Sunday, April 23, 2017

Main Street Books - Norfolk, NE

Main Street Books, Norfolk, NE
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Main Street Books is the perfect example of what I'm witnessing as I travel across the country, a renaissance for independent bookstores.  My visit here coincided with the one-year anniversary of its opening.  As Chad J., the owner, told me, they wanted to open this bookstore quickly (before anyone else got the idea) to fill a void left by the recent closing of a music and book store.  From my observations, it appears to be a perfect fit for this community in just about every way.  Location, accessibility, inventory, and customer relations and service all add up to provide a wonderful bookstore and experience.  

Main Street Books has a great location right on the main street (of course!) through town.  The nice thing about this location besides high visibility is a reasonable lease and no other bookstore within two hours.  The long, narrow, one-level space offers new and used books as well as a small number of sidelines.  They've recently added a line of items by Melissa and Doug, very popular with children and something I've seen available in other indies.  Additionally, they offer some great works of art by several different local artists, a great way to bring more people to the store.  As for books, the store has about a 50/50 split with new and used books.  They offer store credit to customers in exchange for their used books that are in good condition.  Since this store is so new, they're still learning how to engage events and book signings.  An upcoming event is a wine-tasting event that will be held in the store in cooperation with another business.  I think wine and books is a win-win for everyone!

This store is the true definition of a family business.  In addition to Chad, I met his wife, Bonnell, his son Calvin, and his mother Barb.  Heck, I practically felt like the long lost cousin joyfully welcomed back to a family reunion!  But as regular readers know, this is the norm when you visit the terrific people who work at independent bookstores.

Being open for just a year, things are going reasonably well but they can always be better.  Believe it or not, there are some people in the Norfolk area who don't know about this store yet.  To you people, I politely say, WAKE UP!  It's time to support and patronize a business that many other communities aren't as fortunate to have.  This is a hidden gem in your midst.  I can say with confidence that you will find a book here that will suit your interests or one you can get as a gift for a friend.  Lots of great books cared for by some of the nicest people to tell you about them.  Enjoy a visit to a bookstore that is an emerging star in northeast Nebraska.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  A Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable.  Fiction based on the true story of an apartment that was sealed since WWII and the priceless artifacts found within as well as journals kept by the original occupant.  The story goes back and forth between 1900 Paris and present-time Paris when the apartment's contents are assessed for auction and the controversy's that develop.  I found the historical part of this story fascinating.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Case Of The Missing Books, Ian Sansom.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  On Wings Of Eagles, Ken Follett.    

A cheery Spring season front window display.  

Another front window display.  No season like the present to find a great book here.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  Devoted readers may recognize the illusive celebrity in the foreground.  Yes, that's my mom.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  

You can find some great bargains in this used book section, just to the right after entering the store.  Used books are also shelved throughout the store along with the new ones.  

A nice display of recent popular books.  

And you don't even have to leave Norfolk!  

Local artists are featured throughout the store, like the paintings along this wall.  All are available for purchase. 

The art work is represented in different mediums.  

I don't know if I've seen homemade coosies anywhere!

Lots of reason to visit this store, any day of the week!  

A portion of the books of local interest and local authors.  

A very comfortable place to sample a book.  

A portion of the attractive children's section.  

These are just some of the new Melissa & Doug line of items available in the store.  

What 8-year old wouldn't want this?!!

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

An assortment of puzzle books.  

This is one of my favorite things at Main Street Books and I haven't seen anything like it in any of my visits.  Come to the store on Wednesdays, make a purchase, and spin the wheel for a chance at an additional discount.  Fantastic idea and promotion!  

Of course!

I thought this was really cool.  I call it a hamburger rock, created by a local artist and available here.  

Other than the tall guy in the back, this is the Main Street all-star team.  In front, Barb on the left and Calvin on the right.  In back, Bonnell on the left and Chad on the right.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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