Sunday, May 13, 2018

Symposium Books - Providence, RI

Symposium Books, Providence, RI
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This bookstore puts out a very hip and urban vibe.  It has the feel of a bookstore in a large city downtown, surrounded by lots of bustle and lots of energy.  Walk down the street where it's located and you can feel NYC, Boston, or Chicago.  And this indie in Providence is just as hip as any you find in those cities.  Best of all, even though it has been here for 14 years, showing steady growth, and doing well, I think its best days are still to come.  As Scott M., the co-owner along with his wife Anne Marie told me, this downtown area is rapidly changing and will include transitioning to downtown living.  Hopefully, this will bring more business and growth to the store, a wonderful opportunity for Symposium.  If you think its hip now, check back in a few years.

This one-level indie offers a great inventory of new, used, and remaindered books along with new and used music on vinyl.  They are also just starting to dabble in collectable and vintage books.  One of the things I like here is that they have all the used books on a data base so they know what they have.  The store offers store credit or cash for good used books and vinyl.  They cover all the genres here but I thought their graphic novels, art books, and cooking related books were especially good.  Of course, their vinyl offerings were outstanding including LPs of some of my favorites, The Beatles and Steely Dan.  They only started offering vinyl 4 years ago and that portion of the business has certainly grown.  There are a few sidelines here including greeting cards (these sell very well), Providence and Rhode Island touristy items, t-shirts, and magnets to name a few.

This store's locations allows for great foot traffic and also enjoys customers from the many college communities in Providence.  They're also seeing out-of-towners who find their way through the doors.  You won't be able to park on the busy street in front of the store but public parking is easily accessible and close.

I didn't get to meet Anne Marie but had a great time meeting Scott and talking to him.  Scott was terrific to talk to and he did a great job of it while helping MANY customers who were in the store on the day of my visit.

So take a stroll around downtown Providence and tucked in among a lot of large buildings you'll find a cozy bookshop with lots of selections.  There's no way you can leave here empty-handed.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Killers Of The Flower Moon, David Grann.  This is one of those stories that has been swept aside due to the passage of time and I knew nothing about it.  True story of the mysterious deaths of the Osage Indians in the 1920s.  Their reservation was located on a large oil reserve and the white people tried to take advantage.  Justice was slow but J. Edgar Hoover was just beginning his career as head of the FBI and that's when things began to change.  This book is outstanding and offers a great insight to a chapter of Native American history.  Highly recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Slaves Of Solitude, Patrick Hamilton.  Blood Done Sign My Name, Timothy B. Tyson.  

Another view of the store front and some of the bargains you can check out before you enter.  

Boy, do they!  And they sell too!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking directly left from the front entrance.  This is where you'll start your browsing for music on vinyl.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  Intrepid readers may recognize the celebrity to the left in the picture.  Yes, that's my mom.  

A well-displayed new release table.  

You will find some great bargains in the vinyl bins.  

A great place to sit and test drive a book.  

A long wall of bookshelves and one of the reasons you'll be here awhile.  

This store has a good display of graphic novels.  

This center of the store display features some vintage books.  

I really like their genre signs on each aisle.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

Another great table display of new arrivals.  

Check out some of the board games available.  

The store has a good inventory of cooking related books, look for this section.  

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  Much of the store isn't visible in this picture and sits off to the left.  

One of the several book aisles.  

Don't forget to check the fruit at the top of the trees!

Lots of great magnets.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Another customer service offered at many independent bookstores.  

With Scott on the right, one of the fine co-owners at Symposium Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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