|Taylor Books, Charleston, WV|
The first thing that came to my mind when visiting this bookstore is why would anyone ever want to leave? Many independent bookstores do a great job presenting themselves as a community center but Taylor Books takes it to a whole new level. I'm amazed that after over 300 bookstore visits I'm still finding new things. Here at Taylor Books, its the Underground Cinema, a small movie theater right in the store below the main level. They show a new movie every month, often times an independent or foreign film, something not always shown in the usual theaters. But that's just the beginning of all you'll see at this community space and boosktore.
Don't worry readers, Taylor Books really does have books, lots of them. You can get new and used books and customers receive credit for used books when they bring theirs in (used books for used books credit). The store occupies three large rooms in a one-level space that is over 100 years old. The historical interior of the store's space is beautiful. They also have a large variety of sidelines, something that plays a large part in the store's business.
But here's why you never have to leave the store. They open at 7AM something I really like. Arrive early at the main entrance and go into the spacious cafe, the room to the right. Grab your latte, start reading, and have a seat in one of the comfortable chairs. When you finish, go over to the room on the left. Now you're in the art gallery and you'll quickly appreciate the incredible talent of the local artists in the many works on display. Return to the cafe for a lunch of sandwich or salad. If you're here on the right day, go downstairs for a pottery class. Or maybe its the "write" day for a creative writing class. I've already mentioned the Underground Cinema so if its Friday or Saturday, you can wrap it up with a movie. But before you hit the movie, go back to the cafe for a wine or beer. There you go Charleston, no reason to leave until after the movie (well, unless they decide to annex bedrooms!).
I didn't get to meet Ann, the owner, but Dan C., the store manager, along with Waller M., and Sofia M., were wonderful hosts and ambassadors for my morning at Taylor Books. You'll enjoy meeting these people and since many of you have business in the state capitol, include a stop at Taylor Books. An indie proud and strong since 1995. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Nightmare In Berlin, Hans Fallada. The author's life is thinly disguised in most of his books and I have enjoyed every one. Fallada stayed in Nazi Germany during the 30s and 40s when most all other authors of note fled. His books are a stark portrayal of what life was like in Germany during these years. Nightmare In Berlin, is a quasi-autobiographical account of a couple and their struggle for survival in Berlin immediately after the war, 1945-46. The book paints a picture of the German people, their despondency and apathy, and the poverty and bleak conditions they had to endure. An outstanding book to understand the struggles of the German people during this time. Highly recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Montana 1948, Larry Watson.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Book Of Harlan, Bernice L. McFadden. A Hanging At Cinder Bottom, Glenn Taylor.
|You can learn a lot from indie sidewalk signs. In addition to all the diverse things the store offers, I neglected to mention weekly live music.|
|Let the shopping begin with these great bargains outside the store.|
|Some great sidewalk seats to enjoy on nice days.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Long-time readers may recognize the celebrity dashing into the store. Yes, that's my mom.|
|View to the right of the front entrance. Lots of magazines to choose from. Behind this wall is the cafe.|
|Looking to the left from the front entrance you'll find a good assortment of greeting cards.|
|One of my favorite books on a front table display.|
|The store has a variety of journals.|
|The Taylor's sign on the wall behind the check-out counter. You should also check-out the t-shirts and tote bags.|
|Follow this hallway, go downstairs...|
|...and you'll be in this very cool, cozy movie theater.|
|Another view of the Underground Cinema.|
|If movies aren't your thing, consider a pottery class.|
|Great display of staff picks.|
|Another nice display featuring bestsellers. Lots of wonderful book displays throughout the store.|
|A portion of the books of local interest.|
|A very comfy place to sit and try out a book.|
|Not all indies have a display of books by small presses and publishers, truly indie. Consider Stephen Florida, upper left hand corner, a good read.|
|Lots of used books available in the back of the store.|
|Looking into the room of used books.|
|Great bargains in the used book room.|
|View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.|
|Partial view of the children's section.|
|An overview of the cafe looking toward the front of the building. You'll find the cafe by going into the room on the right after entering the store.|
|This is the view looking into the room that is to the left of the main room. An art gallery featuring lots of local artists, art supplies and a great space for events.|
|The front to back view of the art gallery room.|
|The works of art in this room are outstanding.|
|Everyone has seen one of these guest checks you get when eating out, right?|
|These are those guest checks. The art work on these is unbelievable and this picture doesn't do them justice.|
|With Dan on the right, the fine store manager at Taylor Books. Thanks for a great visit.|