great artwork creations here at Afterwords Books.|
|Yes, yes, and yes. Lots of reasons to get one of these tote bags.|
|With Luanne, the fine owner at Afterwords Books. Thanks for a great visit.|