|Commonplace Books, Oklahoma City, OK|
I continue to see fantastic, newly opened indies wherever I travel and this is another. The two words that hit me when I walked in were "hip" and "modern." This 9-month old indie would look perfectly at home in Brooklyn, NY but here it was in mid-town Oklahoma City. What does that mean? It means the readers that frequent indies are hip no matter where they're located.
It was clear to me that Commonplace Books has the perfect location surrounded by many like-minded businesses (with more to come) and downtown living space. The store has done very well in its short existence with lots of walk-in foot traffic from nearby residents as well as out-of-towners. The store offers all new books with a very small number of sidelines. I thought the art books, coffee table books, and political books were especially strong. They also have a nice children's section and offer a weekly story time, a great event for all indies who can do this. They do very few author events and as Ben N., one of the 4 co-owners told me, they don't feel compelled to force this or a need to "win" anything with events. He said they're more likely to host live music events as any other.
The big news here is a store expansion of 1000 square feet that will offer a cafe with breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, and coffee. I always think this is a great thing for the indies that can do it. The scheduled opening is for April 2018 and I think it will have a huge positive impact on the business.
|Thank you Boz for this action photo at Commonplace (he was on break from bookselling)!|
Regular readers know that I'm a softie for bookstore dogs and they have the gentlest teddy bear here, Boz, a white lab. But you know what I liked best about Boz? I didn't have to chase him all over the g d store to pet him! He will be a willing recipient when you visit him here.
Ben and his staff couldn't have been nicer to meet and talk to. Wonderful people who took time to visit with me and tell me about the store, the neighborhood, and of course book talk.
Bright new bookstores continue to jump out at me. This one is beautifully arranged, lots of decorative plants, comfortable furniture, a future cafe, and a dog. Hey, Oklahoma City, what more could you want? Check it out and enjoy the hip vibe with the terrific people you'll meet here. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: One Of The Lucky Ones, Brenda Hancock. Author's biography of her mother who grew up in occupied France and joined the Resistance in WWII. Some of her relatives escaped the concentration camps and some did not but Nicole Holland escaped, survived, and adapted after the war to a new country, new friends, new family, and a new language. This book is a story of triumph. Recommended.
CURRENLTY READING: The Shipping News, Annie Proux.
|Another exterior view.|
|Great window space and also great outdoor seating during nice weather.|
|There are two entrances to the store, one into the main part of the store and this one into the children's section. Go in either entrance!|
|Before you go into the store you can start your browsing outside.|
|This picture of Boz was how I first saw him. Underneath a table display in the children's section.|
|View looking into the store and slightly to the right from the main entrance. Notice the attractive plants, the lighting, and the very neat table displays.|
|A great place to meet and gather.|
|Entering the store and looking to the left across the store. Lots of nice plants here. Careful readers may notice the celebrity seated in the center. Yes, that's my mom.|
|I don't know if I've seen a bigger couch than this one in a bookstore. I definitely could stretch on this one with a book and NOT have to bend my knees!|
|There is lots of art displayed throughout the store, all by local artists and it is available for purchase.|
|A partial view of the children's section and one of the fine table displays.|
|The plants all around the store's space really added a lot.|
|Another view of the children's section.|
|This inspirational wall separates the store's customer space with the conference space for groups or staff.|
|This is the conference and/or staff space. You can also use this table to sit down and look at one of the large art books or coffee table books.|
|Another view of the staff space. They'll also open up new boxes of books here.|
|With Ben on the left, one of the fine owners at Commonplace Books. Thanks for a great visit.|