|Ink Link Books, East Troy, WI|
When I opened the door to Ink Link Books I didn't even walk in right away, I couldn't. I was looking into an oasis. Looking into this bookstore had a breathtaking effect on my senses. This bookstore has only been open 11 weeks (another new indie, they're everywhere!) and they didn't just back up a truck and shovel the books into an empty business space. No, this bookstore was well-thought out and well-planned. In fact, the planning and remodeling took about 9 months, longer than the store has been open so far. The interior shelving, light fixtures, coloring and painting, arranged displays, and detailed mural work are outstanding. As Kayleen, the owner, told me, she wanted to provide an experience. This is one of the reasons I encourage readers to visit independent bookstores, for an experience that you cannot get by clicking the submit button on the internet. You will absolutely get that here, from the beautiful interior and craftsmanship, to the relaxing classical music lightly playing in the background, to meeting one of the kindest owners anywhere. For crying out loud, you'll have such a wonderful visit Kayleen should consider implementing a cover charge!
This beautiful (I cannot overstate this) small split-level bookstore is located on the town square of East Troy, WI, population approximately 4200. In the short period of time since opening, things have been outstanding. Kayleen has only recently added a few sidelines including NY Times greeting cards, reading glasses, and soy candles. It's too early to know for sure how the sidelines will go but as she told me, "we're a bookstore," and book sales have been very successful. And for a smallish sized store, she packs the books in. Everything extremely well-organized and in a very neat manner. There haven't been any author events yet but the store held a very successful "read and feed" event at the cafe next door, Square Roots (If you visit the bookstore you have to visit here. Lunch was outstanding, thanks James). There will be more events like this to come and I only wish I lived closer so I could attend one.
The people here take "midwest-friendly" to a whole new level. Kayleen, her husband James, and two of their kids are some of the nicest people you can hope to meet. I shake my head at my good fortune of meeting a wonderful owner AND her equally wonderful family.
Many of the customers are coming from the surrounding East Troy area. If you're reading these words I have one word of advice, GO. Run, don't walk, to this incredible new bookstore in East Troy. I see nothing but the brightest of futures for this emerging star. Congratulations Kayleen, on your new adventure. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Grief Cottage, Gail Godwin. 11-year old boy Marcus is orphaned when his mother is killed and he is sent to live with his great aunt on a remote island off of South Carolina. The boy is very well-adjusted for his age and on the island spends time visiting a deserted cottage known to locals as grief cottage because the family who lived there was lost to sea during a hurricane. But Marcus thinks a ghost remains. I found this book to be rather depressing.
CURRENTLY READING: Unbelievable, Katy Tur.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas.
|Another exterior view. A beautifully restored historical building.|
|One of the exterior display windows.|
|View looking into the store.|
|The store just recently began offering reading glasses.|
|Looking to the left of the front entrance and behind the check-out counter.|
|Back in the 1920s, this space was a hardware store. When you visit here, make sure you check out the picture of this space.|
|Some of the greeting cards available located near the front entrance.|
|Looking to the right from the front entrance. This is an example of some of the mural artwork which I think is outstanding. Also notice the light fixture and shelving.|
|This goddess mural is on the ceiling just inside the front entrance.|
|Another goddess mural inside the front display window.|
|This is the light fixture above the checkout counter. You really need to see this place in person because my pictures just don't do it justice.|
|Recently added soy candles available here.|
|A nice view of some of the shelving and light fixtures.|
|A wonderful book display surrounding the functional gas fire place which will soon be put to use. One more wonderful touch that will add to your bookstore experience.|
|Any book will do this.|
|Visual confirmation, bathrooms available.|
|Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.|
|A portion of the children's area.|
|The raised split-level runs across the right side of the store. You can get there up these steps in the back of the store or up a set of steps in the front of the store.|
|I love this picture not only for the bookshelves but for the beautiful small light fixtures on the wall along the way.|
|Looking down onto the main floor from the split-level.|
|Another great view of the bookshelves on the raised split-level.|
|Always ask your independent bookstore about gift certificates.|
|New book day at Ink Link, confirmation that things are going very well.|
|With Kayleen, the fine owner at Ink Link Books. Thanks for a great visit.|