Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Empire Books & News - Huntington, WV

Empire Books & News, Huntington, WV
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Ok readers, tell me everything you know about Huntington, WV.  (Crickets).  Alright, how about you just tell me everything you know about West Virginia.  (More crickets).  "Is that a suburb of Virginia?"  No Poindexter.  "Isn't that over by all those Dakotas?"  No, no it isn't Poindexter.  "Oh I know, I remember from 3rd grade, Richmond is the capitol!"  No, no again Poindexter.  Richmond is the capitol in Virginia, different state.  Ok readers, here's all you need to know about Huntington, WV.  It's home to one of the best independent bookstores anywhere, Empire Books & News.  This place is a well-oiled machine doing its thing since 2002 and I see no sign of things slowing down anytime soon.

For the uninformed, take all your misconceptions of West Virginia, throw them in the trash, and get rid of them.  I give you Exhibit A, Empire Books & News, a spacious, one-level store located in downtown Huntington in Pullman Square.  They've been here since opening in 2002 and around them has sprouted restaurants, hotels, concert venues, movie theaters, and a multitude of other businesses.  I don't know how their location could be any better.  This bookstore serves the Huntington community and surrounding tri-state area as well as many from Marshall University.  They also enjoy lots of business from visitors staying in the nearby hotels.

Empire Books offers new and used books with many of the used books shelved right alongside the new ones.  There are bargains everywhere.  Customers who bring in books can receive store credit or cash.  Amanda V., the store manager, told me they input the used books into their system so they know what they have in the store.  The sidelines here are incredible including many greeting cards, journals, t-shirts, and best of all locally created soaps, scents and art.  The quantity and quality of magazines here is equal to or greater than anywhere I've been, very impressive.  They host the usual events but go beyond that with kid's birthday parties, classes for making bath bombs, and this summer will be offering crafts classes.  These are all great ways to bring people into your bookstores.

Amanda and Manda N., one of the booksellers, were so kind to visit with me and tell me about the store and its history, something I'm always appreciative of.

So readers, now when someone asks you about Huntington, WV, you have your answer.  Empire Books & News.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Nobody's Fool, Richard Russo.  A cast of characters in the small, upstate New York town of North Bath, centering around the protagonist, Donald Sullivan, or Sully.  He seems to have a knack for having an ill-effect on just about everyone he comes in contact with.  An elderly widow landlord, his best friend Rub, his ex-wife Vera and son Peter, his girlfriend, Ruth, and many more.  It's a story about the town and all the colorful characters, just like any other town.  I thought it was a little long but did like it.    

CURRENTLY READING:  Nightmare In Berlin, Hans Fallada.

Another side of the exterior.  

A great promo and incentive.  

Exterior and entrance.  Savvy readers may recognize the celebrity browsing for a bargain.  Yes, that's my mom.    

Wow!  A great bargain just outside the front door.

AND just inside the entryway!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the entrance.  

These are some of the wide variety of sidelines, just inside the front entrance.  

Lots of family board games available.  

Display of books that become movies and display of award-winners.  

Readers, I will remind you again.  If you see some quirky socks you like at an independent bookstore, get them!  You rarely see them elsewhere.  

Always check out the staff picks display at bookstores.   

Looks to me like she was a good girl and went light!

Empire partners with the Huntington Museum of Art with their gifts.   

Take time to check out some of the greeting cards produced by local artists.  

Some of the locally made soaps available.  

Huntington is the home of Marshall University.  They're got you covered.  

The store offers lots of greeting cards and these are just a few.  

Look past the display of magazines and you get a partial view of the children's section.  

You can see creative art work in many bookstores.  This impressive work is in the children's section.  

In the children's section.  

I love the signs on the bookshelves that designate their genre.  

Like this sign for travel books.  

The inventory of magazines for sale is very impressive.  

There are so many magazines here you can easily take advantage of this deal.  Buy 3 and save $3.  In fact, there are so many you'll probably be able to buy more.  

Great signage in the store.  

Do you think there's actually a Cooking Ct. somewhere?

View of the store looking from the rear toward the front entrance.  

A variety of journals offered.  

Get an audio book for your long rides to see bookstores.  

Check this out.  At the check-out counter.  Grab some Junior Mints to go with your book and you've got yourself one great day!

With Amanda on the left and Manda on the right, two of the fine folks you'll meet at Empire Books & News.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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