Sunday, April 16, 2017

Midtown Reader - Tallahassee, FL

Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, FL
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Over the course of my journey, I've met many bookstore owners who came to their profession and ownership from an entirely different world.  That's true for Sally B., the owner at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee.  I didn't meet Sally on the day of my visit but I did meet four of her wonderful booksellers, Elise, Darrell, Amanda, and Shelby who not only heartily endorsed Sally as the owner but also told me a bit about her story.  After a lengthy career as a spokesperson for a presidential candidate, she said enough of this, I'm going to open a bookstore.  And from my observations, it is a positive move for all involved.  A town that has had a void for 30+ years, a state capital no less, now has a welcome addition to the community of a new, general fiction bookstore.  I feel like I'm finding new bookstores more and more along my journey, very encouraging for the industry, our culture, and our heritage.

Midtown Reader is truly located in the midtown area of Tallahassee which is beginning to show signs of growth and development making this a great location.  They just opened this past November and the timing was perfect helping them to get off to a good start with the holiday season.  The staff is a community of readers with many interests helping to give the store a well-curated inventory.  And even though they're still identifying their customers, they're already seeing regulars.  The store is in a long, narrow space on one level that offers all new books, a few sidelines, a very attractive children's area, and Lucky Goat coffee, a local coffee and one of the best around (at least I know Elise likes it!).

In Midtown Readers' short history it's already doing everything that other successful indies are doing.  Lots of author events, weekly story time for kids that also includes doing a craft, and an electronic newsletter, just to name a few.  I thought the children's section and books of local/Florida interest were especially strong.  You can find staff selections throughout the store in addition to its own display.  But as always, the people were the best.  Shelby, Amanda, Darrell, and Elise were all super as were the several customers I met (shout out to Arthur!).  There is no reason for anyone NOT to visit here.

So now when you visit Tallahassee you'll have more to see than the state capital.  Check out this new member of the independent bookstore family.  You'll love the attractive store and the remarkable and friendly people you'll meet there.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable.

Another exterior view of the Midtown Reader, right next door to the Izzy Sushi Bar.  

A great patio area in front of the store.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

This is a version of staff picks.  See what the Midtown Reader booksellers are currently reading.  

A nice display of new fiction.  Have you read any of these yet?  

Relevant reading for today.  

Just a few of the books of local interest.  

The white tabs you see on the shelves are "shelf-talkers", they're staff picks.  

A portion of the beautiful children's section.  

A carved-out hideaway in the children's section.  Kids will love this area.  

They're also going to like these!  

Another nice table display.  

A few of the staff picks.  You'll also find them scattered throughout the store.  

Appropriate reading for Spring.  

A great place to try out a book.  

A local favorite, Lucky Goat Coffee, available here.  

The check-out counter, supported by books.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

A great perk for the book club.  And heck, you might as well get another book while you're here!  

A few of the sidelines.  

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

The rock stars at Midtown Reader, L-R:  Elise, Darrell, Shelby, me, Amanda.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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