|King City Books, Mt. Vernon, IL|
Readers, I've always said that booksellers are some of the best people you would ever want to meet. Knowledgeable, friendly, and especially talented. They are my rock stars and are largely unrecognized. There's no academy awards for booksellers that I know of but there is legendary author James Patterson who recognized the importance of independent bookstores and their booksellers with an annual holiday bonus awarded to select booksellers around the country. It just so happens that one of this year's recipients is at King City Books. And it just so happened that not only did I see a wonderful bookstore but met the rock star bookseller who works there and was recognized by James Patterson. Congrats Julie K.!
King City Books is a young bookstore, only three years old. It has a great location in downtown Mt. Vernon and as Julie told me, the downtown is continuing to renew and reshape with new businesses, a good sign for King City. In its short three years, things are going very well and the holiday season this year was particularly successful. The store is already making community connections with its involvement in the local schools and selling books as "blind dates" with the sales benefitting social causes.
King City offers all new books and a wide variety of sidelines, many of them locally produced. The socks and greeting cards do especially well. There are a nice assortment of handbags/purses, coats, and jewelry, all one-of-a-kind made by local artisans.
I had a great time meeting Julie and talking to her about the store and the business. She's one of three generations that work here. Her mother Kendra is the owner and founder of the store and Julie's daughter works in the cafe where you can get just about any kind of coffee drink you can think of.
As with other new bookstores in small towns, it sometimes takes awhile for the word to get out. For everyone in Mt. Vernon and within 50 miles, you need to check this place out. Stop in for a coffee, browse the books, and see some of the unique gift items you can't find anywhere else. Once you visit here, I dare you to not come back again and again. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Farm, Tom Rob Smith. This book is kind of a subtle creepy until the last quarter or so. A retired couple moves from England to a farm in Sweden and bizarre things start happening, according to the wife. Or is she actually crazy? Their adult son is put in the middle. This is suspenseful and really keeps you guessing. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: The Highway, C. J. Box.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt.
|One of the front window displays and an outside seating area for the cafe.|
|Hey Mt. Vernon, check this place out for some bargains.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Diligent readers may recognize the celebrity charging into the store. Yes, that's my mom.|
|View looking to the right from the front entrance.|
|The unique socks offered here sell very well. You'll find them near the front entrance.|
|A great place to sit and try out a book.|
|A suggestion box! I have not seen these in very many bookstores but it would seem like a good idea.|
|I've visited a few stores that offer something like this, a blind date with a book. Wrapped in plain paper which may or may not offer clues about the book on the wrapping. If you buy one here, the money goes to social causes within the community.|
|This blind date book tells you what to expect.|
|Great table display of NY Times bestsellers.|
|Display of recent non-fiction.|
|All hand-made and unique. Created by local artists.|
|A portion of the items of local and regional interest.|
|Some of the hand-made jewelry available.|
|Kids will love these puppets.|
|A nice display of scents.|
|A portion of the cafe area.|
|This is the seating area near the cafe or you can find other places to sit around the store.|
|Find out what the staffers are reading.|
|A few of the greeting cards available.|
|The store carries a nice assortment of games and puzzles.|
|A partial view of the children's section.|
|A great middle reader and YA section.|
|Remember PEZ dispensers? They have them here.|
|View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.|
|Only at an independent bookstore.|
|With Julie, one of the fine booksellers at King City Books. Thanks for a great visit.|