Friday, December 1, 2017

Books & Mortar - Grand Rapids, MI

 Books & Mortar, Grand Rapid, MI
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Books & Mortar in Grand Rapids is one of the wave of independent bookstores that are opening around the country.  As far as I can tell, the two guys that opened this place knew what they were doing.  A one-level store located in the uptown area, this place oozes a combination of charm and hip that makes it very easy to visit, browse, and enjoy.  It's obvious that a lot of time was spent working on the interior and as Jonathan, one of the co-owners told me, aesthetics are important to them.  After all, they'll be spending a lot of time in the store.  The building is 100+ years old and was most recently a yoga studio but back in the day was a butcher shop.  But even in a building this old, there's no denying the freshness and newness within.

Books & Mortar offers all new books, a nice children's section, and a very tasteful selection of sidelines.  There are some hand made musical necklaces here that I haven't seen anywhere else.  The same local artist who did these also has a line of greeting cards here.  You can also find candles, stationery, and journals.  The store is located in an area that is surrounded by other locally-owned independent businesses, a great location.  It is in a progressive neighborhood and it bills itself as that kind of a bookstore.  Everything offered here is well-curated for a clientele that for the most part, are within walking distance of the store.  A true neighborhood bookstore.

As with every western and northern Michigan indie I've visited, this indie has great tourist business in the summers.  Jonathan and co-owner, Christopher, have been here through one holiday and when I asked Jonathan how it went last year, he gave me a one-word answer.  Insane (this is good!).  Great news at this new bookstore and optimism for the holiday ahead.

Jonathan was great to meet and nicely took a lot of time to visit with me, something I'm always so appreciative of.  

So this store is fantastic news for Grand Rapids and the uptown area.  Now, get out there and visit this sparkling new indie that has a bright future.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Freddy And The Bean Home News, Walter Brooks.  The Freddy The Pig books were written in the 1940s and 50s.  I've read two of them and find them to be delightfully charming stories that include talking animals, their sympathetic farmer and a dire problem that they have to solve.  This book was written in 1943 and reflects that time for the country with the animals starting a scrap iron drive for the war and then starting their own newspaper to compete with another that plays loose with the facts.  Probably classified as a middle-reader but also a book for those who are young at heart.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  To Capture What We Cannot Keep, Beatrice Colin.

A great exterior display window space.  

No argument from me!

View looking through the bookstore from the front entrance.  They've done a great job with the lighting in this space and I always like the tin ceilings.  Familiar readers may recognize the celebrity on the right.  Yes, that's my mom.  

Just inside the door you'll see an attractive display of sidelines.  

Another view of the ceiling and lighting shades and fixtures.  

If you're looking for a unique holiday gift, find these musically-themed necklaces.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  
Consider this shirt for your little one...

...and this companion book to go with it.

Another attractive display featuring a variety of interesting sidelines.  

This is one of the more uniquely made items I've seen in an indie and would make a great gift for yourself or a friend.  

Regular followers of this blog know this is the book that got me started.  It's available here. 

You'll need some wrapping paper for the holiday shopping you're going to do here.  

A partial view of the children's section.  

Another view of the children's section.  

From my spot in the children's section looking toward the front of the store.  

An overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  

With Jonathan on the right, the fine co-owner at Books & Mortar.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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